Is the LDS Process of Repentance a Blessing?

About a month ago the 12 and 13 year old’s were taught that “Repentance is a Blessing.” The Lesson Manual tells the teacher to explain the reason why repentance is such a blessing:

“Explain that repentance is the process Heavenly Father has given us for ‘erasing’ our sins. Heavenly Father wants us to return to live with him after this life, but no unclean, or sinful, person can live with him (see Moses 6:57). Heavenly Father knows that everyone will make mistakes and commit sins while on the earth, so he has given us a way to become clean again after we have sinned. This is repentance.” (Preparing for Exaltation, Lesson 12: Repentance Is a Blessing)

The Lesson teaches these children the many requirements to be met before they can gain forgiveness of a sin. This “process” has several aspects to it, but today I wish to discuss Joseph Smith’s revelation that a person gains forgiveness by keeping the commandments. D&C 1:32: “Nevertheless, he that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven.”

Testing the words of this LDS prophet with those of our Savior reveals the truth. Jesus revealed that doing all things which are commanded of you is simply what God requires of you, and is your duty! (Luke 17:9-10) When you sin (fail to keep God’s commands) you incur a debt, and need Heavenly Father’s forgiveness. Doing what is expected of you (keeping the commandments) cannot gain forgiveness for a debt. This merely prevents you from piling on more debt.

Here’s an illustration to explain what I mean:

It’s expected that you will pay your monthly bills. Last month you used part of your bill money to go on vacation and so you couldn’t pay all your bills. You used your credit card to pay for these bills and so incurred a debt on your credit card. This month you paid all your bills. You call up your credit card company and say “I paid all my bills this month so please forgive my debt from last month”. Do you think your credit card company will accept this offer as payment for your debt? Heavenly Father also, will not accept as payment for your sin debt, the works He already requires of you.

So how does a sin debt get paid? The writer of Hebrews testifies that without the shedding of blood there can be no forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 9:22). In the Old Testament we read that God’s people were required to offer animal sacrifices as payment for their sin. These animal sacrifices had to be perfect, without blemish.

But even if you gave your life’s blood as an offering to pay for your sins, your offering would be rejected by Heavenly Father. Why? Because you are not a perfect sacrifice! You are not without blemish. You are not without sin. Instead, you are in debt to God for all your sins. On Judgment Day, every single sin you’ve ever committed will be judged by Jesus, for all to see (Ecclesiastes 12:14). Anyone found unclean (without blemish) will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

But take heart, you are not without hope! Jesus shed His blood and paid the price for the sins of the entire world. “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God” (Hebrews 10:12). Jesus was a perfect sacrifice—without any sin debt. Heavenly Father accepted Jesus’ payment for the sins of the world and forgave every person’s sin debt. In your place, Jesus offered His life as a perfect sacrifice and paid your debt.

There is only one way to “receive” the complete forgiveness that has already been won for you, and guess what? It isn’t through your efforts at trying to keep God’s commands. You can only receive forgiveness by believing that Jesus’ blood covers your sin debt. The moment you have faith in this, you will receive complete forgiveness of all your sins (past, present and future)! Jesus loves us and washed us from our sins in his own blood. (Revelation 1:5) Believe it and receive it! The Apostle Peter testified: “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins” (Acts 10:43).

Once you know just how much you have been forgiven, you can freely live a life of thanksgiving! You can keep Heavenly Fathers commandments out of gratitude and love, not out of obligation or trying to gain forgiveness and eternal life!

Click here to go to my Page titled “The LDS Process of Repentance”:

Link to LDS Lesson: https://www.lds.org/manual/preparing-for-exaltation-teachers-manual/lesson-12-repentance-is-a-blessing?lang=eng

Additional Testimony of the Bold Truth:

Debt to God
Jesus:
– Matthew 6:12
Sacrifice for Sin
Heavenly Father:
– Leviticus 4:1-5
Works Judged
Jesus:
– Matthew 12:36
Forgiveness Through Blood
The Apostle Paul:
– Colossians 1:14
– Ephesians 1:7
– Romans 3:24-25
– Romans 5:18-19
John the Beloved:
– Revelation 7:14
– Hebrews 9:12-15
The Apostle Peter:
– 1 Peter 1:18-19
Substitute Payment
The Prophet Isaiah:
– Isaiah 53:4-12
The Apostle Paul:
– Galatians 3:10-13
The Apostle Peter:
– 1 Peter 3:18
World’s Sin Paid
John the Baptist:
– John 1:29
John the Beloved:
– 1 John 2:2
Thankful Obedience
The Apostle Paul:
– 1 Corinthians 15:56-58

Why is the Cross the Symbol of Christianity?

I love the symbol of the Cross!! But this isn’t how I have always felt. When I was Mormon I was often asked why we didn’t wear crosses or have crosses on our buildings. I always responded with what I had been taught: “We don’t focus on Christ’s death but on His life and the fact that he is still living.” In reality I was repulsed by crosses on churches or whenever I saw someone wearing a cross as jewelry. Now that I understand the true meaning of Christ’s Cross I am continually drawn back to its message—like a moth to a flame!

But what is the meaning of the Cross? Its message is seen as “foolishness” to many Latter-day Saints. Indeed, it is what divides Mormonism from Christianity! Today I share with you why the Cross is the symbol of my faith and pray that you will also make it yours.

My most treasured possession was won at the Cross—the forgiveness of all my sins! My entire debt of sin was canceled and taken away from me, in fact—my IOU’s were actually nailed to Christ’s Cross! (Colossians 2:13-15) When I first heard and understood this message of forgiveness, I gave my life to Jesus. As a Mormon I had been taught that even though Christ paid the debt for my sins, the debt hadn’t been canceled but merely re-financed. In fact, I still owed my debt to Jesus. For years I had tried to wash my own sins away by meeting the LDS requirements of repentance—and had failed miserably. Today, I cherish the meaning of the Cross because it boldly testifies that “where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin” (Hebrews 10:17-18).

Not only were my sins forgiven at the Cross, it was there that I was “perfected forever” through the offering of Christ’s body (Hebrews 10:10-14). This is amazing because I certainly didn’t deserve to be credited with righteousness. But through His death on the Cross, Christ reconciled me to God, presenting me “holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight” (Colossians 1:21-22).

How can these things possibly be true? Only through what my Savior accomplished! Even though Jesus was equal to God, He became a servant; He “humbled himself and became obedient” by dying on the Cross (Philippians 2:5-11). “For the joy that was set before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame.” (Hebrews 12:2) Notice here that He despised the shame. Have you ever felt shame? Shame is a horrible feeling that I know all too well! I have felt much shame over the years for the sins that I committed. But I deserved my shame. The Holy Son of God never once sinned and yet He took upon Himself every sin ever committed. I can’t even begin to imagine the magnitude of shame that our Holy Savior felt when He did this at the Cross!

Taking upon Himself every sin meant that it was like Jesus Himself had actually committed these sins! This was His role as our Substitute, and it had to be done at the cross to save us. Forgiveness can only be granted through the shedding of one’s life-blood. And the Cross was the altar where Christ shed His. This is why Christians use the symbol of Christ’s death–the Cross, as the symbol of their faith.

Without the Cross, I was cursed to spend eternity in Hell with Satan. The Apostle Paul told the Galatians: “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” Because I could not do what was required, Christ came to do it for me. His very purpose for coming to earth was to be my substitute; and yours!! You were cursed because of your sins but Christ took your curse upon Himself. He actually became a curse!! Both for you and for me! As the final sacrifice “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree”. Notice that His substitution happened at the cross! It was at the Cross that every sin ever committed was paid for and forgiven! Now, “where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin”!!!!

The LDS church shuns the Cross, because it claims to focus on Christ’s life instead. In reality, Mormon prophets reject the message of the Cross because it’s foolishness to them!!! “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”

As I mentioned, I am continually drawn back to the message of the cross—like a moth to a flame. Whenever I feel guilt over the sin that so easily entangles me—I run to the Cross! It is at the Cross that I can leave my guilt and be reminded that my sin has already been forgiven. Then immediately, I turn in gratitude and thankfulness to my Savior who died on that Cross—for me!!!

The cross is the center of our lives

The cross is the center of our lives

When I got married a few years ago my last name became “Detro”. One day I realized that the “T” in the center of Detro could be made into the symbol of the Cross. My husband and I love the symbolism that this created. Christ’s Cross is the symbol of our faith—the very center of our lives and our marriage! My husband surprised me one year with this beautiful anniversary gift that sits by our front door.

Click here for additional LDS and Bible references:

The Empty Tomb Is Proof That The Mormon Jesus Is A False Christ!!

After the Holy Spirit brought me to faith, it took a few months before I understood the differences between Christianity and Mormonism. For a short time, I didn’t realize that the Mormon Church was not Christian. The Jesus I had been taught about while I was Mormon seemed to be the same Jesus as what the Bible taught. It wasn’t until I did a thorough Bible study on Christ’s Atonement, that I discovered the truth. The Jesus taught by Mormonism is a false Christ! He is not the “Christ” who saved us “in our sins”.

While Mormonism teaches similar aspects about the “person” of Jesus as that found in the Bible, the falseness of the LDS Christ becomes apparent when one looks at his stated purpose and mission. I have found numerous ways in which the LDS Jesus falls short of the true Jesus, as revealed on the pages of the Bible. I have already written a post comparing the LDS Jesus as Creditor with the Biblical Jesus as Savior; and, a post comparing the LDS Jesus as Exemplar with the Biblical Jesus who was our Substitute. Today, I focus on comparing the LDS Jesus who cannot save his people in their sins, with the true Christ who took away the sins of the world!

The Christ of Mormonism is a false Christ. We know this because LDS prophets testify that Christ cannot save his people “in their sins”! They make this claim because they believe the words of a false prophet, found on the pages of LDS scripture. This prophet, Amulek, taught of a false Christ who did not have the authority to save his people “in their sins“. Amulek claims that the reason, is because “no unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore, how can ye be saved, except ye inherit the kingdom of heaven? Therefore, ye cannot be saved in your sins.

How can we know that this Christ is not the true Christ, the very Son of God? By testing his mission and purpose, as revealed by Mormonism; with Christ’s mission and purpose, already revealed within the pages of the Bible.

The true Christ’s mission was to take away ALL our sins, leaving us “no longer in our sins”! The Apostle Paul claimed that if Christ had not been raised from the dead, then their faith was in vain because they would still be in their sins. (1 Corinthians 15:17) The fact that Christ was raised from the dead meant that they were no longer in their sins!

John the Baptist testified that Christ’s mission was to take away the sins of the world! (John 1:29). Did Jesus fulfill His mission and return to His Father with honor? Did He take away the sins of the world? Yes!! The empty tomb, the fact that God the Father raised Him from the dead, proves that Christ’s body was accepted as full payment for taking away the sins of the world.

Because the tomb was empty on that first Easter morn, we can trust that we are no longer in our sins! Through the offering of Christ’s body, every sin was taken away from you. All who believe in Jesus can boldly enter into God’s presence, because they are no longer in their sins! When Jesus took away the sins of the world, He reconciled man to God! You are no longer unclean, because Christ’s blood has washed you clean!!!

No longer “in our sins” we are perfect, righteous, and pure. Through the offering of Christ’s body, “He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified” (Hebrews 10:10-14). Those whose hope is in the true Christ are as pure as Jesus himself (1 John 3). Just like Abraham, you are declared righteous through faith (Romans 4:20-5:2).

Many of the Jewish leaders didn’t believe that Jesus was the Christ. They thought that Christ’s mission was to overthrow the Romans and set up an earthly kingdom. But this was a vision of a false Christ! Jesus warned the Jews who did not believe in Him: “ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins (John 8:24). The logic here is that if the Jews would just believe in the true Christ they would not die in their sins.

Similarly, if you trust in the words of your LDS prophets, you also believe in the vision of a false Christ. One who cannot, will not, save you in your sins. Just as Jesus warned the Jews, He gives you the same warning: “if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins”. Dying in your sins means Eternal Death. Do you love your children and wish to live with them eternally? Reject the false Christ of Mormonism and in faith, turn to the true Jesus who has already saved you. Then, teach your children about the true Christ, who has already saved them in their sins!

Link to Additional LDS and Bible References:

Your Heavy Burden of Sin Has Been Removed!

One weekend I went hiking with my husband and some friends in the Ruby Mountains. My husband carried our back pack with the water jug and when he was thirsty I would unzip the pack and get it out for him. After we had drank our fill I would put the jug back into his pack and zip it up. But, what he didn’t know is that whenever I put the jug back, I also put in a fist-sized rock. All of our friends knew what I was doing and it was a great joke. He didn’t notice his pack was getting heavier because the rocks were being added one at a time. Towards the end of the hike his pack had become quite a burden. He thought it was because he was just getting tired, but when he opened it up and saw all the rocks he realized what I had done.

An article in the Ensign last fall reminded me of this hike. The focus of the article was the process of Repentance. It gave an idea for Family Home Evening using rocks and a backpack: “Collect a sack and several large rocks. Read the story of President Marion G. Romney and the repentant young man. Have each family member write a common sin on a rock and then place it in the sack. Take turns carrying the sack and compare the physical weight to the burden of sin. Then remove each stone while you read the paragraph following “There was the answer.”

The paragraph mentioned tells you how to know if you can remove the burden of each sin you’ve committed. The answer is because you’ve done everything required through the process of repentance. This is how to know if your repentance has been accepted by the Lord. It claims “The miracle of forgiveness is available to all of those who turn from their evil doings and return no more, because the Lord has said in a revelation to us in our day: “Go your ways and sin no more; but unto that soul who sinneth [meaning again] shall the former sins return, saith the Lord your God” (D&C 82:7).”

But the Lord your God did not say this! Instead, He testified: “I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.” The Holy Ghost inspired these words: “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” John the Beloved claimed that Jesus: “loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood”.

The reason Jesus came to this earth to rescue us is because we are filled with sin. The vast majority of sins cannot be abandoned. Most sins like unjustified anger, greed, gossiping, envy, lust, lying, etc. are committed over and over again throughout a person’s life time. Oh, there are a few specific commands that one can abandon. Man-made commands like the Word of Wisdom are easy to follow and create a false impression of righteousness.

This trains a person to look at the few sins they don’t commit rather than seeing the great number they do commit. You might even be able to pay a full ten-percent tithe your entire life. But, if you don’t do it cheerfully, you are sinning. The most difficult command is to love God more than anything or anyone. We all break this command over and over again—every time we commit every single sin.

Using the analogy that each sin is like a stone, every person who has ever lived would have so many stones piled on them they could not stand. They would literally be buried under a mountain. You could not “carry” this burden because it would be far too heavy to bear. Only a person who chooses not to acknowledge the extent to which they break God’s commands would ever claim that the “soul who sinneth [meaning again] shall the former sins return”!

Only someone who does not know how often they sin could ever believe it possible to abandon most of the sin they commit. In their ignorance and their arrogance they believe their pack is almost empty when in reality it is so great Heavenly Father had to send His Son to remove it!

Looking back at the exercise for Home Evening, imagine taking several rocks and writing a sin on each rock. Start with the sin of being “Unforgiving”. In your life, how many times have you struggled to forgive someone? How about being “Covetous”? How many times have you coveted another persons looks, their home, their spouse, their car? How often are you “Contentious” or “Quarrelsome”? How are you doing at forsaking the sins of “Envy”, “Lying” or “Impatience”? Did you know that “Worrying” or being “Fearful” are sins? How many times are you “Bitter”, “Judgmental”, “Angry”, “Discourteous” or “Unkind”? How often do you “Gossip” about others or “Slander” someone? Have you abandoned “Cursing” or the sin of “Lusting” after anyone you aren’t married to?

I haven’t even mentioned the Sins of omission: Not seeking God’s kingdom first, Not blessing those who persecute you, Not feeding the hungry, Not clothing the stranger, Not visiting those in prison, Not praying continually, Not thanking God for everything, Not being content with what you have, Not trusting God to take care of you and Not giving God the glory for everything you do.

It is truly impossible to abandon many of these sins for even more than one day! But take heart! Jesus came to rescue you! Your filthiness was made clean—it was washed and cleansed with Christ’s blood. Once, your sins were as scarlet, but now they are as white as snow. You are without blame or blemish—no spot can be found. Your sins were taken and cast into the depths of the sea. All your sins, past present and future have been covered and blotted out—removed from you.

But, if you believe the words of prophets who claim you must abandon these sins to gain forgiveness, then this falsehood becomes truth for you. When you die, you will still be in your sins because you rejected your Savior who covered your sins with His blood. On Judgment Day, your sins will return to you; evidence that you didn’t trust in the Savior who removed your sins with His blood. Then, you will be cast into Outer Darkness to spend eternity with Satan.

Click here for additional LDS and Bible references

Gospel Doctrine Lesson 42, “This Is My Gospel?”

LDS Belief:

The “concise, complete definition” of the LDS Gospel is that Jesus was lifted up on the cross so men would be resurrected to stand before God and be judged of their works. No unclean thing can enter into God’s kingdom—only those whose garments have been washed in Christ’s blood. Having your garments washed by Christ’s Atonement is conditional upon having faith, repenting of all your sins and being faithful till the end.

LDS Words

Found in lesson 42, pages 186-187:
Point out that when Latter-day Saints bear their testimonies, they often say that they know the gospel is true. Ask class members to silently consider how they would respond if, after saying “I know the gospel is true,” they were asked, “What is the gospel?

Write “This is my gospel” on the chalkboard. Explain that after Jesus said that His Church must be built on His gospel, He gave His disciples a concise, complete definition of His gospel. Have class members take turns reading verses in 3 Nephi 27:13–22, looking for different aspects of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

3 Nephi 27:15:
And for this cause have I been lifted up; therefore, according to the power of the Father I will draw all men unto me, that they may be judged according to their works.

3 Nephi 27:19:
And no unclean thing can enter into his kingdom; therefore nothing entereth into his rest save it be those who have washed their garments in my blood, because of their faith, and the repentance of all their sins, and their faithfulness unto the end.

Link to Lesson:

Lesson 42

The Bold Truth:

The true Gospel of Jesus Christ is the “good news” that Jesus died on the cross and paid the penalty for the sins of the world. Jesus was lifted up on the cross to cover over all sin. Through His shed blood He has washed and cleansed every person from the stain of sin. This Good News has no conditions whatsoever attached to it. This gospel has nothing to do with what any person besides Christ can accomplish. It is based solely on the fact that Jesus successfully completed His mission to be the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the entire world.

I grew up loving New York Cheesecake. My mom had a recipe that was easy to make—no baking and little fuss. When I had children I often made this for them. One evening my husband took me to a restaurant for a special meal. For dessert I ordered the “Authentic New York Cheesecake”. But, when the waitress brought it, I was appalled. It did not look like the cheesecake I was familiar with. I didn’t want to try it but the waitress assured me it was delicious. I took one small bite and felt like I had entered heaven. It was the best thing I had ever tasted in my entire life! I realized that the recipe I had been using all those years was not really New York Cheesecake, even though it was titled such. I had no idea what I had been missing all those years. Now, whenever I see a “fake” cheesecake I identify it immediately because not only does it taste different, it looks different.

In a similar way, I grew up believing in the LDS gospel. It never entered my mind that it might not be authentic. The only doubts I ever had were doubts about my own ability to follow the gospel. I knew I was unworthy and no matter how hard I tried I could not gain forgiveness. My prophets taught me that forgiveness was dependent upon my own works; my ability to keep all the commandments. Every day I failed miserably and every minute I felt unworthy. While I doubted my own ability, I never doubted in the LDS gospel.

A few years after tasting my first authentic New York Cheesecake I tasted the true gospel of Jesus Christ! My loving Father in Heaven rescued me from the torment of my guilt by bringing me the “good news” of His true Gospel. I learned that “gospel” means literally “good news”. The good news is that not only was Jesus worthy for me, He died for me! The good news is that Jesus satisfied Gods’ demands for Justice and Mercy now reigns. The good news is that Heavenly Father has forgiven every single sin you have ever committed. This is a fact proven by His resurrection. Jesus’ entire purpose for coming to earth was to cover our sins with His blood. That is the authentic Gospel. We can discern the true gospel by answering the question from the Lesson “Why was Jesus lifted up?” According to the LDS Gospel the answer focuses on what we have to do—Jesus gives us bodily resurrection so we can be judged by our own works. That is not good news” because our inadequate works make us unworthy! According to the true Gospel the answer focuses on Jesus—He paid the penalty for the sins of the world which washed everyone’s sins with His blood.

I thought I was using the authentic recipe for New York Cheesecake. It wasn’t until I tasted the real thing that I knew the difference. The same was true for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I had no idea what I had been missing for all those years. The true gospel tastes so sweet to me that it is the foundation for everything I do. The good news of the gospel compels me to serve Jesus every minute of every day. Not because I have to, but because I get to!

Eternal Consequences

Anyone who rejects the true gospel of Jesus Christ will stand “unclean” before Heavenly Father on Judgment Day. No unclean person will dwell in the kingdom of God with Jesus, Heavenly Father or the Holy Spirit. The only other alternative is to spend eternity in hell with Satan.

Additional Testimony of the Bold Truth:
The Gospel: Why Jesus came:
– Isaiah 61:1
– Isaiah 53:4-12
– Luke 4:17-20
– John 1:29
– Romans 1:16
– 1 Corinthians 1:17-18
– 2 Corinthians 5:19-21
– 1 Peter 1:18-25
– Galatians 3:10-13
– 1 John 2:2
– Hebrews 10:12
– Revelation 1:5
– Revelation 7:14
Don’t believe in false gospels, even if an angel tells it to you:
– Galatians 1:6-9
– 2 Corinthians 11:3-4
Even the Apostle Peter had to be reprimanded about following the gospel:
– Galatians 2:14, 16, 21
Additional LDS Words:

Found in lesson 42, pages 186-187:
You may want to invite a class member to list the responses on the chalkboard. Some possible responses follow:

a. Jesus’ submission to the will of the Father (3 Nephi 27:13)
b. The Atonement (3 Nephi 27:14)
c. Resurrection (3 Nephi 27:14–15)
d. Judgment (3 Nephi 27:14–15)
e. Repentance (3 Nephi 27:16, 19–20)
f. Baptism (3 Nephi 27:16, 20)
g. Faith in Jesus Christ (3 Nephi 27:19)
h. The gift of the Holy Ghost (3 Nephi 27:20)
i. Enduring to the end (3 Nephi 27:16–17, 19)

Found in lesson 42, page 187:
What did the Savior promise to those who live according to His gospel? (See 3 Nephi 27:21–22.) 21 Verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my gospel; and ye know the things that ye must do in my church; for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do; for that which ye have seen me do even that shall ye do; 22 Therefore, if ye do these things blessed are ye, for ye shall be lifted up at the last day.

3 Nephi 27:13-14:
Behold I have given unto you my gospel, and this is the gospel which I have given unto you—that I came into the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me. 14 And my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross, that I might draw all men unto me, that as I have been lifted up by men even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil—

Links to Additional LDS Words:

Quotes of LDS Prophets about how to gain forgiveness:

Lesson 18 Beyond the Veil-Forgiveness through works?

LDS Belief:

A person is washed and cleansed from their sins (gains forgiveness) by keeping the commandments. Supporting LDS scripture found in Doctrine and Covenants 1:32 “Nevertheless, he that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven.”

LDS Words
(Joseph Smith)

Found in lesson 18, page 220:
The Prophet Joseph Smith saw the following in vision, later recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 76:50–59, 62, 68–70: “And again we bear record—for we saw and heard, and this is the testimony of the gospel of Christ concerning them who shall come forth in the resurrection of the just—they are they who received the testimony of Jesus, and believed on his name and were baptized after the manner of his burial, being buried in the water in his name, and this according to the commandment which he has given—that by keeping the commandments they might be washed and cleansed from all their sins, and receive the Holy Spirit by the laying on of the hands of him who is ordained and sealed unto this power; and who overcome by faith, and are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, which the Father sheds forth upon all those who are just and true.

The Bold Truth:

Jesus loves us and washed us from our sins in his own blood. (Revelation 1:5)

Joseph Smith revealed that a person gains forgiveness by keeping the commandments. But Jesus testified that doing all the things which are commanded of you is simply what God requires of you and is your duty (Luke 17:9-10). When you sin (fail to keep God’s commands) you incur a debt and need Heavenly Father’s forgiveness. Doing what is expected of you (keeping the commandments) cannot gain forgiveness for a debt. This merely prevents you from piling on more debt.

Here’s an illustration to explain what I mean: It’s expected that you will pay your monthly bills. Last month you used part of your bill money to go on vacation and so you couldn’t pay all your bills. You used your credit card to pay for these bills and so incurred a debt on your credit card. This month you paid all your bills. You call up your credit card company and say “I paid all my bills this month so please forgive my debt from last month”. Do you think your credit card company will accept this offer as payment for your debt? Heavenly Father also, will not accept as payment for your sin debt, the works He already requires of you.

So how does a sin debt get paid? The writer of Hebrews testifies that without the shedding of blood there can be no forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 9:22). In the Old Testament we read that God’s people were required to offer animal sacrifices as payment for their sin. These animal sacrifices had to be perfect, without blemish. But even if you gave your life’s blood, as an offering to pay for your sins, your offering would be rejected by Heavenly Father. Why? Because you are not a perfect sacrifice! You are not without blemish. You are not without sin. Instead, you are in debt to God for all your sins. On Judgment Day, every single sin you’ve ever committed will be judged by Jesus for all to see (Ecclesiastes 12:14). Anyone found unclean (without blemish) will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

But take heart, you are not without hope! Jesus shed His blood and paid the price for the sins of the entire world. “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God” (Hebrews 10:12). Jesus was a perfect sacrifice—without any sin debt. Heavenly Father accepted Jesus’ payment for the sins of the world and forgave every person’s sin debt. In your place, Jesus offered His life as a perfect sacrifice and paid your debt. You can only receive forgiveness through belief, not through works (keeping God’s commands)! Believe that Jesus’ blood covers your sin debt and you will receive complete forgiveness of all your sins (past, present and future). Believe it and receive it! “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins” (Acts 10:43). Trust me; once you know you have been forgiven, you will live a life of thanksgiving! You will keep Heavenly Fathers commandments out of gratitude and love, not out of obligation or trying to gain something for yourself!

Eternal Consequences

If you believe you receive forgiveness by keeping God’s commands you will die in your sins. On Judgment Day you will stand guilty before Heavenly Father because you rejected Christ’s blood as payment for your sins.

Recommended Reading — The Apostle Peter’s Quest for Forgiveness

Unforgivable Saint

Additional Testimony of the Bold Truth:

Hebrews:
– Hebrews 9:12-15

Debt to God
Jesus:
– Matthew 6:12
Sacrifice for Sin
Heavenly Father:
– Leviticus 4:1-5
Works Judged
Jesus:
– Matthew 12:36
Forgiveness Through
Blood

The Apostle Paul:
– Colossians 1:14
– Ephesians 1:7
– Romans 3:24-25
– Romans 5:18-19
John the Beloved:
– Revelation 7:14
– Hebrews 9:12-15
The Apostle Peter:
– 1 Peter 1:18-19
Substitute Payment
The Prophet Isaiah:
– Isaiah 53:4-12
The Apostle Paul:
– Galatians 3:10-13
The Apostle Peter:
– 1 Peter 3:18
World’s Sin Paid
John the Baptist:
– John 1:29
John the Beloved:
– 1 John 2:2
No One Unclean
in Heaven

The Apostle Paul:
– Ephesians 5:5
Thankful Obedience
The Apostle Paul:
– 1 Corinthians 15:56-58