Do You Find it Difficult to Forgive Others?

For many years I struggled with God’s command to forgive others. I sincerely desired to forgive certain people in my life, but I just couldn’t do it. I would have days when I thought I had conquered my unforgiving feelings, but then something would happen and I was right back where I started.

My hearts desire was to gain forgiveness of my own sins. I knew that securing my forgiveness depended upon me freely forgiving others. After all, it was only fair that Heavenly Father withhold my forgiveness when I had not given it to others. There were many times that this knowledge drove me to despair. The burning question I lived with year after year was “how? How do I forgive them?”

Looking back, I realize that the reason it was so hard for me to forgive others was because I followed the example of my father. He was very unforgiving, especially towards his children. Whenever we did anything against his will, he gave us many requirements to follow before he would grant his forgiveness. He believed that working hard in all areas of our lives proved we were truly repentant of the wrong we had committed. He even kept a record of our mistakes; and whenever we repeated the same thing twice, he flung the previous sin back in our faces. Then, we had to start all over until we could prove we had really overcome that sin. Only then would our repentance be sincere.

I’m not actually talking about my earthly father—but about my Heavenly Father! At least the one I grew up with in the LDS church. This god truly is an unforgiving God! You can read about him on my blog page “The LDS Process of Repentance”. Here you will find pages of quotes by LDS prophets and apostles—defining the unforgiving LDS god and its savior. LDS scripture testifies that the Christ of Mormonism requires us to freely forgive everyone, even though he doesn’t hold himself to the same standard:

“Wherefore, I say unto you, that ye ought to forgive one another; for he that forgiveth not his brother his trespasses standeth condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the greater sin. I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.” (D & C 64:9-10). In my late twenties I lost my faith in the unforgiving god of Mormonism, but my life became no better. I was so miserable that I would have committed suicide if I hadn’t had my children who needed me.

Amazingly, at the age of 36 a miracle happened! The Holy Ghost brought me to faith in the true Christ, and God adopted me into His eternal family. Through faith, I became God’s dear child and immediately received forgiveness of all my sins. I was so thankful to be God’s true child that I began pouring over all the love letters He had written for me, found in the Bible. Here, I learned much about my loving, merciful and forgiving Father in Heaven. This God’s love was so great that He sent His Son Jesus to take the punishment that I deserved for my sins. It was at Christ’s Atonement where all my sins had been forgiven—through the shedding of His life’s blood.

From the Apostle Peter I learned that LDS prophets are wrong—-forgiveness is not gained through obedience, but through faith: “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.” (Acts 10:43)

I was especially thrilled when I learned from God’s Word the key to forgiving others. It was the knowledge that all my sins had already been forgiven that unlocked my unforgiving heart. I realized I could afford to forgive others because I had been so richly blessed with forgiveness—first. All I had to do was follow the example of my Father in Heaven and His Son Jesus Christ. After all, the unmerciful servant was expected to forgive those indebted to him only after his entire debt had first been canceled (Matthew 18).

It became easy to forgive others when I remembered that every one of my sins had already been forgiven. Now, whenever I have an unforgiving heart and want to cling to my bitterness; I turn to scripture to be reminded of my Heavenly Father’s example: “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32)

And also, the example of my Savior: “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” (Colossians 3:13)

Is there someone you can’t seem to forgive, especially since they really don’t deserve it? The key is to see that all your sins have already been forgiven—even though you don’t deserve it! After all, forgiveness is an inherently “unfair” concept. Thank goodness the true Heavenly Father isn’t fair! Instead of punishing those who deserved it, He punished His Son Jesus instead.

The true Christ’s blood has covered your every sin: Trust in Him and you will immediately receive forgiveness! Once you do, you truly will be blessed: “Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.” (The Apostle Paul in Romans 4:7-8; quoting Psalm 32:1-2)

Click here to read about the unforgiving natures of the god and savior of Mormonism:

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Are You Tired?

My grandson Bryson recently started first grade. I’ve been a little worried about how well he would adjust; going from a half-day kindergarten to a full-day schedule. His Mom works late nights and so he isn’t used to getting up early in the morning. After his first day of school I called him to find out how it went. Boy did I get an ear-full. He didn’t like how long the day was nor did he like all the work he had to do. He complained for several minutes and finally I asked him “Wasn’t there anything you liked about school?” He replied “Well, there were four recesses”.

Sometimes I wish I had four recesses a day, especially at this time of year. I love gardening, but by the first of October I am usually plumb tuckered out. I have almost twenty fruit trees, grow vegetables and sell berries of all kinds. With all the picking, canning and weeding I’ve seldom had time to even cook dinner. Plus with all the health issues I’ve been having, this year has been extremely difficult. I have learned a new definition for the word courage. It takes courage to pull myself out of bed in the morning and courage to do even minimal tasks. Some days, I find it takes even more courage to just stay in bed all day. I grew up in a family with a strong work ethic and it’s difficult for me to admit that I simply can’t do everything that needs to be done. It isn’t that I don’t love everything I do, it’s just that I am physically exhausted and in pain most of the time. I would love to have someone tell me “Becki, it’s time for recess”.

Today, in a way, God did tell me it was time for recess. He speaks to me through His Word and I read in Psalm 23: “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” Reading these passages restored my soul and slowed me down. It also reminded me of my life before I met my Savior. For almost three decades I was absolutely miserable because I could not find any rest for my soul. Year after year was spent pleading with Heavenly Father to forgive my many sins. I believed and trusted the words of my prophet Spencer Kimball. He claimed that gaining forgiveness depended upon my works and my ability to do everything required of me. But despite years and years of working for it, I did not receive the “positive assurance that the Lord had forgiven me”. My burden became too heavy to bear and I lost hope.

After that, it was another nine miserable years before I heard the wonderful message that God had already forgiven me through my Savior. Jesus had carried my burdens and in my place, had done all the works required of me to gain eternal life. I was dumbfounded when I learned that no one can gain forgiveness through their works of obedience! And, I learned that forgiveness is only obtained as a gift from Heavenly Father, given freely to the unworthy. All those years of pain and misery were unnecessary! But I didn’t know it, because I had believed the words of a false prophet; words that contradicted God’s Word. The Apostle Peter testifies that a person receives forgiveness through belief in Jesus. He also claims that all of God’s prophets bear witness to this truth! (Acts 10:43)

I now understand what my Savior meant when He said: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” All sins were forgiven when our Savior shed His blood and paid for our sins. When I learned this truth, my burden truly was light. I found rest for my soul through faith that what Jesus had done for me was sufficient! Now, instead of doing works to try and qualify for forgiveness, I am free to joyfully serve my Lord, simply because I love Him.

I can’t wait to enter God’s eternal rest and be with my Savior for all eternity. My dearest friend Linda died about a month ago. She is now in the arms of our dear Savior, resting from her life of service to God. John the Beloved wrote about how blessed she is: “And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.” (Revelation 14:13)

All who trust solely in Jesus will spend eternity in the very presence of God Almighty, in constant wonder and awe. I am looking forward to it, because “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)

If You Allow Your Children To Quarrel–You Haven’t Been Forgiven?

Do you ever allow your children to fight or quarrel with each other? If so, this is a sign indicating that you have not yet been forgiven of your sins!

At least, this is what an article in the Ensign claimed a few years ago. This article made my heart cry out in anguish for any Mormon who is struggling to gain forgiveness! Because I spent so many years trying to gain forgiveness, I have a burning desire to share God’s truth with you! I bear my testimony to you that even if you allow your children to fight, your sins have all been forgiven! But, unfortunately, according to LDS Prophets:

“It depends upon you whether or not you are forgiven, and when. It could be weeks, it could be years, it could be centuries before that happy day when you have the positive assurance that the Lord has forgiven you. That depends on your humility, your sincerity, your works, your attitudes.”

The question asked in the Ensign article, was “How can I know if and when I have been forgiven of my sins?” Elder Spencer Condie of the Seventy went to the Book of Mormon to answer this question. True to Mormon teaching, forgiveness depends upon you and your works! According to LDS prophets and scripture, here are the signs that indicate if and when your sins have been forgiven:

You will not:
1) allow your children to fight or quarrel one with another; or
2) have a mind to injure one another.
You will:
3) remember your past sins with a peaceful conscience, without any pain and will cease being harrowed up by the memory of them;
4) be filled with joy—always rejoicing;
5) be filled with the love of God;
6) have no room for discouragement, fear, hatred or revenge;
7) look at all sin with abhorrence;
8) forsake all your sins;
9) give of your substance to whoever stands in need, even beggars who have brought their misery upon themselves;
10) feed the hungry;
11) clothe the naked;
12) visit the sick;
13) return whatever you borrow from your neighbor;
14) observe the commandments of God;
15) have no more disposition or desire to do evil, but to do good continually.

Praise the Lord that these are the words of false prophets! If it were not so—none of us could gain forgiveness! Our forgiveness is based upon one fact and one fact alone–Jesus’ death and resurrection!! The truth is that all sins were forgiven over 2,000 years ago when Jesus shed his blood on the cross and paid for the sins of the world. Justice was paid and now, Mercy reigns! Forgiveness was won only because Jesus offered His body as the final sacrifice for sins.

Heavenly Father accepted His offering as full payment for sins. The proof can be seen in the fact that God raised Jesus from the dead! After Christ “offered one sacrifice for sins for ever; (He) sat down on the right hand of God” (Hebrews 10:10-14). Because Christ was raised, we are no longer in our sins (1 Corinthians 15:17). Through faith in His resurrection, we have been forgiven of all trespasses, because Jesus:

blotted “out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross” (Colossians 2:12-14).

God’s true prophets have born witness that it is through faith we receive forgiveness: “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins (Acts 10:40-43). LDS prophets claim that forgiveness is gained through your own works—your obedience to God’s commands. Do you believe that you can gain forgiveness through the LDS process of Repentance? Then make sure you carefully follow all their words. Study the words from this Ensign article and the Book of Mormon, then read through my page “The LDS Process of Repentance”. If you follow their words only half heartedly or aren’t honest with yourself in your ability to follow their words, you will never come to the knowledge that the LDS Process of Repentance is impossible! These words are false! You cannot gain forgiveness through your works. The work of forgiveness has already been gained–you receive it when you believe it.

My life is devoted to “Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood” (Revelation 1:5). To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever!

Additional LDS and Bible References

God Doesn’t Lie–You Have Been Forgiven!!!

I was born and raised in a prominent Mormon family. All my life I have felt broken—not normal. I was sexually abused for most of my childhood and this abuse has left me with many emotional scars. Until my mid-twenties my life was one of confusion and fog. I knew I was not a willing participant in the abuse and yet, I felt so much guilt and shame for what had happened to me. When I turned twenty I got involved with the wrong crowd and started drinking. I committed sexual sins with someone I was dating, got pregnant and then married. My own sinfulness verified to me that I truly was filthy and unworthy.

My struggles to earn forgiveness included many years of prayers and working through the steps of repentance. I felt so burdened down with guilt and shame. I couldn’t understand how I had committed these sins when everyone else I knew seemed worthy. I became consumed with guilt and I desperately needed forgiveness. The strongest desire of my heart was to be washed clean of my filthiness.

I once fasted for almost a week as I fervently poured over the pages of “The Miracle of Forgiveness“. Even though I read and re-read this book often, it only seemed to make things worse. I was especially plagued by these words from my prophet, President Kimball:

“Your Heavenly Father has promised forgiveness upon total repentance and meeting all the requirements, but that forgiveness is not granted merely for the asking. There must be works – many works – and an all-out, total surrender, with a great humility and a ‘broken heart and a contrite spirit.’ It depends upon you whether or not you are forgiven, and when. It could be weeks, it could be years, it could be centuries before that happy day when you have the positive assurance that the Lord has forgiven you. That depends on your humility, your sincerity, your works, your attitudes.” (p 325)

Finally, burdened with years of shame and guilt, I turned to my Bishop for help. Although I had confessed my sins to a previous bishop, I again confessed and then asked if I could be re-baptized. The sexual abuse had begun years before I was baptized, and it continued for many years afterward. I felt that if I could just be baptized again, I would have my sins washed away and I would finally be clean!

All my life my father had been a leader in the Church (he did not abuse me). He had taught me that Bishops have been given a special gift from God and could read a person’s heart. A week after confessing my sins, my Bishop told me that Heavenly Father had revealed to him that I was not really sincere in my search for forgiveness, and that I could not be re-baptized. I was shocked and could not believe what he said.

I went home and after a few hours, I realized: “I Could Not Believe What he said”! I knew in my heart that I was sincere. Being forgiven was the most important thing in my life! I realized that my bishop was a fake–he couldn’t really read my heart! I realized that everything I had been taught all my life was false. My LDS world came crashing down around me like a house of cards.

All my life I had been living something that was a lie. I could no longer live that lie because I had seen the truth, I had been set free! I asked to be excommunicated. I was so bitter and angry towards the Mormon Church that I moved three thousand miles to get away from Mormons and family.

It took years before I learned the biblical truth of forgiveness. Even though I had thought I was shown the truth and set free, my life sure didn’t feel that way. I still lived in anguish under the burden of guilt and shame. I was no closer to forgiveness than when I was LDS. Today I realize that even though I was set free from the false teachings of Mormonism, I was still a slave to my sins. I was still ignorant of God’s truth. I didn’t know that my sins had already been forgiven.

Nine years later God sent into my life a six-year-old Christian neighbor who led me to His Word by persistently inviting me to her church. The father of that girl took me to hear a born-again biker give a talk about forgiveness. The Speaker asked those in the audience a question. He said: “Do you feel forgiven? ” In my heart of hearts, I knew I had not been forgiven. I didn’t feel I had done enough to pay for my life of sinfulness. This man interrupted my thoughts and said “You have been forgiven! It doesn’t matter whether you feel forgiven or not. God has promised you in the Bible that you are forgiven, and God doesn’t lie!!!

I had never heard that message before. I so wanted to believe him, but I doubted his words. I went home and turned to my old LDS KJV Bible and did my first ever, real Bible study. I discovered that this man had told me the truth. In the Bible I read and read about God’s true Miracle of Forgiveness. And it comes through faith in Christ’s blood! When I read the ultimate truth about forgiveness in God’s Word, I trusted in what Jesus did for me—on my behalf. I now was free!

This was Christ’s priceless gift to me. His miraculous power came over me and the burdens of shame and guilt that I had carried with me all my life were gone in an instant! This God was the only true God. I learned about Him in the Bible and He was in my heart, never to leave me and always to comfort me. I didn’t do anything to earn His forgiveness or His love, it was a complete gift; one that I didn’t deserve!

That was years ago and my life has completely changed. I now have the priceless treasure that I spent my whole life searching for—I have been washed clean through Christ’s blood! And, with this gift came the peace of God that transcends all understanding. God’s love and peace have melted my anger towards my abusers and the Mormon Church. I am so grateful to Jesus for His gift that I have given my life to Him.

Out of love for God I follow His commands, but I know that the power to do anything good, all my works, comes from Jesus flowing through me. My purpose in life is to praise and glorify my Savior! My favorite way to do that is by sharing His message of complete forgiveness with you!

Heavenly Father has promised that all your sins are forgiven—and He doesn’t lie!! This is truth–it doesn’t depend upon how you feel! Please, don’t reject what Christ has done for you.

What Does “Repentance” Mean?

When Mormons and members of other Churches talk about spiritual matters they often end up misunderstanding each other. This is because neither one realizes that the other uses different definitions for the vocabulary being used. As a Mormon I had no idea that I spoke a different language than my Christian friends. Even though we all spoke English and used the same vocabulary, I had a different dictionary for many words! I didn’t realize this until after I left Mormonism and got involved in several Bible studies at my Church. It quickly became evident that the Mormon definitions I carried around in my head were dramatically different.

A good example of this can be found in the Ensign (January 2009), pages 72-73. In “Latter-Day Saint Voices” Marcos Walker writes an article about letting go of his past. He writes “My mind and heart were troubled, and my soul was filled with pain and sorrow.” Marcos then tells a co-worker (who is a member of another church) that his anguish is the price he has to pay for his mistakes. His colleague responds “Jesus Christ has paid the price, if you have truly repented of your sins.” The word I want to highlight is “Repented”. You can see by the last sentence in Marcos’ article that he uses the LDS definition for the word Repentance. “Although my trials continue, I know that as I repent, turn to the Lord, and keep the commandments, He will continue to sustain me.” What Marcos doesn’t know is that his colleague meant something entirely different when he said “if you have truly repented of your sins”.

The Greek word for repentance literally means “a change of mind”. Now that I understand this, it resonates in my heart as I see how it differs in Mormonism. Whenever I do something that is against God’s will; I feel regret, and even sorrow. But then I turn in thankfulness to my Savior for paying the price for that sin.

This is what Marcos’ Christian friend meant when he said “if you have truly repented”. Because his friend believes that Christ paid the price for his sins, he does not rely on his own efforts to gain forgiveness for a sin. Repentance is abandoning trust in yourself and placing all your trust in what Christ has already done for you.

As a Mormon I lived every day trying to gain forgiveness through the “LDS Process of Repentance”. I was tormented by my sins, trying to do the required works necessary to gain forgiveness. Now, my most precious gift is the complete forgiveness of all my sins! I live in a continual state of repentance, turning constantly to my Savior in thankfulness!

I’m often told that I misunderstand the correct LDS definition of Repentance. In truth, I believe that unlike many Mormons, I actually believed the words of my prophets and apostles. For many years I tried with all my heart to meet their impossible demands. One simple example of these demands can be seen in the Gospel Doctrine New Testament Lesson, Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord. It teaches that among other things, repentance means to abandon your sin and obey the commandments. Just think about what that would mean. Can anyone truly keep all the commandments and abandon their sins? No one can meet these demands and hence, no one can gain forgiveness in this way.

There was only one perfect person who came to this earth and His name is Jesus. That is why we need a Savior!

I have created a Page on this blog with many quotes from LDS leaders defining the Process of Repentance.
Click here to read this Page:

Link to “Peter’s Journal” contrasting his true repentance with Judas’:

General Conference: To the Women of the Church from the Prophet

The Blessing of Pain

Everyone has felt pain. Pain is often a warning of something wrong and in this way can be a blessing. I have experienced both physical and emotional pain in my life. Once I had a pain in my side that finally got bad enough I went to see a Doctor. He detected and removed a cancerous kidney tumor. I had a similar situation a few years later when headaches led Doctors to find and remove a brain tumor. While this physical pain was not fun, its warning saved my life – twice. I could have chosen to ignore my pain, but I didn’t. If I had, I would have forfeited my life.

The same can often be said of emotional pain. As a Mormon I suffered the pain of failing to gain forgiveness through the process of repentance. I failed because I just couldn’t keep all of Heavenly Father’s commands all the time. When I repeated a sin, like gossiping or not forgiving someone, I lost what precious forgiveness I had already earned. The anguish from this pain was a warning which led me to seek help in finding a cure.

Are you a woman in pain who struggles with depression or anxiety? Were you sexually abused as a child and don’t know how to overcome the emotional trauma? Is your spouse addicted to pornography? Are your burdens heavy because you have been abandoned by your husband or have been widowed? Have you been left alone to raise your children? Do you often cry in your closet but wish you had someone to simply listen to you? Do you pretend you are fine but put a smile on your face whenever you are in front of others?

Put on a smile before others

Put on a smile before others

A few years ago in General Conference President Hinckley had a message for such hurting women: Now I speak to you single mothers whose burdens are so heavy because you have been abandoned or have been widowed. Yours is a terrible load. Bear it well. Seek the blessings of the Lord. Be grateful for any assistance that may come out of the quorums of the priesthood to help you in your home or with other matters. Pray silently in your closet, and let the tears flow if they must come. But put a smile on your face whenever you are before your children or others.

Hiding your pain is never the answer. If you had a daughter whose spouse died or who abandoned her, would you tell her to pray and cry in her closet but pretend to others that her burden was not heavy? How could anyone reach out to her if she hid her affliction from others? The most daunting aspect of these words is that according to Mormonism they are not merely President Hinckley’s opinion, they are the words of Heavenly Father – His latest revelation.

My pain of failing to earn forgiveness led me to discover Heavenly Father would never say these words! Instead He tells us to “bear one another’s burdens”; words which compels your Christian brothers and sisters to reach out to you in love (Galatians 6:2). God’s Words comfort, heal and speak of unconditional forgiveness. God showed His ultimate love for us by punishing His one and only Son to heal our disease of sin (John 3:16).

Are you in pain and tired of pretending? If so, I pray that pain drives you to seek the Savior who has borne your grief and carried your sorrows (Isaiah 53:4). May it drive you to a Christian Congregation of brothers and sisters who welcome the opportunity to share your burdens. Or, you could choose to hide your pain, alone in your closet. But if you do you may well forfeit your eternal life.

Additional Testimony:
Visit the fatherless and widows in their afflictions:
– James 1:27
Give all your burdens to Heavenly Father & Jesus:
– Matthew 11:28
– 1 Peter 5:7
– Philippians 4:6-7
– Psalm 23:4
– Psalm 119:50
Additional LDS Words:

Found in TofPofC-Harold B. Lee, page 84:
“His prophet is upon the earth today, and if you want to know the last revelation that has come to this people, you get down the last conference report and read carefully especially what the First Presidency said. … You will have the best and the last word that has been given from our Heavenly Father.

Found in D&C Gospel Doctrine Teachers Manual, page 244:
“Emphasize that the members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles are latter-day prophets, seers, and revelators. They continue to receive revelation to guide the Church. Their direction is “the will of the Lord, … the mind of the Lord, … the word of the Lord, … the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation”.

Link to President Hinckley’s Words:
General Conference, Ensign, November 2003, page 115
President Gordon B. Hinckley, To the Women of the Church

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