Visiting Teaching Message – July 2015

04 July

Visiting Teaching MsgThe Visiting Teaching Message this month focuses on the forgiveness and mercy of Jesus Christ and how Mormons can apply it to their lives.

As I began reading the message I was struck by the quote from Dieter F. Uchtdorf where he said: “Forgiveness for our sins comes with conditions”.

He then goes on to say. “We must repent, and we must be willing to forgive others.”

After reading that I had to suppress my inner 80’s teenager by not saying “no duh”! Of course we must acknowledged that we’ve broken the commandments of God and repent, that’s really a no brainer, but what about these conditions he spoke about?

The message itself doesn’t go into a lot of detail of what Mormons believe about forgiveness. For them there is a process of repentance, which they believe leads them to being forgiven of their sin. In Gospel Principles Chapter 19: Repentance we learn more about these conditions Mr. Uchtdorf was referring to in the first quote. The list goes as follows:

We Must Recognize Our Sins

We Must Feel Sorrow for Our Sins

We Must Forsake Our Sins

We Must Confess Our Sins

We Must Make Restitution

We Must Forgive Others

We Must Keep the Commandments of God

As a Mormon I was taught to believe that I couldn’t be truly forgiven of my sins until I stopped sinning. Finding forgiveness, and believing you’ve be truly forgiven of your sins can been a complicated and confusing thing for a Mormon.

When Mormon scripture seems to contradict itself you don’t know what to believe. For example, in one section of the Doctrine and Covenants we read “he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more” (D&C 58:42).

Then in another section it says “And now, verily I say unto you, I, the Lord, will not lay any sin to your charge; go your ways and sin no more; but unto that soul who sinneth shall the former sins return, saith the Lord your God.” (D&C 82:7) (Emphasis mine)

See what I mean? So which is it? Are Mormons forgiven of their sin(s), and their god remembers them no more, or are they only forgiven until they sin again?

Words cannot express how grateful I am for God’s unconditional forgiveness and grace. Let’s take a look at what God has actually said about His forgiveness for our sins Psalm 103:2 tells us, “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”

And in Hebrews 8:12 “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.”

God is so amazing, isn’t He?! He forgives us for sinning against Him, removing it from us and placing it on His Son, and then remembers it no more. I pray Mormons will one day learn the pace that comes from being truly forgiven of their sins by the one and only holy God.

In Christ,

Melissa Grimes

References:

Visiting Teaching Message

Gospel Principles

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