Mormon Repentance vs. Biblical Repentance

19 March

1 John 2:1-2; “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”

Kneeling at the CrossThe title of an article in this month’s Liahona, ‘8 Myths about Repentance’, caught my attention so I meandered on over to see what, if any new thing, the Church would expound on their criteria for what it means to truly repent.

I’d like to say I was surprised by their teachings, but once again, I’m not. For the most part, the majority of the 8 myths were rather blasé in nature, but a few of them need calling out.

Let’s begin with Myth #5 –

“Myth #5: My sins are so bad that I can’t be forgiven.

“However many chances you think you have missed, however many mistakes you feel you have made… I testify that you have not traveled beyond the reach of divine love. It is not possible for you to sink lower than the infinite light of Christ’s Atonement shines.”5 —Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

Truth: Real Mormonism tells us Mr. Holland’s reassurance is disingenuous. According to the Church there are three sins  that can’t be forgiven.

D&C 42:79 –no forgiveness for murder

D&C 85:11 – no forgiveness if you leave the church

D&C 132:27 – no forgiveness for blasphemy against the Holy Ghost

Myth #6 –

“Myth #6: I’ve stopped committing a serious sin, so I don’t need to see the bishop. I can just pray and be fine, or just tell my parents.

“The Lord has declared that the bishop is a common judge in Israel (see D&C 107:72, 74). He has the responsibility to determine the worthiness of the members of his ward. By ordination and righteous living, the bishop is entitled to revelation from the Holy Ghost regarding the members of his ward, including you… —Elder C. Scott Grow”

When I read this my first thought was – ‘are you Catholic’???? The Mormon Church has denounced this type of liturgical works from the days of Joseph Smith. The entire reason Mormonism is in existence is because of their rejection of this type of ‘priesthood’!

The only One who determines worthiness is God. No one else has this authority. No one else is God.

Besides, the Bible speaks against doing this. As it says in 1st John, we have an advocate with the Father in Christ Jesus. He’s the propitiation for our sins. Moreover, when Jesus died on the cross the veil in the temple was torn asunder (Matthew 27:51) which now allows us to go to the throne of God in boldness (Hebrews 4:16).

Jesus Christ is the only mediator between us and God (1 Timothy 2:5), there is no other. If you’re looking for a middle-man – look no further. You found Him, and Jesus is the One!

Myth #8

“Myth #8: I did it again, so I don’t deserve to be forgiven. Maybe I can’t change.

“Sometimes in our repentance, in our daily efforts to become more Christlike, we find ourselves repeatedly struggling with the same difficulties…Don’t be discouraged. If you are striving and working to repent, you are in the process of repenting.”…— Elder Neil L. Andersen

The truth is just the opposite from what Mr. Andersen promised this young person. Joseph Smith prophesied that when someone commits the same sin twice he won’t be forgiven.

Doctrine and Covenants 82:7; “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.”

This isn’t some obscure teaching stuffed on a back shelf somewhere. This is smack-dab in their doctrine, and they’re taught about this in LDS Seminary which is the age group they’re targeting in this magazine. They literally carry this in their arms each time they pick up their quad (Mormon canon).

We’re praying Mormons will open their hearts and Bibles to what the Lord has to say about forgiveness! True biblical forgiveness is nothing like what the Church pronounces it to be.

The person kneeling at the cross in the image above, is a great visual for how we repent. When we confess our sins, He forgives. Oh beloved, the only thing standing in the way of you receiving forgiveness is the door you haven’t opened!

For more info on how the LDS Church views this topic, see our section on forgiveness in 1,000 Reasons to Leave the Church.

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