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Is There Really Forgiveness of Sins?

By Mormon.org

Is there really forgiveness of sins? Yes! Forgiveness is central to the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul preached that truth in Acts 13:38: “Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins.” 

Forgiveness Is Central to God’s Plan

God has a plan to help all of His children return to live with Him after our mortal lives. As part of that plan, you chose to come here to earth, receive a physical body, and go through the tests and trials of mortal life to prove your love for Heavenly Father and your willingness to follow Him.

However, just like everyone else, you are going to make wrong choices and you are going to sin. You’ll do things that go against God’s will or commandments, and when that happens you’ll need to ask for forgiveness of your sins.

If Heavenly Father weren’t willing to forgive your sins, you wouldn’t be able to return to live with Him again. As the Book of Mormon prophet Alma taught, “No unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of God” (Alma 40:26), so sending you here without a way for you to seek forgiveness of sins would go against the purpose God has for you. 

Forgive as You Are Forgiven

Just as it is important for you to seek forgiveness of your own sins, you need to be willing to forgive others as well.

Part of the repentance process involves apologizing and making restitution to those you harmed while committing sin. Just as you must ask for forgiveness, if someone comes to you to apologize for their wrongs, the Christlike thing to do is to forgive the person.

As the prophet Alma taught, “Ye shall also forgive one another your trespasses; for verily I say unto you, he that forgiveth not his neighbor’s trespasses when he says that he repents, the same hath brought himself under condemnation” (Mosiah 26:31).

If you’re not willing to forgive others, you’re disobeying God, and you’ll have to answer for that choice after this life. 

Follow Jesus Christ’s Example of Forgiveness

Jesus set the perfect example of forgiveness, the perfect pattern for your own life. Even while hanging on the cross, suffering for the sins of all humankind, Jesus looked at the Roman soldiers who performed His Crucifixion and had mercy on them. “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).

Jesus asked Heavenly Father to forgive the very people who were crucifying Him. That is truly a touching, everlasting example of forgiveness.

Following Christ’s example is another major part of living His gospel, and it helps you accomplish His most challenging commandment—to “be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48).

Of course, it’s impossible to be perfect in this life, but as you actively work to improve yourself, you’ll see an increase in your happiness and spiritual growth. Part of striving to be perfect involves continually asking for, and granting, forgiveness. 

Conclusion

Forgiveness is a central part of Christianity, and without it none of God’s children would be able to return to His presence. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and your own righteous desires, however, you can gain forgiveness of your sins and work continually to be better so that you can return to live again with God one day.