THE ABSOLUTE TOTALITY OF
GOD’S FORGIVENESS

by Steven A. Cramer

 

In my book, In The Arms of His Love, I wrote the following:

"Of all the questions asked of bishops in personal interviews, perhaps one of the most common is, "How can I tell when I’ve been forgiven?"

"The answer is simple, but we often miss it and make it difficult by our unbelief. The answer is simply to trust in the redeeming blood of Christ and believe His promises of ready, plenteous, abundant forgiveness.

"Jesus Christ promised that "he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven," and "he that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven," (D&C 58:42; 1:32.) Notice that these verses do not say what Satan would like us to think they say, that if we try to be good, we could be forgiven, or that we might be forgiven. What they say is that when we repent, we shall be forgiven. This is an iron-clad, unconditional promise from the Son of God. The difficulty is never in persuading God to forgive us.

"His forgiveness is automatic. When we confess, repent and obey, he forgives. If we cannot feel the Lord’s forgiveness once we have repented and put our lives back in harmony with his commandments, it is not because the Lord has withheld forgiveness, but simply because it is blocked by the overwhelming presence of our own self-condemnation.

"The difficulty in feeling forgiven is not that God is unwilling to forgive, but rather that He is unable to convince us that He has forgiven us because of our hardened, doubting, unbelieving hearts.

"The Savior left His throne of glory to suffer, bleed and die for our sins. Whether we mean it to be so or not, it is a mockery of that sacrifice when we deny ourselves the forgiveness He suffered to make possible."

(Quoted from In The Arms of His Love, by Steven A. Cramer)


God Sending Us Good Tidings of Great Joy

"And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people." (Luke 2:10)

The angel who taught King Benjamin about the coming of Christ said, "Behold, I am come to declare unto thee glad tidings of great joy." (Mosiah 3:3)

"And this is the gospel, the glad tidings, which the voice out of the heavens bore record unto us…that He came into the world, even Jesus, to be crucified for the world, and to bear the sins of the world and to sanctify the world and to cleans it from all unrighteousness." (D&C 76:41)


The "Glad Tidings" Are His Power to
Take Away Our Sins

After chastising his son, Corianton, for committing adultery and not honoring his mission, Alma described his ministry as being "to declare these glad tidings unto this people…that [Christ] surely shall come to take away the sins of the world; yea, he cometh to declare glad tidings of salvation unto his people." (See Alma 39:16 &15)

"Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." (John 1:29)

"And I also thank my God, yea, my great God, that he hath granted unto us that we might repent of these things, and also that he hath forgiven us of those our many sins and murders which we have committed, and taken away the guilt from our hearts, through the merits of his Son." (Alma 24:10)

"And there came a voice unto me, saying: Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed. And, I, Enos, knew that God could not lie; wherefore, my guilt was swept away. And I said, Lord, how is it done? And he said unto me, Because of thy faith in Christ…" (Enos 1:5-8)

"And behold, I am the light and the life of the world; and I have drunk out of that bitter cup which the Father hath given me, and have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world…" (3 Nephi 11:11)


The Effects of Allowing Christ to Take Our Sins Away

"And it shall come to pass, that whoso repenteth and is baptized in my name shall be filled: and if he endureth to the end, behold, him will I hold guiltless before my Father at that day when I shall stand to judge the world.

"Now this is the commandment: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day." (3 Nephi 27:16, 20)

The sins of Alma, described in Mosiah 28:4 as "the vilest of sinners" were "taken away" so totally that he became a major prophet and is described, in Alma 10:7 as "a holy man."

The sins of his son, Corianton, the adulterer of Alma 39, were "taken away" so totally that in Alma 48:18 he is described as "a man of God."

"Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more." (D&C 58:42)


How Does Christ Take Away Our Sins?

"I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins." (Isaiah. 43:25)

"For thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back." (Isaiah 38:17)

"Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? He retainteth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.

"He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea." (Micah 7:18-19)

"As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us." (Psalms 103:12)

"But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live, he shall not die.

"All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live." (Ezekiel 18:21-22)

 

 


© 2003 Steven A. Cramer
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