“How Can I Know That the Lord Has Forgiven Me?” Ensign, January 2015, 80
Until We Meet Again
How Can I Know That the Lord Has Forgiven Me?
From “Stand Ye in Holy Places,” Ensign, July 1973, 122.
How would you answer one who came to you asking that question?
Some years ago President [Marion G.] Romney [1897–1988] and I were sitting in my office. The door opened and a fine young man came in with a troubled look on his face, and he said, “Brethren, I am going to the temple for the first time tomorrow. I have made some mistakes in the past, and I have gone to my bishop and my stake president, and I have made a clean disclosure of it all; and after a period of repentance and assurance that I have not returned again to those mistakes, they have now adjudged me ready to go to the temple. But, brethren, that is not enough. I want to know, and how can I know, that the Lord has forgiven me also.”
What would you answer one who would come to you asking that question? As we pondered for a moment, we remembered King Benjamin’s address contained in the book of Mosiah. Here was a group of people who now were asking for baptism, and they said they viewed themselves in their carnal state:
“And they all cried aloud with one voice, saying: O have mercy, and apply the atoning blood of Christ that we may receive forgiveness of our sins, and our hearts may be purified. …
“… After they had spoken these words the Spirit of the Lord came upon them, and they were filled with joy, having received a remission of their sins, and having peace of conscience” (Mosiah 4:2–3).
There was the answer.
If the time comes when you have done all that you can to repent of your sins, whoever you are, wherever you are, and have made amends and restitution to the best of your ability; if it be something that will affect your standing in the Church and you have gone to the proper authorities, then you will want that confirming answer as to whether or not the Lord has accepted of you. In your soul-searching, if you seek for and you find that peace of conscience, by that token you may know that the Lord has accepted of your repentance. Satan would have you think otherwise and sometimes persuade you that now having made one mistake, you might go on and on with no turning back. That is one of the great falsehoods. The miracle of forgiveness is available to all of those who turn from their evil doings and return no more.