man sitting in dark



To commit sin is to willfully disobey God’s commandments or to fail to act righteously despite a knowledge of the truth (see James 4:17).

The Lord has said that He “cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance” (Doctrine and Covenants 1:31). Sin results in the withdrawal of the Holy Ghost. It makes the one who sins unable to dwell in the presence of Heavenly Father, for “no unclean thing can dwell with God” (1 Nephi 10:21).

Other than Jesus Christ, each person who has ever lived on earth has broken commandments or failed to act according to knowledge of the truth. The Apostle John taught: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, [Jesus Christ] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8–9). Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, each person can repent and be forgiven of these sins.

Related Topics


Scripture References

Scripture Study Resources

  • Topical Guide, “Sin

  • Bible Dictionary, “Repentance

  • Guide to the Scriptures, “Sin

Messages from Church Leaders

Additional Messages


“Because of Him”

“The Savior Wants to Forgive”

“Spiritual Crocodiles”

“The Sting of the Scorpion”

“The Savior Suffers in Gethsemane”

“Not All Suffering Results from Sin”

“Go and Sin No More”

Learning Resources

General Resources

Brad Wilcox, “His Grace Is Sufficient,” BYU Speeches

W. Gibb Dyer Jr., “Repentance: The Key to Eternal Progression,” BYU Speeches

Church Magazines

Richard M. Romney, “How to Be a Real Loser,” New Era, October 2016

Mark A. Mathews, “Satan’s Rebellion,” Ensign, March 2015

The Attributes of Jesus Christ: Without Sin,” Ensign, February 2015

Benjamin R. Erwin, “Overcoming Addiction through the Atonement,” Ensign, September 2012

Being Clean Again,” Ensign, September 1996

The Power to Change,” Ensign, January 1995

John B. Fish, “Lift the Dark Clouds of Gloom,” Ensign, March 1990

Spencer J. Condie, “Fasting and Prayer: Detergent for Sin,” New Era, October 1975

Study Manuals

In the News

Repentance Is ‘Beautiful,’ Brother Callister Teaches,” Church News

Christ’s Atonement Triumphed Over Four Obstacles,” Church News

Teachings of Presidents of the Church