Because we sometimes feel ashamed of the need to repent, we forget that the Savior wants to forgive us.
There is a common perception that asking for forgiveness is something to be ashamed of. Repenting of our sins can seem daunting. We imagine ourselves kneeling before the throne of grace, begging for a forgiveness that might not come.
Elder Craig A. Cardon addresses these fears in his general conference talk “The Savior Wants to Forgive.” He recounts the story of Christ healing the palsied man, illustrating how willing the Savior is to forgive. The man had come for physical healing, but the Savior perceived a deeper spiritual need and declared, “Man, thy sins are forgiven thee” (Luke 5:20). When some in the crowd doubted Christ’s ability to forgive sins, he took the opportunity to prove that he can heal both physically and spiritually, commanding the man to rise up and walk (Luke 5:24). “By this miraculous physical healing, the Savior confirmed . . . [that] the Son of Man forgives sins!” The “essential companion truth” is that “the Savior forgives sins ‘upon earth’ and not just at the Final Judgement.”
The Savior died so that all of us could have a chance to become clean from sin. Though our sins may cause guilt, we should never feel shame in asking for forgiveness. Our Elder Brother would love for each one of us to accept the grace that he offers. Realizing this has changed my perspective about repentance and forgiveness. No longer do I come before God with shame and worry; repentance has become a joy to me as I remember the loving mercy that my Savior offers.
“Although repentance is not easy, as we strive with all our hearts to obey His gospel, He gives this promise: ‘. . . my bowels are filled with compassion towards [you]. . . . I will remember mercy’ (D&C 101:9).” Mercy can come to each of us as we repent.
Always remember that “the Savior wants to forgive.”
Learn more about the enabling and redeeming power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ by reading or watching the rest of Elder Cardon’s talk “The Savior Wants to Forgive.”
Source: LDS General Conference
—Elicia Cheney, Mormon Insights
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Find more insights
Check out the Mormon Message “The Savior Wants to Forgive,” featuring Elder Cardon’s talk.
Watch the power of forgiveness in action in “Forgiveness: My Burden Was Made Light.”