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Friday, May 24, 2013

06. The Oft-Neglected, Final Step in Having Your Sins Forsaken

Note: This is one of a series of posts devoted to the study of D&C 93:1, and the sixth examining the phrase "forsake his sins".

I ended my last post challenging you to you go forth, prove the Lord and see if He will not be more merciful, more charitable, more boundless in His blessings than you are ready to believe. 

I sincerely believe He will not only meet, but also exceed, those expectations.
Having done that, what's next?

Don't worry; that's hot
chocolate they're drinking

The Oft-Neglected, Final Step (#4) in Having Your Sins Forsaken

You're not alone. John and Peter Whitmer Jr. once had the same question, to which the Lord replied:
"For many times you have desired of me to know that which would be of the most worth unto you.
Behold, blessed are you for this thing, and for speaking my words which I have given you according to my commandments.
And now, behold, I say unto you, that the thing which will be of the most worth unto you will be to declare repentance unto this people, that you may bring souls unto me, that you may rest with them in the kingdom of my Father. Amen." (D&C 15:4-6; 16:4-6)
Regarding D&C 15 and 16, Elder John A. Widstoe said,
"This simple revelation is directed to the individual and at first sight has no permanent value for the Church. Yet as a revelation from God it was preserved and published. An insincere man could have eliminated this and other similar revelations as of little consequence. Not so with Joseph. The Lord had spoken. The words were part of the building of the kingdom of God, and the same advice would be useful to many men then and now." (Elder John A. Widstoe, Joseph Smith, pp. 251–52; emphasis mine)
Those last words are extremely important: "the same advice would be useful to many men then and now".  With all due respect to Elder Widstoe, I would tweak it like this: the same obligation is made advice would be useful to all men (and women) then and now.

You've Been Called to the Work

It's erroneous to think that the doctrine of forgiveness of sins, of repentance, of seeking forgiveness, is just a personal doctrine.

Far, far from it.  It is a doctrine which must be extended to ever hill and climb, mountain and valley, on both sides of the veil, because
"the world is ripening in iniquity; and it must needs be that the children of men are stirred up unto repentance, both the Gentiles and also the house of Israel" (D&C 18:6)
we -- which includes you -- are to
"lift up your voice as with the sound of a trump, both long and loud" (D&C 34:6)
"cry repentance unto this people" (D&C 18:14)
"Save yourselves from this untoward generation, and come forth out of the fire, hating even the garments spotted with the flesh." (D&C 36:6)
And even if
"it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!" (D&C 18:15)
Sometimes people tend to defer the responsibility of crying repentance to prophets and apostles, or any calling containing the word "President", or maybe auxiliary instructors teaching from a church-approved manual.

That would be grossly incorrect.  As Elder Orson F. Whitney, who was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, once stated,
"The obligation of saving souls rests upon every man and woman in this Church … and they cannot get out from under this responsibility on the plea that it belongs only to such and such persons. Did not the Lord say … , ‘Behold, it is a day of warning, and not of many words: Therefore, let every soul that is warned, warn its neighbor?’" (in Conference Report, Oct. 1913, 99; see D&C 63:58; 88:81; emphasis mine).
So, how do you do THAT?  Or, let me be more blunt: How do you do that without looking like some kind of religious fanatic?

Stay tuned...

1 comment:

  1. Thank you LDSPerfectDay. I could not agree more with the need that we all have to cry repentance and carry forth the great work of spreading the Good News which is Jesus Christ. He is everything to me and in this wise has He showed me the true way by guiding me to this scripture that I would like to share: 2 Nephi 25:29. It is worth sharing here: "And now behold, I say unto you that the right way is to believe in Christ, and deny him not; and Christ is the Holy One of Israel; wherefore ye must bow down before him, and worship him with all your might, mind, and strength, and your whole soul; and if ye do this ye shall in nowise be cast out." I believe that part of our worshiping of Him is sharing our knowledge of Him and becoming a witness of Him at all time and in all places (See Mosiah 18). God bless all who seek to testify of Him that others might come and partake of that fruit which is most desirable above all other fruit. I have tasted that fruit in the Spirit of God and it is most powerful and fills the soul with Joy. It is so real. Words cannot describe the light and joy that is available for all who are willing to bow down and worship Him. - Laus Deo.