Savior has provided the way for complete forgiveness

Obey laws, ordinances

Understand doctrine- Accept forgiveness

Because of the demands of justice, no one can obtain forgiveness except through the Savior, said Elder Ronald E. Poelman of the Seventy.

Speaking Sunday afternoon, he said: "The Savior's vicarious sacrifice satisfies the justice of God. Therefore, God extends His mercy whereby we may receive forgiveness of our personal transgressions through faith in the Redeemer, followed by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel."

Even after repenting, some people go through life without joy and peace of mind because they are burdened by past mistakes and don't have a complete understanding and testimony of the doctrine of Christ, he said. The belief is that obtaining divine forgiveness is a matter of following the steps of repentance and changing behavior.

"One who assumes that he can or must pay the price for his sins and thereby earn divine forgiveness will not feel free to continue progress toward realizing his divine potential, that is, eternal life.

"The fact is, we cannot save ourselves."

Because of that, Elder Poelman said, "The beginning and completion of repentance leading to forgiveness is faith in Jesus Christ, who is the author and the finisher of our faith. Our faith in Him as Savior and Redeemer engenders in us godly sorrow for our transgressions, a broken heart and a contrite spirit, and a sense of personal accountability. There follows a change in attitude, a turning toward God."

He continued: "Throughout the repentance process we have feelings of regret, remorse, and guilt which cause us to suffer. However, our individual suffering does not satisfy the demands of justice which follow disobedience to divine law. We cannot pay the price for our sins.

"The resurrected Christ has said, For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent.' (D&C 19:16.) To the Nephites He declared,Return unto me and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you.' (3 Ne. 9:13.)"

To be complete, Elder Poelman pointed out, the Lord's gift of forgiveness must be accepted. "True and complete repentance is a process by which we may become reconciled with God and accept the divine gift of forgiveness."

Continuing, he said, "Being mortal, and despite our resolve and efforts, we will continue to fall short of perfection. However, with Nephi of old, conscious of our weaknesses, temptations, and past mistakes, we may say, `nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted.' (2 Ne. 4:17-19.) There follows a natural resolve to renew our efforts."

He said, "The central core of the gospel is the vicarious sacrifice of the Savior which satisfies divine justice and makes operative God's mercy, resulting in a universal, unconditional resurrection and the possibility of eternal life for each one who accepts Jesus Christ as Redeemer and obeys the principles, ordinances, and covenants of the gospel."

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