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Sin's suffering avoidable, overcome by repentance

"The suffering that results from sin is most tragic because through our own choices we can choose to avoid it. We have that power," said Elder Jack H Goaslind of the Seventy in an address in the April 1986 general conference.

Further, Elder Goaslind said: "We also have the capacity to repent of our sins and to experience the sweet joy of forgiveness. If we are unhappy, let us examine ourselves to see where we need to repent. If we have questions about what we need to do, or not do, we need only listen to our conscience and follow the promptings of the Spirit."I am acquainted with a man who rebelled from the Church when he was a youth. He made some mistakes during this time and developed some habits. Eventually, however, he came to himself; he served a mission and returned home to hold many responsible positions in the Church. But he was never quite happy. He could have said as did Nephi:

" `I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily beset me.

" `And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins.' (2 Ne. 4:18-19.)

"Finally, in a night of spiritual turmoil, the man confessed to himself that he had never fully forsaken his sins. Although he had not committed sins worthy of Church court action, he still harbored attitudes and thoughts that robbed him of spirituality, and he went through cycles of guilt and despair that dampened his happiness. He made up his mind to change, and he kept his resolve. He broke the chain of sin and despair and, for the first time in memory, began to experience a real, true happiness. If someone had asked him, Are we having fun, experiencing happiness, yet?' he could have answered,Yes, more happiness, or joy, than I could have imagined.' "

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