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Question 48


A central teaching in the LDS Church is that forgiveness from God is available, but it is conditioned upon repentance.* LDS Prophet Spencer W. Kimball taught that human beings are required to forgive others even though they be unrepentant.**

How is it that man is able to forgive the unrepentant, while it is "impossible" for God to do so? Is man above God in that he can forgive even the unrepentant?

*See Miracle of Forgiveness, pp. 165-166; Mormon Doctrine, Forgiveness, p. 292
** See Miracle of Forgiveness, p. 282


It is a sin for men not to forgive another. If you do not forgive the person who has wronged you, then you are committing a greater sin than they are. You are required to forgive one another but for the lord, he may forgive who he pleases to forgive. -MP (LDS)

You're mangling your own doctrine. For arguments sake, let's say you're right and God is going to forgive the unrepentant, then, by golly, all your hell-bound Mormons are saved!

No, I think you'll agree that before Christ can offer His saving grace on behalf of a sinner they must first accept Him and believe in Him.

And, if they TRULY believe in Him, their behavior will reflect that inward commitment; i.e., they will repent. -AH (LDS)

In order to answer this question one must have a good understanding of judgment, repentance and forgiveness.

God has an obligation by his own words to judge mankind so that no unclean thing may enter into heaven. We must follow those laws, ordinances, and commandments that God has set before us as well as following the Lord's judgment. (Lev 18:4) It is all too clear that judgment is God's and not man's to perform. We are to do no unrighteousness in judgment of our fellow man. (Lev 19:15-18) We know that each man's judgment comes from the Lord. (Prov 29:26) We also know that there is a real danger when performing judgment against our fellow man for if you judge your fellow man you will be judged by the same measure. (Matt 7:1-2) The Lord's Prayer and explanation sums up forgiveness and judgment especially on judgment of man by man. You will be forgiven if you forgive those who trespass and debt against you. (Matt 6:9-15) It does not matter if the offending party has repented or not as judgment is not for man against man. We are to forgive. This however does not negate repentance for those who humble themselves before the Lord in repentance shall have salvation. (2 Cor 7:8-10) Those who don't repent will parish. (Luke 13:5) We must repent of our sins before God. God has made it abundantly clear that judgment belongs to him and that we are to forgive our fellow man. In conclusion while this may be a hard task for us as mankind to perform I see no contradiction between the statements made by Spencer W. Kimball concerning repentance and forgiveness. Does this make man above God? No as we have not learned how to righteously, lovingly judge like God. -ER (LDS)

God is ABLE to forgive anyone He chooses to forgive. We do not have the right to presume to decide who God will forgive and who He will not; nor do we have any way of knowing the heart of another as God does. We are required to forgive others because we DO NOT KNOW everything about them--their background, the state of their heart, etc. To refuse forgiveness cancers our own soul and prevents us from becoming Christ-like individuals. -L (LDS)

Man is not above God, just as no one is above the law. It is God's duty to see that His people are watched over. The forgiveness of man plays no part in salvation, or healing. In the end, it is our duty to seek forgiveness from Him only.

The LDS Church has a weird and perverted way of making man the top prioritizer in all things regarding forgiveness, and repentance. No body cares if your parent's or church forgave your sins, as long as you know God and Jesus Christ forgive you.

I believe this, as I left the LDS Church. They are not responsible for my sins. Only I can be held to that, and in the end He will judge me, not man. -AD (non-LDS)

Repentance, turning around, having a new attitude and turning away from our sinful ways is needed if we are to truely come to Christ and receive His forgiveness. Peter said "Repent...for the forgiveness of your sins..." (Acts 2:38). In the Lords prayer we ask God to forgive us of our sins AS we forgive others. Once we are forgiven we should have a forgiving attitude toward others recognizing that we are only forgiven by God's grace.

As far as man being able to forgive the unrepentant, this is possible only because we are not God, not perfect,and not working with the same set of rules. Our forgiveness of others has nothing to do with their eternal destiny but only affects our human relationships and shows that God is working within us by giving us a forgiving attitude. Along with being able to forgive we must witness to that sinning person about eternal consequences of his continuing in sin and bring him to repentance also. Otherwise our forgiveness means nothing except a better relationship among humans in this life and that person will ultimately face judgement. Being forgiving is a mark of being a Christian and demonstrates our relationship with Christ. I believe only God can forgive sins eternally and that only by recognizing Christ and His Atonement will He. "...without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness." (Heb. 9:22) -GP (non-LDS)

spencer kimball, i am afraid to say, truly does not know the true jesus and does not come close to understanding forgiveness. how can forgiveness be a miracle if we need to do a list of things to be forgiven? when jesus told people your sins are forgiven he never said first do this list of things then you will be forgiven. if jesus is a prophet then read D and C 1:14: "and the day cometh that they who will not hear the voice of the lord neither the voice of his servants neither give heed to the words of the prophets and apostles shall be cut off from among the people."

well it appears the mormons and mr kimball are not listening to the prophet. also titus 1:2 says god cannot lie. romans 3:10 says there is not one righteous. jeremiah 17:9 says the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. with this in mind we all need to repent. in acts 16:30-31 the jailer says "what must i do to be saved?" paul says believe on the lord jesus christ--no list of things added--and you cannot be saved unless you repent. well we repent by asking forgiveness first then believe. read matthew 18:21-35. this is god's instructions on forgiveness. mark 10:27 and luke 1:37 both say that nothing with god is impossible. so how is it god can say nothing is impossible with him, but mr kimball says it is impossible for god to forgive? is he wrong or did god, who cannot lie, lie? for further talks write me at [email protected] and i will share with you about god's forgiveness without bondage attached. -RB (non-LDS)

It is apparent Spencer Kimball has no clue about the real Jesus or what He taught. Kimball and the Mormon church both teach that there are some sins Christ's blood cannot cleanse. Have they never read 1 John 1:9? It says, "If we confess our sins, HE is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." The "HE" is God. God does not give a list of things we need to do first in order to be forgiven. God does not say ALL sin except murder. This shows the BONDAGE the poor Mormon is in. Doctrine and Covenants 58:42 says, "He who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven and I, the LORD, remember them no more." Here God says He will remember the former sins no more. Yet, in Doctrine and Covenants 82:7, the LORD says, "Unto that soul who sinneth shall the former sins return, saith the LORD your God." God just said, "I will remember the sins no more." Then He says, "They will return." Did he truly forgive the sins or not? On page 170 of "Miracle of Forgiveness" Spencer Kimball says, "Each previously forgiven sin is added to the new one and the whole gets to be a heavy load." It would appear as if the Mormon truly can never be forgiven and has no hope. How sad that they serve a false christ and have no true assurance of salvation! Jesus says in Mark 3:28, "All sin will be forgiven except blasphemy against the Holy Ghost." This includes murder. The blasphemy of the Holy Ghost is the rejection of Jesus Christ as the sole way to the Father and entrance into heaven. I believe Spencer Kimball, unless he repents, will not find forgiveness. -SB (non-LDS)