I am currently going though a process of repentance for the terrible sin of abortion. It has been a painful journey and I am living on hope and faith that the worst sin I’ve ever committed is forgivable. My question is, although it is currently known that the Church gave a statement on abortion forgiveness, the statement includes “as far as has been revealed.” How do we know for certain that this sin is forgivable, if the Lord has not states it is one way or another?
As I ponder this question, there are a few scriptures that encompass my thoughts. The first scripture I ponder are the words of Mormon to his son Moroni during the time of great destruction and great wickedness among the Nephites, “My son, be faithful in Christ; and may not the things which I have written grieve thee, to weigh thee down unto death; but may Christ lift thee up, and may his sufferings and death, and the showing his body unto our fathers, and his mercy and long-suffering, and the hope of his glory and of eternal life, rest in your mind forever.” (Moroni 9:25) As of right now, Mormon’s words are for you:
1) Continue to be faithful in Christ
2) Allow Christ to lift you up
3) When grief does enter into your heart, do not let it weigh you down unto death, but allow His love (His pure love) to rest in your heart and mind.
Nephi said this a little differently, “And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins; nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted.” (2 Nephi 4:19) A truth that will enter the heart of every individual coming unto Christ, via repentance, is our awful state before the Lord as a result of sin. Even as we repent, even as we desire to rejoice, we will be enticed with despondency and discouragement, and when these enticing feelings come (and they will come) Mormon and Nephi have given us the solution, “Look to Christ!”
The statement inducing your question, “as far as has been revealed,” was spoken by Elder Russel M. Nelson back in 1985, “Now, is there hope for those who have so sinned without full understanding, who now suffer heartbreak? Yes. So far as is known, the Lord does not regard this transgression as murder. And “as far as has been revealed, a person may repent and be forgiven for the sin of abortion.” Gratefully, we know the Lord will help all who are truly repentant.” The idea presented is an important statement as we are only judged by what has currently been revealed, either collectively or individually (prophetic revelation or personal revelation). What then has been revealed, and that is what we need to place our trust in currently?
1) Unpardonable Sin, “Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.” (Matthew 12:31)
As far as has been revealed abortion is not committing the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost; although, for those who have gone through an abortion and who truly have a repentant heart, an effectual struggle for repentance may still be left. As Alma said, “which caused [him] sore repentance.” (Mosiah 23:9) It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it.
2) The First Presidency (1973), “As to the amenability of the sin of abortion to the laws of repentance and forgiveness, we quote the following statement made by President David O. McKay and his counselors, Stephen L. Richards and J. Reuben Clark, Jr., which continues to represent the attitude and position of the Church:
“As the matter stands today, no definite statement has been made by the Lord one way or another regarding the crime of abortion. So far as is known, He has not listed it alongside the crime of the unpardonable sin and shedding of innocent human blood. That he has not done so would suggest that it is not in that class of crime and therefore that it will be amenable to the laws of repentance and forgiveness.”
We have now three witnesses, as far as has been revealed, that abortion is not an unpardonable sin; although a grievous sin. Abortion is not in the realm of being unpardonable. In light of this, as in the words of Mormon to his son Moroni, may you be blessed to allow “Christ to lift thee up.” Allow Christ’s suffering, His death, His mercy, and His pure love to rest in your mind knowing that He is our advocate with the Father. Trust in His grace, and trust in what has been revealed.