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Gramps,

I think I have committed the unpardonable sin. I have worried about it for a month. I was reading your article about it, and you said someone who commits it will not be deceived or confused. When I read that I felt certain that I had done it. I worry that I have denied Christ while I have known full knowledge of him. I am only 15 years old. I hope I have not committed it and become a son of perdition. Please help if you can.

Caroline

 

Answer

 

Dear Caroline,

Had you committed the unpardonable sin, you would not be unsure whether you had – by definition, you must know exactly what you are doing.  Further, you wouldn’t worry about it, nor hope otherwise.  Here’s how Joseph Smith described this sin:

ll sins shall be forgiven, except the sin against the Holy Ghost; for Jesus will save all except the sons of perdition. What must a man do to commit the unpardonable sin? He must receive the Holy Ghost, have the heavens opened unto him, and know God, and then sin against him. After a man has sinned against the Holy Ghost, there is no repentance for him. He has got to say that the sun does not shine while he sees it; he has got to deny Jesus Christ when the heavens have been opened unto him, and to deny the plan of salvation with his eyes open to the truth of it; and from that time he begins to be an enemy. This is the case with many apostates of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Joseph Smith, in History of the Church, 6:314).

Note the parts about having the heavens opened to you, and about becoming an enemy.  You are not acting as an enemy.  You are reaching out, seeking hope that you can be forgiven, and I feel confident that you can.

I encourage you to counsel with your bishop.  Don’t be afraid – he’s there to help you feel the love of Christ, and to understand and accept Christ’s atoning power into your life.  If you can’t talk to your bishop, talk to your parents or a trusted leader.  Their greater experience can help you to put your actions into context, and help you plan how to change whatever needs changing.  I think you’ll find they’ll understand far better than you imagine.

As long as you desire to come to Christ, there is hope.  Satan is the only one who doesn’t want you to feel hope.  Reject Satan.  Turn to Christ and let him bless your life.  Here are a few scriptures to remind you that the Lord is merciful and forgives those who repent:

D&C 61:2 … I, the Lord, forgive sins, and am merciful unto those who confess their sins with humble hearts;

Hebrews 8:12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.

D&C 109:53 But inasmuch as they will repent, thou art gracious and merciful, and wilt turn away thy wrath when thou lookest upon the face of thine Anointed.

D&C 76:5 For thus saith the Lord—I, the Lord, am merciful and gracious unto those who fear me, and delight to honor those who serve me in righteousness and in truth unto the end.

I encourage you to study the scriptures, looking particularly for the loving mercy of Jesus Christ.  Stories such as the ones of Alma the Younger and the sons of Mosiah, or the people of Ammon (the Anti-Nephi-Lehies) are good examples of how forgiving the Lord is, and how through him, we can be enabled to turn away from sin and accomplish amazing good.

The Lord loves you, Caroline.  Your soul is precious to him.  Trust him to heal you and speak peace and comfort to your soul.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

 

 

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