Last year when I was teaching the New Testament I came across this quote in “Doctrinal New Testament Commentary” by Elder Bruce R. McConkie p. 512. This comment was in reference to the Prodigal Son. “But we need not suppose that the two sons were thereafter equal in power, honor, or dominion. The inheritance of one was already wasted. As President Joseph Fielding Smith has written, ‘There is rejoicing in heaven over every sinner who repents; but those who are faithful and transgress not any of the commandments, shall inherit ‘all that the father hath,’ while those who might be sons, but through their ‘riotous living’ waste their inheritance, may come back through repentance to salvation to be servants, not to inherit exaltation as sons.’ (The Way to Perfection, pp. 21,22)”
This comment goes against everything I have been taught about repentance. What does it mean?
If sins are forgiven, that does not mean that blessing have been earned.
It sounds like you answered your own question, “If sins are forgiven, that does not mean that blessing have been earned.” “In my Father’s house are many mansions.” I wonder what you have been taught about repentance? Let’s say that a person has committed a grievous sin, and subsequently overcame the difficulty and erased the propensity for that action from his character, so that it was no longer a part of him. Having done that, the Lord will look upon him as if it had never happened– “Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more.” But the question is, what more has he done? We are not rewarded for the absence of sin, but for performing good works. A person could have overcome all his sins, and yet not made covenant with the Lord to obey all his commandments. Again, “In my Father’s house are many mansions.”