Many years ago some speakers in the church used an example of the effects of sinning (and the difficulty of repenting): pounding nails into a board, then pulling them out. The point? A hole remains, indicating permanent scaring. I understand that President Joseph Fielding Smith said that this was false doctrine. It certainly seems to fly in the face of all that I know about the Atonement. Would you comment? Thank you.
Dianne, from Sandy, Utah
I agree with President Smith. The Lord has said,
“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:18).
“Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more.” (D&C 58:42)
“But no man is possessor of all things except he be purified and cleansed from all sin. And if ye are purified and cleansed from all sin, ye shall ask whatsoever you will in the name of Jesus and it shall be done.” (D&C 50:28-29)
It appears from these scriptures that the great atoning sacrifice of the Lord is so complete in it’s application that when a person fully and completely repents of his sins it is as if he had never committed them at all. There is no remaining mark or stain; there is no way to differentiate that person from another who had been purified from committing other sins. No man is perfect; all have sinned. Yet, through the redemption of the Only Begotten Son those who have sinned may become perfect, holy, without spot. As Moroni has said, “And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot.” (Moroni 10:33)