LDS Articles of Faith, part XVI

Article IV, Repentance

Bible texts show that man’s part in repentance is a change of mind and heart from living a life of sin to being sorry for it and having a new desire to know God and live for Him. The apostle Paul said in II Cor. 7:10 “The sorrow that is according to the will of God produces repentance without regret leading to salvation.” The original Greek word for repentance is “metanoia” which means a change of mind or a reversal in thinking and action so it involves turning from sin to serve the Lord. God’s response to repentance is stated in the following texts: Psalm 103:12, “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us.” Isa. 43:25 says, “I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake and will not remember thy sins.” Isa 44:22 says, “I have blotted out as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and as a cloud thy sins.” And in Jer.31:34b God said, “I will forgive their iniquity and I will remember their sins no more.” Heb. 8:12b says, “Their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” And Heb. 10:17 says, “And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.” These concepts are repeated many times in the Bible. Even Mormon scripture in Doctrine & Covenants (D.&C.) 58:42 says, “Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I the Lord remember them no more.”


Mormons believe in repentance but it is very different from Biblical repentance. LDS use Biblical words when talking about repentance but it is defined by three LDS books of scripture and their Prophets’ teachings. In The Articles of Faith LDS Apostle, James Talmage said on p. 114 “Repentance is a means of pardon and is therefore one of God’s great gifts to man…it is given with boundless liberality unto those who have brought forth works that warrant its bestowal.” That means you must do the right “works” in order to get the “gift” of repentance! But no real “gift” requires a payment or work because a “gift” is free and all one needs to do is accept it! Biblical repentance is a change in a person’s heart, mind and lifestyle that produces good works! If good works are required in order to repent that is like saying good works are required to produce good works!


I John 1:7b says, “The blood of Jesus Christ His (God’s) Son cleanses us from ALL sin.” But in The Miracle of Forgiveness LDS President Spencer W. Kimball, the twelfth LDS prophet said on page 133, “Christ’s death on the cross offers us exemption from the eternal punishment for most sins.” Joseph Fielding Smith, the tenth LDS Prophet and grand-nephew of Joseph Smith, the LDS founder said, “Joseph Smith taught that there were certain sins so grievous that man may commit, that they will place the transgressors beyond the power of the atonement of Christ. If these offenses are committed, then the blood of Christ will not cleanse them from their sins even though they repent. Therefore, their only hope is to have their own blood shed to atone, as far as possible, in their behalf. This is scriptural doctrine, and is taught in all the standard works (scriptures) of the (LDS) Church” (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. I, p. 135). This LDS doctrine implies that the sinner’s blood is more effective than Christ’s blood! It also infers that man’s power to sin is greater than Christ’s power to forgive!


LDS scripture in D. & C. 42:18 says, “And now I speak unto the Church. Thou shalt not kill; and he that kills shall not have forgiveness in this world, nor in the world to come.” To LDS that is one of the unforgivable, “grievous sins.” But in the Book of Mormon Alma 24:9-11 tells of people who had committed “many murders” and then were converted and v. 10 says, “I also thank my God, yea, my great God, that he hath granted unto us that we might repent of these things, and also that he hath forgiven us of those many sins and murders which we have committed, and taken away the guilt from our hearts, through the merits of his Son.” If those murders were forgiven, D. & C. 42:18 can’t be true and it makes LDS scripture contradict LDS scripture! D. & C. 42:22 says “Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her and none else.” But LDS author, Todd Compton shows in his book In Sacred Loneliness, Joseph Smith didn’t cleave only to his first wife, but married 56 other women, 11 of whom were living with their husbands when he married them! Yet, he said D. & C. 42 was revealed by the Lord! D. & C. 42:24-25 also says “Thou shalt not commit adultery; and he that committeth adultery, and repenteth not, shall be cast out. But he that committed adultery and repents with all his heart, and forsaketh it, and doeth it no more, thou shalt forgive; But if he doeth it again, he shall not be forgiven, but shall be cast out.” So, LDS can commit adultery once and be forgiven but if he (or she) commits adultery twice it is unforgivable! LDS leaders say Joseph Smith and LDS polygamists didn’t commit adultery by marrying many wives because God commanded it in D. & C. 132. So, WHY did the Lord tell men to cleave to their “wife” and none else in D. & C. 42:22? WHY isn’t it adultery to marry women who are married and living with their husbands? How is that different from the definition of adultery? Did God command men to “cleave unto thy wife and none else” and then command Smith and other LDS men to marry many wives? Does God contradict Himself or change His commands so that we don’t know what He wants? Joseph Fielding Smith, the tenth LDS Prophet said, “If a man will enter into life, then he must abide in the law of the gospel, keeping ALL of the commandments to the end of his mortal life. This is the doctrine of the Prophet Joseph Smith. ‘I…spoke to the people showing them to get salvation we must not only do some things, but everything God has commanded’” (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. II, p. 34). That is impossible to do if God gives contradictory commandments! And Joseph Smith said that in D. & C. 42:22 God commanded men to cleave to his “wife and none else,” but in D. & C. 132 He commanded men to have many wives! No one can keep both of those commandments!


D. & C. 58:42 says, “Behold he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I the Lord, remember them no more.” But D. & C. 82:7 says, “And now verily I say unto you, I, the Lord, will not lay any sin to your charge; go your ways and sin no more; but unto that soul that sinneth shall the former sins return, saith the Lord your God.” If the Lord doesn’t remember the sins of one who repents, how can those “forgotten sins” return upon the one who sins after he has repented? LDS Prophet Spencer W. Kimball said when one has repented and then he sins again “Each previously forgiven sin is added to the new one and the whole gets to be a heavy Load” (The Miracle of Forgiveness, p. 170). But D. & C. 58:42 says, “He who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more.” But if He puts sins back on sinners, He must remember them! So, D. & C. 58:42 or D. & C. 82:7 is not true!


We will continue our discussion of repentance next month.