3 Nephi 3:16
The Brilliant Morning of Forgiveness
Because they knew that Lachoneus spoke the truth, that if they did not repent that the Gadianton robbers would destroy them.
Benjamin—Nephite prophet-king [c. 120 B.C.]
Lehi, Jonah, 3 So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an aexceeding great city of three days’ bjourney.
Isaiah Chapter 1
President David O. McKay said, “Every principle and ordinance of the gospel of Jesus Christ is significant and important …, but there is none more essential to the salvation of the human family than the divine and eternally operative principle [of] repentance” (Gospel Ideals , 13).
“For salvation cometh to none … except it be through repentance and faith on the Lord Jesus Christ” (Mosiah 3:12).
It is not repentance per se that saves man. It is the blood of Jesus Christ that saves us. It is not by our sincere and honest change of behavior alone that we are saved, but “by grace that we are saved, after all we can do” (2 Nephi 25:23). True repentance, however, is the condition required so that God’s forgiveness can come into our lives. True repentance makes “a brilliant day [out] of the darkest night” (Spencer W. Kimball, The Miracle of Forgiveness , 362).
Jesus promised, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: … Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).
The prophet Alma, who was reclaimed from sin to happiness by God’s forgiveness, declared, “Wickedness never was happiness” (Alma 41:10). He had witnessed the bitter pains of sin, but he also spoke with excitement about the happiness that accompanies true repentance and forgiveness: “Yea, I say unto you, … there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy” (Alma 36:21). Alma concluded with powerful and wise counsel to all who seek forgiveness: “And now, … I desire that ye should let these things trouble you no more, and only let your sins trouble you, with that trouble which shall bring you down unto repentance” (Alma 42:29).
The Lord said, “He that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven” (D&C 1:32; emphasis added). And He said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). “Be faithful and diligent … and I will encircle thee in the arms of my love” (D&C 6:20).
And He declared, “Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more” (D&C 58:42).
The gift of the Atonement of Jesus Christ provides us at all times and at all places with the blessings of repentance and forgiveness. Because of this gift, the opportunity to make a safe return from the disastrous course of sin is available to all of us.
For this I give thanks to our Heavenly Father, and of this I bear testimony with all my heart and soul in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Each of us is under a divinely spoken obligation to reach out with pardon and mercy and to forgive one another. There is a great need for this Christlike attribute in our families, in our marriages, in our wards and stakes, in our communities, and in our nations.
We will receive the joy of forgiveness in our own lives when we are willing to extend that joy freely to others. Lip service is not enough. We need to purge our hearts and minds of feelings and thoughts of bitterness and let the light and the love of Christ enter in. As a result, the Spirit of the Lord will fill our souls with the joy accompanying divine peace of conscience (see Mosiah 4:2–3).