Friday, May 22, 2015

Is Forgiveness for Everyone?

Satan wants us to think that when we have sinned we have gone past a 'point of no return'—that it is too late to change our course. In our beautiful but also troubled world, it is a sad reality that this attitude is the source of great sorrow, grief, and distress to families, marriages, and individual lives. ~Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf

I despise how scandal-crazy and unforgiving society is right now. Since I first read the story about the horrible situation involving Joshua Duggar of the Duggar family, I have been just sick to my stomach with all the vile things said and spewed all over articles and comments about the incident that happened long, long ago. I am devastated that this family who has opened their home, faith, and lives to the world are being kicked and discarded by the very people who have watched, supported-- and now even those who created-- this show

 I believe that ALL of us make mistakes. NONE of us is perfect enough to cast the first-- or second, or third, or fourth-- stone at someone else. 

I also believe that the great Atonement of Jesus Christ is powerful enough and big enough to cover ALL sins. 

When someone has repented, confessed, and done all they can to make something right, if we continue to condemn and scathingly blame them, WE are the ones currently sinning.

Painting by Liz Lemon Swindle

I agree that sexual abuse is terrible. It is a a horrible sin that has long-lasting effects for ALL those involved. But what happens to the person who chooses to do something horrible after they confess and apologize, and do all they can to make it right? Is there not repentance for them? Is there not forgiveness? 

In the battle of life, the adversary takes enormous numbers of prisoners, and many who know of no way to escape and are pressed into his service. Every soul confined to a concentration camp of sin and guilt has a key to the gate. The adversary cannot hold them if they know how to use it. The key is labeled Repentance. The twin principles of repentance and forgiveness exceed in strength the awesome power of the adversary.
I know of no sins connected with the moral standard for which we cannot be forgiven. The formula is stated in forty words:
“Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more.
By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins—behold, he will confess them and forsake them.” (D&C 58:42–43.) ~Elder Boyd K. Packer (emphasis added)

I believe that it CAN be forgiven. Sexual sin is not a disease that never goes away-- especially when it is addressed with counseling and the proper ecclesiastical channels.

I know people (yes, more than one) personally who have done terrible things who have paid all the price that they could and have tried to move on with their lives. What should they do instead? Retire from life, never marry, never have children, never go out in society again, and beat themselves over and over again for what Christ has already forgiven them for?

When Christ protected the woman found IN THE VERY ACT of adultery from being stoned, he did not excuse her terrible choice. But He did protect her so that she could live to "go and sin no more."

Our society is salivating with twisted glee over the fact that the "squeaky-clean" Duggars (Ha-ha!!!) have something so black and vile that they are "hiding." 

This makes me so sad and frustrated. How would any of us like our deepest darkest sins brought out to be "shouted among the rooftops?" Not me!!! I don't think ANY of us are lacking something we deeply regret doing.

I have read the Duggars' books and watched their show for years, and I have never ONCE heard anyone in their family claim to be perfect. In fact, in both of the books written by Michelle and Jim Bob, they have talked about working through sins with their children. 

The measure of our success as parents, however, will not rest solely on how our children turn out. That judgment would be just only if we could raise our families in a perfectly moral environment, and that now is not possible. ~Elder Boyd K. Packer
The Duggars are just good people trying their best to come to Christ. And I think that someone should stand with them in this terrible time when they are being forced to relive this pain in such a degrading, public manner. 

And so I am.

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