"Forsaketh his sins"
Lecture 3, Repentance
Doctrine and Covenants section 93:1: “VERILY, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am;” Every soul who “forsaketh his sins.” You are not going to get past your sins until God forgives you. But you need to awaken to the fact that you possess them and turn from them. Because turning from them is repentance, it's turning to face Him. You can still have a load that needs to be dropped because we are all heavy laden with sin. But forsaking your sins means that you would prefer Him over everything else that there is. So turn and face him.
“…cometh unto him…” [Well, the only way you can leave that load behind, is to get down in prayer, seeking Him, and asking Him to free you from the load; to allow you, as Alma recounts in his 36th chapter of the book of Alma, the terrible agony that he felt, and calling upon God to be redeemed. Then when God answered, the pain and distress that he had, was equal to the joy and the exhilaration he felt on the other side of being cleansed.] “…calleth upon my name….” [You have to do that.] “…and obeyeth my voice…” [That would include not merely the things that were given to us by Joseph Smith that you may be neglecting, but obeying His voice in what He tells you here and now. The agenda for you is different than the agenda for me. Your needs are different than mine. Your responsibilities are different than mine. You have your own family, you have your own ward, you have your own neighbors and you have your own issues. Fathers and sons, mothers and daughters – you are part of a community somewhere. And inside of that, all of you need to listen to the voice of God because he loves everyone. He loves that eccentric aunt that you just dread having come around. You can't for the life of you, understand why she thinks cloves should be poked into a turkey on Thanksgiving. You wonder if maybe there should be a procedure that more easily confines her to someplace where they administer psychotropic drugs. God loves her as much as He loves you. God loves all of us. Your agenda, and the people you can affect, and the relief that you can administer, and the needs that are in front of your eyes day by day, are uniquely yours. And the relief that you can grant to those around you, that's yours. It was given to you by God as a gift. Don't harden your heart.]
I was reading about the problems that the early saints experienced in that 1856 - 1858 timeframe. I was reading from the diaries, not the official history, not from the stuff that is made public; these are the private diaries and journals. I was reading from that material in sacrament meeting earlier today. We went home and we attended our church meetings this morning, and I literally cried as I read what they were called upon to go through. I am disinclined to be critical and non-appreciative of the fact that those who went before us suffered as they did in order to preserve and make possible for us today the programs and the scriptures. They would not allow the restoration, through Joseph, to lapse into silence and neglect. It doesn't matter to me that they made mistakes. We make mistakes too, every one of us. If you've lived a perfect life you wouldn't be here. The fact is we all are broken, and we are all in need of repair. There was valiance among the early saints and I am appreciative of all the struggles and hard lessons they were taught. I have learned so much from studying them. Those who believe I dismiss them are utterly wrong. Trying to understand God’s hand sometimes requires us to look troubling events squarely and to realize how failure is not only part of our past, but it is an important part of it. We can and will fail too, and their struggles will be in vain, if we are so arrogant as to not deal with these events truthfully.
The Second Comforter
"forsaketh his sins" "i.e. through repentance and baptism, which is the only means God has ordained to forsake your sins." (Chapter 14, p. 291)