BYU Devotional about Repentance and the Miracle of Forgiveness

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Students were taught regarding their inability to be forgiven by themselves, and that repentance brings about a miracle greater than water to wine in Tuesday’s Devotional.

Michael Dunn, an associate professor in the Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food Science directed his Devotional remarks around the necessity of proper repentance through the Atonement to obtain a pardoning of sins.

“We cannot enter the kingdom of heaven by suffering for our sins,” Dunn said. “We cannot work off our sins. It is only through Christ’s atonement that we can be forgiven of our sins.”

According to Dunn, too often people attempt to obtain forgiveness on their own, believing they can resolve issues themselves and obtain forgiveness directly from God without speaking with priesthood leaders.

Dunn shared a story of a young man he worked with during his service as a bishop. This young man was eager to serve a mission but had some personal issues he needed to resolve. He decided he would follow the approach of Enos and seek a remission of his sins directly from God. This young man recounted that he had gone to the hills with the intent to pray all night if necessary, in the hopes of being forgiven for what he had done.

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Associate Professor Michael Dunn speaks Tuesday at the Marriott Center during the devotional.
“He did not receive a witness that his sins had been forgiven,” Dunn said. “Rather, he received an overwhelming impression that he should go confess his sins to his bishop.”

In quoting Doctrine and Covenants Section 58, Dunn reminded students that forgiveness is obtained through a confession of sins and then forsaking them. He encouraged students to not fear confessing mistakes to their priesthood leaders.

“Satan preys on people’s great sense of fear regarding the potential outcome of such a confession,” Dunn said. “Most members of the Church also admire and respect their bishop, and the last thing they want is for their bishop to know who they really are and to feel disappointed in them.”

Dunn said bishops who meet with those willing to confess their sins are instead filled with profound feelings of gratitude and love, recognizing their eternal worth as children of God.

“There is no superhuman feat or great thing that we must do to receive God’s forgiveness,” Dunn said.

Like Naaman, some people feel they must accomplish some great thing to be healed or forgiven. Instead, a simpler solution is available through the atonement.

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