The Miracle of Forgiveness
|Author||Spencer W. Kimball|
|Subject||LDS doctrinal teachings about the atonement, repentance, and the plan of salvation.|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover)|
The Miracle of Forgiveness is a book written by Spencer W. Kimball while he was a member of Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). He later became the church's president.
Originally published in 1969, the book discusses the issues of repentance and forgiveness through Jesus Christ in LDS theology. It is primarily written for an LDS audience. It is notable for its unusual bluntness about a range of activities that it brands as sinful, including:
Murder, adultery, theft, cursing, unholiness in masters, disobedience in servants, unfaithfulness, improvidence, hatred of God, disobedience to husbands, lack of natural affection, high-mindedness, flattery, lustfulness, infidelity, indiscretion, backbiting, whispering, lack of truth, striking, brawling, quarrelsomeness, unthankfulness, inhospitality, deceitfulness, irreverence, boasting, arrogance, pride, double-tongued talk, profanity, slander, corruptness, thievery, embezzlement, despoiling, covenant-breaking, incontinence, filthiness, ignobleness, filthy communications, impurity, foolishness, slothfulness, impatience, lack of understanding, unmercifulness, idolatry, blasphemy, denial of the Holy Ghost, Sabbath breaking, envy, jealousy, malice, maligning, vengefulness, implacability, bitterness, clamor, spite, defiling, reviling, evil speaking, provoking, greediness for filthy lucre, disobedience to parents, anger, hate, covetousness, bearing false witness, inventing evil things, fleshliness, heresy, presumptuousness, abomination, insatiable appetite, instability, ignorance, self-will, speaking evil of dignitaries, becoming a stumbling block; and in our modern language, masturbation, petting, fornication, adultery, homosexuality; and every sex perversion, every hidden and secret sin and all unholy and impure practices.
Kimball defines repentance as the perfect, successful abandonment of sin, through the following actions:
- conviction, in which "the sinner consciously recognizes his sin."
- abandonment of sin
- confession to church authorities and/or other parties wronged by the sin
- keeping God's commandments
- forgiving others
"Trying is not sufficient. Nor is repentance complete when one merely tries to abandon sin," Kimball writes. The objective of repentance, he writes, is to obtain "perfection" as a prerequisite for achieving "immortality and eternal life. ... This progress toward eternal life is a matter of achieving perfection. Living all the commandments guarantees total forgiveness of sins and assures one of exaltation through that perfection which comes by complying with the formula the Lord gave us. ... Being perfect means to triumph over sin."
|“||It is impossible for me or any other mortal to save another's soul, but it is my humble hope that through this book some who are suffering the baleful effects of sin may be helped to find the way from darkness to light, from suffering to peace, from misery to hope, and from spiritual death to eternal life. If to any degree the book achieves this and helps to confirm others in a life of righteous endeavor, my efforts in its production will have been justified.||”|
Reputation in Mormonism
According to Kimball's son, Edward, "[T]he book filled a need, as evidenced by the printing of half a million copies in English and sixteen other languages between its publication in 1969 and his death in 1985 .... By 1998 the total in all languages was roughly estimated at 1.6 million copies."
This book has received numerous accolades from LDS Church authorities. Ezra Taft Benson, who succeeded Kimball as president of the church, urged all church members "to read and reread President Spencer W. Kimball's book." More recently, LDS Church apostle Richard G. Scott called it a "masterly work."
- Kimball, Spencer W. (1969). The Miracle of Forgiveness. Bookcraft, Inc. (Salt Lake City). p. 25..
- Kimball, The Miracle of Forgiveness, p. 150.
- Kimball, The Miracle of Forgiveness, p. 208-209.
- Kimball, Edward L. (2005), Lengthen Your Stride: The Presidency of Spencer W. Kimball, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, p. 79
- Benson, Ezra Taft (September 1988). "In His Steps". Ensign (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints): 6.
- Scott, Richard G. (November 2004). "Peace of Conscience and Peace of Mind". Ensign. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Retrieved August 23, 2006.
- Preach My Gospel, Intellectual Reserve, 2004, p. viii
- Full text of the book
- A Controversial Book That Should Not Be Controversial, by John W. Redelfs
- The Miracle of Forgiveness, from MormonWiki.com, an apologetic online encyclopedia about Mormonism sponsored by the More Good Foundation
- The Miracle of Forgiveness, reviewed by Bill McKeever of the Mormonism Research Ministry
- A Miracle for Mormons: Forgiveness of Sins, by Timothy Oliver (1996), The Watchman Expositor, Vol. 13, No. 2, Watchman Fellowship ministry
- What does God say about being perfect? (PerfectRighteousness.com)
- Miracle of Forgiveness, from MormonWiki.org, a critical online encyclopedia of Mormonism maintained by evangelical Christians