Can we still be forgiven?

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Can we still be forgiven?

Postby Ribbit » Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:14 pm

The LDS Gospel Principles Manual (Chapter 19: Repentance) states the principles of repentance are: We must recognize our sins, we must feel sorrow for our sins, we must forsake our sins, we must confess our sins, we must make restitution, we must forgive others and we must keep the commandments of God.

If we ever err in the repentance principles while repenting- can we still be forgiven for that sin? Or will we not be forgiven for a sin unless all repentance principles are met? Can we be forgiven for making mistakes with the repentance principles? Or will we never be forgiven and eternally negatively effected?

I haven't always properly confessed. Nor have I always made restitution. I sure hope forgiveness is still possible.
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Can we still be forgiven?

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Re: Can we still be forgiven?

Postby Rand » Sun Jan 08, 2012 2:04 pm

Ribbit, I am probably not the best qualified to address this question, but will do so out of concern for you, and the tone of the question. Repentance is usually a process, a life long process. In short, yes, you can be forgiven. We can almost never go to a place that Christ won't find us in his amazing atoning ministry. He loves you. He knows you.
Satan will try and make you despair. Those feelings do not come from God. Ignore them. Shame, fear and despair are all tools of the adversary. Peace, love joy and remorse are all the things you will feel as you listen to God and hear his voice in your life. You can come back to wholeness. As you do, you will be a marvelous advocate to others who struggle. Stay the course. Know you are a child of God, He loves you and wants you to come home. He will forgive you as you are able to repent, and in time you will repent fully, and you will know you are clean and loved.
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Re: Can we still be forgiven?

Postby Ribbit » Sun Jan 08, 2012 2:10 pm

Thanks Rand!
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Re: Can we still be forgiven?

Postby coachmarc » Sun Jan 08, 2012 2:20 pm

Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Also, Please read and ponder Alma Chapter 5!!

http://lds.org/scriptures/bofm/alma/5?lang=eng#
22 So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee.
23 Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand.
24 Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.
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Re: Can we still be forgiven?

Postby kathyn » Sun Jan 08, 2012 2:47 pm

Ribbit, if you have a temple recommend, I urge you to go and do the Initiatory at the temple. Do it several times and listen carefully to the wording...especially the first part and you will know that you can become clean and forgiven. Don't listen to the Adversary who wants you to believe that you will never do enough to become forgiven.
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Re: Can we still be forgiven?

Postby serenitylala » Sun Jan 08, 2012 3:33 pm

I love this scripture:)

D&C 1: 31-32

31 For I the Lord cannot look upon asin with the least degree of allowance;

32 Nevertheless, he that arepents and does the bcommandments of the Lord shall be cforgiven;
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Re: Can we still be forgiven?

Postby sbsion » Sun Jan 08, 2012 7:21 pm

all resurrected to a kingdom of glory ARE forgiven before resurrection, most just don't understand what forgiveness is, simply "overcoming" err
There are no mysteries, only undiscovered truths, have you found one today?
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Re: Can we still be forgiven?

Postby Thomas » Mon Jan 09, 2012 6:06 pm

Some sins can never be undone by our actions. How could you restore someones innocence. We must live in a constant state of repentace and realize the Savior can redeem us.
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Re: Can we still be forgiven?

Postby pjbrownie » Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:09 pm

I think what we recognize and what is taught as the process of repentance is a guideline for repentance. Repentance is repentance when you feel sorrow for sin, bottom line. Restitution is highly subjective, and cannot sometimes be applied. Confession is also subjective to some extent. What you have done, how much time has passed, and if it would affect others are all things to consider in confession. If you had an adulterous affair three years ago, should you confess, most definitely. If you bought a dirty magazine, probably not a big deal if you haven't continued the problem. I think most sins, more than we think, should be confessed to the Lord and no other. Finally, you have to forsake. You can be at a stage of repentance, but for true forgiveness, a purifying and sanctifying forgiveness, the sin must be purged. Again, however, this is often a lifelong process. Enduring the the end, IMO, is not about being obedient to the end, its about being repentant to the end.
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Re: Can we still be forgiven?

Postby braingrunt » Mon Jan 09, 2012 11:16 pm

I agree with all of the statements that God is merciful; however, I think at the same time it's important to center our minds on the idea that God sets the terms--not us.

When I was in the MTC 15 yrs ago I had something to confess. I was quite naive but felt that I would indeed be risking everything if I confessed. So for a time I just tried to tell HF that I would live a life of guilty sorrow and spill the beans when I was 80 or something. The spirit won out though and I confessed. Had I not the sin would have poisoned every joy I was intended to have and every service God would ask of me.

But here's the real kicker: all that sorrow I planned in penitence would not cover even the smallest part of the real price that needed to be paid by me: which was the releasing of my own will and the acceptance of God's. That price would have been just as heavy at 80 as 19, if not heavier... if would be even heavier if I waited til death. The burden is not lightened until you give it up. I urge anyone who feels to set the terms to reconsider and no longer shield themselves from the mercy and will of God.
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Re: Can we still be forgiven?

Postby SpeedRacer » Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:21 am

You can still be forgiven. Go confess, go make restitution. They hang on your soul and fester. Give way to the promptings. Put away your pride and do what will bring you peace. Then you know there is no question.
Faith, then, is the first great governing principle which has power, dominion, and authority over all things; ... Without it there is no power...
(Joseph Smith, Lectures on Faith, Lecture First 24)
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Re: Can we still be forgiven?

Postby ATL Wake » Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:16 am

The steps you have listed are good principles that HELP you repent. Those steps will help bring about the change of heart that is necessary for repentance. But all that is really required is the change of heart--the desire to sin no more.

Remember, the pharisees were the ones that got caught up in specific performances. Don't worry if you forgot to apologize to someone 10 years ago.

That being said, the Holy Ghost will tell you if there are any important loose ends. Obey that voice and you're on the right path.

Ultimately, you should seek Christ's face and get forgiveness from Him. My guess is He is more eager to forgive than you are to let go and forgive yourself.
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Re: Can we still be forgiven?

Postby Ribbit » Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:07 pm

pjbrownie wrote:I think what we recognize and what is taught as the process of repentance is a guideline for repentance. Repentance is repentance when you feel sorrow for sin, bottom line. Restitution is highly subjective, and cannot sometimes be applied. Confession is also subjective to some extent. What you have done, how much time has passed, and if it would affect others are all things to consider in confession. If you had an adulterous affair three years ago, should you confess, most definitely. If you bought a dirty magazine, probably not a big deal if you haven't continued the problem. I think most sins, more than we think, should be confessed to the Lord and no other. Finally, you have to forsake. You can be at a stage of repentance, but for true forgiveness, a purifying and sanctifying forgiveness, the sin must be purged. Again, however, this is often a lifelong process. Enduring the the end, IMO, is not about being obedient to the end, its about being repentant to the end.



Thanks!
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Re: Can we still be forgiven?

Postby Ribbit » Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:08 pm

ATL Wake wrote:The steps you have listed are good principles that HELP you repent. Those steps will help bring about the change of heart that is necessary for repentance. But all that is really required is the change of heart--the desire to sin no more.

Remember, the pharisees were the ones that got caught up in specific performances. Don't worry if you forgot to apologize to someone 10 years ago.

That being said, the Holy Ghost will tell you if there are any important loose ends. Obey that voice and you're on the right path.

Ultimately, you should seek Christ's face and get forgiveness from Him. My guess is He is more eager to forgive than you are to let go and forgive yourself.


Thank you for your response! "The Holy Ghost will tell you if there are any important loose ends" Perfect : )
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Re: Can we still be forgiven?

Postby mattctr » Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:10 pm

I meet people who treat repentance perhaps too lightly, thinking that forsaking and time is all that is needed. I meet others who deny themselves of blessings and increased gospel participation (temple recommends, etc.) because they feel that cannot do enough to repent.

I find myself in both of these patterns at different times. Rarely do I feel that my repentance is just right, but I often feel a merciful Lord urging me forward through His Spirit to obey some new, simple command or prompting. Sometimes that prompting includes looking back and making amends for something long since forgotten. Sometimes that includes letting go of something that has continued to weigh on my mind.

I think that through prayer and scripture study, the Spirit can nudge you in the direction you need to go. There may not be a "one-size-fits-all" solution. Plus, remember, repentance is not separate from humility, faith, baptism, and receiving the Holy Ghost. They are facets of the same gospel or whole. I enjoyed my friends blog post "First Principles and Ordinances Are A Contiguous, Cyclical Whole": http://23rdpsalm-jc.blogspot.com/2011/10/first-principles-and-ordinances-are.html

A friend has recently pointed out to me that faith in Christ, repentance, water baptism, and the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost are not separate events or a checklist, but parts of a contiguous whole. They include enduring to the end, but enduring in what? Each of these steps is part of a recursive cycle, and we endure inside that process. We exercise faith unto repentance continually; we repent continually to be worthy of partaking of the sacrament (and other ordinances) which renews our baptismal covenants; we are baptized, or effectively rebaptized every time we partake of the sacrament; and we are commanded to receive the Holy Ghost when we are confirmed members of the Church of Christ, not just once, but always. When we receive the Holy Ghost, He bolsters our faith in Christ, and the process, the circle, begins again. Every time we repent of sin (commission), or do something good we neglected (repent of omission), we progress. And since exaltation is our ultimate goal, this cycle never stops until we are like Jesus (in other words, there is no finish line in the foreseeable future). Once we are like Him, full of grace and truth, then we can say that we have crossed the finish line for ourselves. Or maybe we have crossed a finish line, and a starting line; we go from helping ourselves (Acts 2:37-38) and working on our own salvation, to working on ourselves and helping others (Alma 26:22), to one day helping others exclusively, like Jesus (2Ne. 26:24, 27).
"It is a time-honored adage that love begets love. Let us pour forth love—show forth our kindness unto all mankind, and the Lord will reward us with everlasting increase." - Joseph Smith Jr.
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Re: Can we still be forgiven?

Postby Ribbit » Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:28 pm

mattctr wrote:I meet people who treat repentance perhaps too lightly, thinking that forsaking and time is all that is needed. I meet others who deny themselves of blessings and increased gospel participation (temple recommends, etc.) because they feel that cannot do enough to repent.

I find myself in both of these patterns at different times. Rarely do I feel that my repentance is just right, but I often feel a merciful Lord urging me forward through His Spirit to obey some new, simple command or prompting. Sometimes that prompting includes looking back and making amends for something long since forgotten. Sometimes that includes letting go of something that has continued to weigh on my mind.

I think that through prayer and scripture study, the Spirit can nudge you in the direction you need to go. There may not be a "one-size-fits-all" solution.


Hey, perhaps in some situations forsaking and time was all that was needed. I agree the Spirit can nudge where we need to go. We don't know how the spirit nudged anyone else. We can only know revelation for repenting of our own sins. Repentance is a highly personal and individual thing. God will be the ultimate judge of whether our repentance was sufficient. God understands our hearts, minds, thoughts, situations, circumstances, dilemmas (all the details) perfectly too.
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Re: Can we still be forgiven?

Postby Ribbit » Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:37 pm

braingrunt wrote:I agree with all of the statements that God is merciful; however, I think at the same time it's important to center our minds on the idea that God sets the terms--not us.

When I was in the MTC 15 yrs ago I had something to confess. I was quite naive but felt that I would indeed be risking everything if I confessed. So for a time I just tried to tell HF that I would live a life of guilty sorrow and spill the beans when I was 80 or something. The spirit won out though and I confessed. Had I not the sin would have poisoned every joy I was intended to have and every service God would ask of me.

But here's the real kicker: all that sorrow I planned in penitence would not cover even the smallest part of the real price that needed to be paid by me: which was the releasing of my own will and the acceptance of God's. That price would have been just as heavy at 80 as 19, if not heavier... if would be even heavier if I waited til death. The burden is not lightened until you give it up. I urge anyone who feels to set the terms to reconsider and no longer shield themselves from the mercy and will of God.


I don't try to set my own terms. I try to figure out what I should do. It's not always easy to know what to do. I got really discouraged because maybe what I thought of restitution for something was not. Or maybe what I thought was sufficient confession or restitution really was not sufficient. Or maybe I did not even think of anything other than guilt and turning away from some sins in the past. I realize if we pray for guidance and follow the spirit we will not fail. I also realize sufficient restitution and confession can vary. Circumstances, situations, details vastly vary and we can only know the details for ourselves and perhaps those really close to us. Even for those we are really close to- we can't read their thoughts nor are we in their exact shoes.
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Re: Can we still be forgiven?

Postby Ribbit » Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:41 pm

SpeedRacer wrote:You can still be forgiven. Go confess, go make restitution. They hang on your soul and fester. Give way to the promptings. Put away your pride and do what will bring you peace. Then you know there is no question.


I do try to give way to promptings and put away pride. But sometimes its hard to know what to do amongst all the guilt, despair, depression. Promptings can take some time. I don't get to pick how fast I get promptings.
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Re: Can we still be forgiven?

Postby Ribbit » Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:44 pm

coachmarc, kathyn, serenitylala, sbsion, Thomas- thanks for your responses!
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Re: Can we still be forgiven?

Postby braingrunt » Wed Jan 11, 2012 1:01 pm

Let me say though, that even if one can repent of a sin which would normally be confessed to additional parties, and the person does not confess to those additional parties due to fear, then there remains a separate sin which will be present until the requested confession is forthcoming.

eg, if someone has a sexual sin and does not confess then yes perhaps they can without confession truly repent of that evil--the person truly gains chastity and a love of that law. But as long as that person knows that they have never complied with the confession and still will not, they are guilty of the sin of "covering", I guess I'll call it. It could be a mix of pride, fear of man, lack of trust in God, or other factors; Whatever it is I consider it to be a most damning sin because in the final equation the person will not have the courage to walk back to God after death.

Recall the lectures on faith saying that to get enough faith to be exalted you'll have to be called on to give up everything. There can be nothing which you will not let go.

I wrote the preceding comments before seeing ribbit's response, so here's further comment:

It sounds like you are not trying to "cover" or not pay restitution, so I can only say that the spirit must be your guide for sufficient confession/restitution.

I laid my burden before the bishop, speaking in generalities, but covering all the bases. Generally I think this is the right way to go, but if they probe then answer. There may be exceptions to this advice but by & large I think it's sound. Once again I guess the spirit must be your guide.

Now, I also confessed to my parents because I felt I wronged them. There was no veil between us.

I definitely did not wrong my (still future) wife directly but I could not bear anything but complete union with her. No veil between us, no sir!! So when I knew I loved her (and knew the love was at least partially returned), just prior to my first informal proposal, I told all. The doctrinal soundness or wisdom of this is debateable; but I feel certain that for me it was right.
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Re: Can we still be forgiven?

Postby SpeedRacer » Wed Jan 11, 2012 2:19 pm

braingrunt wrote:Let me say though, that even if one can repent of a sin which would normally be confessed to additional parties, and the person does not confess to those additional parties due to fear, then there remains a separate sin which will be present until the requested confession is forthcoming.

eg, if someone has a sexual sin and does not confess then yes perhaps they can without confession truly repent of that evil--the person truly gains chastity and a love of that law. But as long as that person knows that they have never complied with the confession and still will not, they are guilty of the sin of "covering", I guess I'll call it. It could be a mix of pride, fear of man, lack of trust in God, or other factors; Whatever it is I consider it to be a most damning sin because in the final equation the person will not have the courage to walk back to God after death.

Recall the lectures on faith saying that to get enough faith to be exalted you'll have to be called on to give up everything. There can be nothing which you will not let go.

I wrote the preceding comments before seeing ribbit's response, so here's further comment:

It sounds like you are not trying to "cover" or not pay restitution, so I can only say that the spirit must be your guide for sufficient confession/restitution.

I laid my burden before the bishop, speaking in generalities, but covering all the bases. Generally I think this is the right way to go, but if they probe then answer. There may be exceptions to this advice but by & large I think it's sound. Once again I guess the spirit must be your guide.

Now, I also confessed to my parents because I felt I wronged them. There was no veil between us.

I definitely did not wrong my (still future) wife directly but I could not bear anything but complete union with her. No veil between us, no sir!! So when I knew I loved her (and knew the love was at least partially returned), just prior to my first informal proposal, I told all. The doctrinal soundness or wisdom of this is debateable; but I feel certain that for me it was right.


WOW! A man who knows the sweet taste of forgiveness.
Faith, then, is the first great governing principle which has power, dominion, and authority over all things; ... Without it there is no power...
(Joseph Smith, Lectures on Faith, Lecture First 24)
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Re: Can we still be forgiven?

Postby Ribbit » Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:26 pm

braingrunt wrote:Let me say though, that even if one can repent of a sin which would normally be confessed to additional parties, and the person does not confess to those additional parties due to fear, then there remains a separate sin which will be present until the requested confession is forthcoming.

eg, if someone has a sexual sin and does not confess then yes perhaps they can without confession truly repent of that evil--the person truly gains chastity and a love of that law. But as long as that person knows that they have never complied with the confession and still will not, they are guilty of the sin of "covering", I guess I'll call it. It could be a mix of pride, fear of man, lack of trust in God, or other factors; Whatever it is I consider it to be a most damning sin because in the final equation the person will not have the courage to walk back to God after death.

Recall the lectures on faith saying that to get enough faith to be exalted you'll have to be called on to give up everything. There can be nothing which you will not let go.


Sometimes we don't know whether additional party confession is necessary. We can pray to know who to confess to and what needs to be said.

I think many people are guilty of the sin of covering, perhaps we are all guilty to some degree. It seems you think those guilty of covering will be eternally damned?

In the final equation I think those that have covered in the past but felt extreme guilt, turned away from the sin of covering (or any other sin exluding the unforgiveables), confessed to God, confessed to the Bishop if needed, forgave others, fervently kept the commandments of God will most definitely have the courage to walk back to God after death. God will judge and understand perfectly as to whether the person did the best they knew how or the best they thought they could for every situation and circumstance. In the Gospel Principles book it states we must confess to God and to proper priesthood authority and also states we should confess to those we have wronged. It is interesting must vs. should.
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Re: Can we still be forgiven?

Postby Ribbit » Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:45 pm

braingrunt wrote:Now, I also confessed to my parents because I felt I wronged them. There was no veil between us.

I definitely did not wrong my (still future) wife directly but I could not bear anything but complete union with her. No veil between us, no sir!! So when I knew I loved her (and knew the love was at least partially returned), just prior to my first informal proposal, I told all. The doctrinal soundness or wisdom of this is debateable; but I feel certain that for me it was right.


I too have confessed things to my parents. And I also absolutely agree with telling future spouse/ spouse all (at least all we feel we should or all we can remember). I too have told all/ tell all to my spouse. I feel it's right also. I too can say there is no veil between my spouse and I.
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Re: Can we still be forgiven?

Postby Matthew.B » Sat Jan 14, 2012 10:40 am

One scripture came to mind after reading the OP:

1 Peter 4:8

"And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins."

Another way to say Christ "atoned" for our sins is to say that Christ "covered" our sins (Rom. 4:7). If there are sins that you don't know of in your past, or if there are sins you know of and can't make restitution/confession for, or if you would like to get closer to the Lord through the grace of His atonement, practicing charity toward all mankind is the best way to do it (in addition to as much of the repentance process as possible).
D&C 136:21-23
I am the Lord your God, even the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham and of Isaac and Jacob. I am he who led the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; and my arm is stretched out in the last days, to save my people Israel.
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Re: Can we still be forgiven?

Postby Ribbit » Sat Jan 14, 2012 1:23 pm

Thanks Matthew.B! Great thoughts!
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Re: Can we still be forgiven?

Postby Ribbit » Sat Jan 14, 2012 1:38 pm

Okay, I have to point this out though. There is a JST (a) for 1 Peter 4:8 "..for charity preventeth a multitude of sins." No JST in Romans 4:7 "Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered."
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Re: Can we still be forgiven?

Postby Matthew.B » Sat Jan 14, 2012 9:27 pm

Ribbit wrote:Okay, I have to point this out though. There is a JST (a) for 1 Peter 4:8 "..for charity preventeth a multitude of sins." No JST in Romans 4:7 "Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered."

Charity (pure love of Christ) does prevent a whole lot of sins (all of them, IMO, if one had perfect charity all the time like Christ did). However, the principle- if you want to be forgiven, cultivate the spirit of charity in your soul and be charitable to all men in thought and deed- is still the same. The point is not to worry over forgotten sins or sins that can't have restitution or confession made, but to repent as much as it is possible and let the rest go and rely on the Atonement to cover them by utilizing it to cultivate charity.
D&C 136:21-23
I am the Lord your God, even the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham and of Isaac and Jacob. I am he who led the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; and my arm is stretched out in the last days, to save my people Israel.
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Re: Can we still be forgiven?

Postby inquirringmind » Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:57 pm

Ribbit wrote:The LDS Gospel Principles Manual (Chapter 19: Repentance) states the principles of repentance are: We must recognize our sins, we must feel sorrow for our sins, we must forsake our sins, we must confess our sins, we must make restitution, we must forgive others and we must keep the commandments of God.

If we ever err in the repentance principles while repenting- can we still be forgiven for that sin? Or will we not be forgiven for a sin unless all repentance principles are met? Can we be forgiven for making mistakes with the repentance principles? Or will we never be forgiven and eternally negatively effected?

I haven't always properly confessed. Nor have I always made restitution. I sure hope forgiveness is still possible.

What kind of sins have to be confessed to the bishop, and what does it mean to "properly confess"?
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