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Elder Craig A. Cardon: 'The Savior Wants to Forgive'

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http://www.deseretnews.com - Elder Craig A. Cardon of the Seventy began his remarks Saturday morning with the story of the bedridden, paralyzed man who comes to Christ for healing and the Savior declares, "Man, thy sins are forgiven thee." When the Pharisees accuse the Savior of blasphemy, He responds, "But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, [He then turned to the paralyzed man] I say unto thee, Arise, and take up they couch, and go into thine house" (Luke 5:22-23).



"With this miraculous physical healing the Savior confirmed to all of us this infinitely more powerful spiritual truth: The Son of Man forgives sins," Elder Cardon said.



Elder Cardon pointed out that the Savior forgives sin "upon earth" and not just at the final judgment. "He does not excuse us in our sins. He does not condone our return to past sins. But when we repent and obey His gospel, He forgives us."



It is through the redeeming and enabling power of the Atonement that forgiveness is achieved. "By exercising faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the enabling power of His Atonement strengthens us in our moment of need, and His redeeming power sanctifies us as we 'put off the natural man,'" (Mosiah 3:19) he said.



Elder Cardon explained that "no one needs suppose that this forgiveness comes without repentance," but, in His mercy, the Savior does not demand immediate perfection. "Even with the multitude of sins occasioned by the weakness of mortality, as often as we repent and seek His forgiveness, He forgives, again and again."



Elder Cardon then cautioned that although the Lord will lovingly forgive "'until seventy times seven,' this does not mean one may willingly return to sin with impunity."

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