Thursday, April 9, 2015

Disciples given power to remit sins

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Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. (John 20:23)

Jesus spoke this as He visited His disciples for the first time after His resurrection, and as I read it, it struck me how amazing it was that He gave them this power.

It establishes the principle of confession of sins to priesthood authority. (I wonder whether this was to supersede or complement the practice of sacrifice at the temple.)  They can’t go around forgiving random people; they have to wait for people to come to them and confess. 

The power to remit sins isn’t just a feel-good encouragement.  It is the power to declare the heavenly record modified and a person’s sins expunged from that record.  That’s huge.   They can act as agents of God and declare them forgiven as God would do if He were there working with the person.

Our priesthood leaders have this power today and it is such a blessing.  We can go to the bishop and make confession and work through the repentance process with priesthood guidance.