Do You Remember Me?

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    In order to live with themselves, people who transgress must follow one path or the other. One is to sear one’s conscience and dull the sensitivity with mental tranquilizers, which cannot be totally done. The other path is to repent and change one’s life. It was Alma who said there is no forgiveness without repentance. There is no repentance without suffering. (Alma 39:6.) Many people feel a little sorry and offer one or two little prayers to their Heavenly Father for forgiveness. But that is not enough when they have committed a serious sin. Breaking the law of chastity is one of the most serious sins next to murder. Of course, murder is not forgivable in this life as far as we know. One cannot break this law with impunity. One who has transgressed this law should immediately go to his bishop or branch presidency and should open his soul and tell the bishop the whole story. He should tell it without any limitations …

    Therefore, the sins of mankind can be forgiven, but not by ignoring them. One must go to the proper ecclesiastical officials and clear his problems … (Amsterdam, General Session, pp. 4–7.)

    I want to mention a little incident that happened to me in the temple in Salt Lake City. As I walked down the long hall preparing to go into one of the rooms to perform a marriage for a young couple, a woman followed me out of the room after the ceremony. With great agitation, she asked, “Elder Kimball, do you re member me?” I was abashed. It seemed incredible but I could not make the connection. I was much embarrassed, as I had met thousands of people in my time. I finally said, “I’m sorry, but I cannot remember you.” Instead of disappointment, there was a great joy that came into her face. She was relieved. She said. “Oh, I am so grateful you can’t remember me. With my husband, I spent all night with you one time, while we were trying to change our lives. We had committed sin and we were struggling to get rid of it. You labored all night to help us clear it.” She said, “We have repented and changed our lives totally. I am glad you don’t remember me, because if you, one of the apostles, cannot remember me, maybe the Savior cannot remember my sins.” Her face was relieved. She said, “Thank you. Maybe the Lord will remember them no more.” The scriptures say if our sins are totally repented of, and if we totally change our lives, he will remember them no more. (Amsterdam priesthood session, August 7, 1976, p. 6.)