The scriptures use confession in at least two ways. In one sense, to confess is to state one’s faith in something, such as to confess that Jesus is the Christ (Matt. 10:32; Rom. 10:9; 1 Jn. 4:1–3; D&C 88:104).
In another sense, to confess is to admit one’s guilt, such as in a confession of sins. It is a duty of all persons to confess all their sins to the Lord and obtain his forgiveness (D&C 58:42–43). When necessary, sins should be confessed to the person or persons sinned against. Serious sins should be confessed to a Church official (in most cases the bishop).
- He shall confess that he has sinned:Lev. 5:5;
- They shall confess their iniquity:Lev. 26:40–42;
- Give glory to the Lord God of Israel, and make confession unto him:Josh. 7:19;
- People were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins:Matt. 3:5–6;
- The transgressor who confesses his sins shall be forgiven:Mosiah 26:29;
- Confess your sins, lest you suffer punishments:D&C 19:20;
- The repentant will confess and forsake their sins:D&C 58:43;
- The Lord is merciful to those who confess sins with humble hearts:D&C 61:2;
- The Lord forgives the sins of those who confess and ask forgiveness:D&C 64:7;