"What Happens if I'm trying to follow God but sometimes I still do stupid things?"

This honest question has to be at the heart of each soul desiring to come closer to Christ.  We have all sinned.  We've even asked for forgiveness on occasion, but sometimes we continue in sin and feel too weak to 'get out', or feel ashamed to ask God for help, for fear he is ashamed of us.  This collection of scriptures is intended to present a clearer picture of what our sin is, and how God responds; how He wants us to come back to Him, and how our weakness can be turned from shame to strength.  The last section gives some 'how to' advice, which (hopefully) summarizes into action items, these scriptures that follow.



What is sin?

  • I John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law; for sin is the transgression of the law.
  • Romans 14:23 ….. for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.
  • I John 5:17 All unrighteousness is sin…
  • James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
  • II John 1:9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
  • 2 Nephi 6:13 And the fall came by reason of transgression;
  • Genesis 6:50 Behold, Satan hath come among the children of men, and tempteth them to worship him; and men have become carnal, sensual, and devilish, and are shut out from the presence of God.

(Sin is the element that, by eternal laws, separates us from God's presence)

Where did sin come from anyhow?

  • Mosiah 11:131 For it is I that taketh upon me the sins of the world; for it is I that hath created them; and it is I that granteth unto him that believeth in the end, a place at my right hand.
  • Isaiah 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil; I the Lord do all these things.
  • Moroni 7:10 Wherefore, all things which are good, cometh of God; and that which is evil, cometh of the devil; for the devil is an enemy unto God, and fighteth against him continually, and inviteth and enticeth to sin, and to do that which is evil continually.

(God does not entice us to sin, this comes only from Satan)

Is God 'Mad at Me' when I sin?

  • DC 59:5b  and in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments.
  • Mark 3:22 But he answered them and said, Verily I say unto you, All sins which men have committed, when they repent, shall be forgiven them; for I came to preach repentance unto the sons of men.


Does God want me to come back after I've done so many bad things?

Luke 15 contains a parable about a man who rebelled and left his father's house. After losing his fortune and being reduced to living with swine, he sorrowfully returns to his father's house, fearing condemnation and rejection from the only one who could help him.  The son felt unworthy to be called his father's son anymore, and was preparing to ask to be admitted back as a servant only.  To the son's utter dismay, the father, seeing his son coming, runs out and welcomes him with open arms, and calls from a celebration for his son (whom he thought was dead) who has returned alive, with no condemnation for his actions.


God gave us this story so we would know how he feels about our return to him.  God is like the father in this story, and we are like the son.  He isn't condemning us for our wrongs, when we return to Him, but seeks to welcome us back that we might find eternal life with Him.  But we have to make the choice to return to him.


  • Luke 15:18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee; (19) And am no more worthy to be called thy son; make me as one of thy hired servants. (20) And he arose and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. (21) And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. (22) But the father said unto his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his finger, and shoes on his feet; (23) And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat and be merry; (24) For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.

Why do I feel so Weak sometimes?

  • Ether 5:28 I give unto men weakness, that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.
  • DC 34:4a  Wherefore, I have called upon the weak things of the world, those who are unlearned and despised, to thresh the nations by the power of my Spirit;
  • DC 102:11c  …. all things shall work together for your good; (principle with a promise)
  • Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Will the Lord forgive me?

·        I John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. But if any man sin and repent, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;


·        DC 64:2b  ……..verily I say unto you, I, the Lord, forgiveth sins unto those who confess their sins before me, and ask forgiveness, who have not sinned unto death.


·        Mosiah 11:130 And whosoever ye receive, shall believe in my name; and him will I freely forgive:


·        Mosiah 11:138 And if he confess his sins before thee and me, and repenteth in the sincerity of his heart, him shall ye forgive, and I will forgive him also;


God's precedent and pattern for forgiveness established by the Law of Moses.

Leviticus 6:7 And the priest shall make an atonement for him before the Lord; and it shall be forgiven him for any thing of all that he hath done in trespassing therein. (The Law of Moses was basically an earthly pattern for spiritual truth.  This means that GOD gave an example for people to live in the flesh, so they would understand the things of the Spirit, which were to come.)


Who or what causes guilty feelings, is it Satan, God, or me?

·        2 Nephi 6:93 But I know my guilt; I transgressed thy law, and my transgressions are mine; and the devil hath obtained me, that I am a prey to his awful misery.

·        Enos  1:8 And I, Enos, knew that God could not lie; wherefore, my guilt was swept away.

·        Mosiah 1:83 Therefore, if that man repenteth not, and remaineth and dieth an enemy to God, the demands of divine justice doth awaken his immortal soul to a lively sense of his own guilt, (84) Which doth cause him to shrink from the presence of the Lord, and doth fill his breast with guilt, and pain, and anguish, which is like an unquenchable fire, whose flames ascendeth up for ever and ever.


·        Alma 14:32 And I also thank my God, yea, my great God, that he hath granted unto us that we might repent of these things, and also that he hath forgiven us of those our many sins and murders which we have committed, and took away the guilt from our hearts, through the merits of his Son.


The Lord asks us to forgive, to understand that he will also forgive

·        Matthew 18:21 Then came Peter to him and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times?

·        Matthew 18:22 Jesus said unto him, I say not unto thee, until seven times; but, until seventy times seven.

How can I overcome my weakness

Experiment with the Word of Christ--try doing what it says!

·        Alma 16:151 But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith; yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words. 


·        Psalms 55:22 Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee; he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

Is it possible to keep all of God's commandments

  • 1 Nephi 1:65 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father, I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.
  • DC 58:6g  Who am I that made man, saith the Lord, that will hold him guiltless that obeys not my commandments?
  • DC 58:6i  I command and a man obeys not, I revoke and they receive not the blessing; then they say in their hearts, This is not the work of the Lord, for his promises are not fulfilled. But woe unto such, for their reward lurketh beneath, and not from above.



What happens if sin continues

  • Mosiah 8:77 But remember, that he that persists in his own carnal nature, and goes on in the ways of sin and rebellion against God, remaineth in his fallen state, and the devil hath all power over him.
  • Moroni  7:14 For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that they may know good from evil;
  • Alma 15:56 Yea, and I know that good and evil have come before all men; or he that knoweth not good from evil is blameless; but he that knoweth good and evil, to him it is given according to his desires; whether he desireth good or evil, life or death, joy or remorse of conscience.
  • Ether 1:41 And the Lord said unto him, I will forgive thee and thy brethren of their sins; but thou shalt not sin any more, for ye shall remember that my Spirit will not always strive with man; wherefore if ye will sin until ye are fully ripe, ye shall be cut off from the presence of the Lord.
  • I John 3:8 He that continueth in sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
  • DC 90:5d  And every man whose spirit receiveth not the light is under condemnation, for man is spirit.
  • 2 Nephi 6:56 But wo unto him that has the law given; yea, that has all the commandments of God, like unto us, and that transgresseth them, and that wasteth the days of his probation; for awful is his state!

  • DC 81:1c  Beware from henceforth and refrain from sin lest sore judgments fall upon your heads; for unto whom much is given much is required; and he who sins against the greater light shall receive the greater condemnation.
  • DC 81:2  And now, verily I say unto you, I, the Lord, will not lay any sin to your charge; go your ways and sin no more; but unto that soul who sinneth shall the former sins return, saith the Lord your God.
  • Alma 19:9 Yea, and whosoever murdereth against the light and knowledge of God, it is not easy for him to obtain forgiveness; yea, I say unto you, my son, that it is not easy for him to obtain a forgiveness.
  • DC 95:7b  and so on unto the second and the third time, and as oft as thine enemy repenteth of the trespass wherewith he has trespassed against thee, thou shalt forgive him, until seventy times seven;
  • 1 John 3:6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not; whosoever continueth in sin hath not seen him, neither known him.
  • I John 3:8 He that continueth in sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. (9) Whosoever is born of God doth not continue in sin; for the Spirit of God remaineth in him; and he cannot continue in sin, because he is born of God, having received that holy Spirit of promise.(10) In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil; whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
  • James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
  • Moroni  7:14 For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that they may know good from evil

(God instilled in every man and woman, a basic understanding of good and evil, right and wrong.  This means that there will be a "basic" accountability for all at the judgement day.  To him that does not know good from evil, they are blameless; however, based on Moroni 7:14, if all people have a basic understanding of good and evil, then whether they have heard the gospel of Christ in this life, they can be held accountable for a portion of their works in this life.)


Do the scriptures really say 'The Lord won't Remember my sins anymore?' If the Lord is perfect, how could he forget something?

  • Isaiah 43:25 I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.
  • Hebrews 8:12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
  • Hebrews 10:17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
  • DC 58:9c  Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remembereth them no more.

Hebrew definition of "remember"  (#2142 Strong's) Zakar- means "to make mention of"

(Some examples of the word 'Mention' which means 'to remember')

  • Ezekiel 18:21 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. (22) All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him; in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live.
  • Ezekiel 33:16 None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him; he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live.
  • Jeremiah 31:34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord; for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.



  • Matthew 3:32 And many were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. (confession of sins is a part of coming to Christ through baptism, but is a continual, integral part of repentance)
  • (precedent) Leviticus 5:5 And it shall be, when he shall be guilty in one of these things, that he shall confess that he hath sinned in that thing;
  • Proverbs 28:13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper; but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.
  • I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
  • DC 58:9d  By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins. Behold, he will confess them and forsake them.
  • DC 61:1b  ….. I the Lord forgiveth sins, and am merciful unto those who confess their sins with humble hearts;
  • DC 64:2b  There are those who have sought occasion against him without cause; nevertheless he has sinned, but verily I say unto you, I, the Lord, forgiveth sins unto those who confess their sins before me, and ask forgiveness, who have not sinned unto death.

Is it enough to 'say' that I repent?

  • Moroni  7:4 And now my brethren, I judge these things of you because of your peaceable walk with the children of men; for I remember the word of God, which saith, By their works ye shall know them; for if their works be good, then they are good also. (5) For behold, God hath said, A man being evil, can not do that which is good; for if he offereth a gift, or prayeth unto God, except he shall do it with real intent, it profiteth him nothing. (6) For behold, it is not counted unto him for righteousness. (7) For behold, if a man being evil, giveth a gift, he doeth it grudgingly; wherefore it is counted unto him the same as if he had retained the gift; wherefore he is counted evil before God. (8) And likewise also is it counted evil unto a man, if he shall pray, and not with real intent of heart; yea, and it profiteth him nothing; for God receiveth none such; wherefore, a man being evil, can not do that which is good; neither will he give a good gift.

(God, through his word, judges the condition of the heart.  If our words of repentance do not represent the true intent of our heart, our words will not profit us)

I am trying to follow the Lord, but my sins become more apparent.  Why?

  • Ether 5:27 …. my grace is sufficient for the meek, …. and if men come unto me, I will shew unto them their weakness.
  • Jacob 3:8 Nevertheless, the Lord God sheweth us our weakness, that we may know that it is by his grace, and his great condescensions unto the children of men, that we have power to do these things.
  • DC 62:1a  Behold, and hearken, O ye elders of my church, saith the Lord your God; even Jesus Christ, your Advocate; who knoweth the weakness of man and how to succor them who are tempted;

What inevitably happens when we come closer to Christ? (some answers follow, but not an exhaustive list)

1.  The opposition:

·        2 Nephi 1:81 For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things.


Opposition in all things.  This principle applies to the whole of life. Even physicist Isaac Newton observed that 'for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.'  The opposition in all things certainly applies to our fight with sin.  Elder David Elliot once said 'For every step you take closer to Christ, Satan will try to counter it and pull you away from Christ.'  Ultimately, The closer we are to Christ, the freer we are from sin, but at the same time, the more aware we will be of our own sin:



2.  The Lord will make known our sins:

·        DC 66:2a  Verily I say unto you, my servant William, that you are clean, but not all; repent therefore of those things which are not pleasing in my sight, saith the Lord, for the Lord will show them unto you.


·        John 15:2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away; and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.


3.  Keener awareness of sin develops:

More temptation, but more strength against Temptation.  Our 'sensitivity' to our own sin (awareness) becomes greater to 'smaller' sins.  Not to mean 'small sins' in terms of significance, but small in terms of awareness.  For instance, as we grow in Christ the words we use, thoughts we allow, attitudes we hold, may and should change over time. Examples of keener understanding of sin:

·        From realizing to not commit adultery, to understanding that looking upon a person and lusting in ones heart is adultery.

·        From realizing to not murder, to understanding that hating your brother is murder.

·        From learning that faith is the first step towards God (i.e. believeing), to having knowledge that 'whatsoever is not of faith is sin.'

·        From being released from temporal bondage (for example alcohol, smoking, overeating) to release from spiritual bondage (envying, jealousy, strife, hatred, contention).


4.  We will learn (and desire) to be 'meek'

·        Moroni  8:29 And the first--fruits of repentance is baptism; and baptism cometh by faith, unto the fulfilling the commandments; and the fulfilling the commandments bringeth remission of sins; and the remission of sins bringeth meekness, and lowliness of heart; and because of meekness and lowliness of heart, cometh the visitation of the Holy Ghost, which Comforter filleth with hope and perfect love, which love endureth by diligence unto prayer, until the end shall come, when all the saints shall dwell with God.

The scriptures say it's good to be Meek.  Does being 'Meek' mean the same as being 'Weak'?

Essentially, to be meek means to have Controlled Strength.

·        Numbers 12:3 (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)

·        Psalms 22:26 The meek shall eat and be satisfied; they shall praise the Lord that seek him; your heart shall live forever.

·        Psalms 25:9 The meek will he guide in judgment; and the meek will he teach his way.

·        Psalms 37:11 But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

·        Psalms 76:9 When God arose to judgment, to save all the meek of the earth.

·        Psalms 147:6 The Lord lifteth up the meek he casteth the wicked down to the ground.

·        Psalms 149:4 For the Lord taketh pleasure in his people; he will beautify the meek with salvation.

·        Matthew 5:7 And blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth.

·        Matthew 11:30 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls; for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

·        I Timothy 6:11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.

·        Moroni  7:49 And again, behold I say unto you, that he can not have faith and hope, save he shall be meek and lowly of heart; if so, his faith and hope are vain, for none is acceptable before God, save the meek and lowly of heart;


Remedies: How can I do better?


1.      Pray.  You've got built in communication exchange to God that's faster and broader than the internet.  You can get information to God, and he can send it to you immediately.  Those how have been baptized by water and the laying on of hands receive the 'Gift of the Holy Ghost.'  Developing ones awareness of the Holy Ghost's leadings causes deeper and quicker understandings from communication with God.


When it's hardest to pray, pray the hardest!  Remember, if you're in a situation (sin, dilemma, other life situation) where you feel like the last thing you can do is pray, that's a strong sign that the most important thing you can do is pray.


2.      Don't let a past sin (defeat) keep you from getting up and trying.  One of Satan's greatest tools is despair.  He will cause you to feel like 'there's no use trying.'  God wants you to get up, brush the dirt off, and keep trying.  Satan wants you to stay down in the dirt.


3.      Come to grips with your own sin. This means to confess your sins to God and/or others.  God wouldn't ask us to do it if it wasn't temporally, emotionally, and spiritually 'good' for us.

  • Confession. If true repentance has occurred, confession (personal and/or public) will have taken place. Confession weakens Satan's hold on us--he does not want us to confess.  Confession often brings to our being the resolve to keep from sinning that sin again.  (AA members:  confess the problem exists);
  • (Confession and endeavoring to fix problem, by example) Helaman 2:79 And it came to pass that they did preach with great power, insomuch that they did confound many of those dissenters who had gone over from the Nephites insomuch that they came forth and did confess their sins, and were baptized unto repentance, and immediately returned to the Nephites, to endeavor to repair unto them the wrongs which they had done.


1.      Pray that God will make you aware of your own sin.  (Example Job 13:23 How many are mine iniquities and sins? make me to know my transgression and my sin.)


2.      Repentance is the answer for sins committed and good works omitted (principle with a promise)



3.      Reconciliation:  If your sin involved someone else Reconcile yourself to him (them), then reconcile yourself  with God. (Matthew 5:27) God calls us to 'lay our gift to Him at the alter', make things right with our brother, then God will freely forgive.


4.      With recognition, repentance, confession, reconciliation, Sin is forgiven and guilt can be washed away. (Enos 1:1-20  Words of life brought desire for forgivness.  With forgivness, guilt washed away.  Desire grew from concern for self to concern for others).