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Daniel K. Judd, The Fortunate Fall: Understanding the Blessings and Burdens of Adversity

June 3, 2014

It is fairly common to have someone say something like this: “I’m glad that I have a sinful past, for without such experiences I would have never learned to appreciate the Atonement.” It is a wonderful truth that we can repent of sins and learn valuable lessons from the sins we have committed and the mistakes we have made, but we must also understand that sampling sin or indulging ourselves in iniquity are not required for us to learn of the power and beauty of the atonement of Jesus Christ. Sister Camilla Kimball, wife of President Spencer W. Kimball, taught, “It is not necessary to experience sin in life to know what sin is.” Life contains sufficient exposure to sin and mistakes without our seeking sin as a part of a spiritual resume.

Note the following question and answer given by the apostle Paul: “Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid!” The following from the Joseph Smith Translation of a similar passage in Paul’s Epistle to the Romans is even more clear: “And some affirm that we say,…Let us do evil that good may come. But this is false.” Paul clearly taught that sin should not be indulged in or encouraged as a way of experiencing the blessings of God. God is not the author of evil. He does not want us to indulge in evil in any way, but He will turn evil to our good if we will have faith in Him by following His counsel and keeping His commandments.

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