Have you begged the Lord for a remission of your sins?

First, a definition of the word “beg” may be helpful to set aside any emotional response we may have to the word. Some among us may feel offended by this word thinking that God would never require His sons and daughters, the elect; those holding the priesthood, those who have made scared covenants in the temples, to beg.

Beg: To ask earnestly; to beseech; to entreat or supplicate with humility. From American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828

The title of this post, Begging for a Remission of Your Sins, is taken from the account of King Benjamin teaching his people the message delivered to him by an angel from God (This would be a great way to start a talk, using an angel for source material).

Before going any further I think it’s important to have an idea of just who King Benjamin and his people were. King Benjamin’s people are described as being “highly favored people of the Lord” because they were “diligent in keeping the commandments”.[1] Certainly this highly favored group of former day Saints could recount many instances of service and sacrifice on their part in behalf of the Lord’s work. These people were very much like church members are today. They attended their meetings, donated of their time and substance, served one another in the church and raised their families up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Included in this group of people were church leaders, the equivalent of today’s Prophets, Apostles, Stake Presidents, Patriarchs, Bishops, Relief Society Presidents, High Councilman and so forth.[2]

Now, with this background in mind note what happens to this group of highly favored people of the Lord. At the conclusion of King Benjamin’s remarks “they had fallen to the earth, for the fear of the Lord had come upon them”. Mosiah 4:1

The fear they experienced wasn’t the kind of fear that causes one to cower before an adversary. It was a different kind of fear, “they viewed themselves in their own carnal state, even less than the dust of the earth”. For the first time they understood, by the power of the Holy Ghost, what it really means to be a fallen being, living in a fallen world! They immediately knew what to do, with one voice they cried aloud:

O have mercy, and apply the atoning blood of Christ that we may receive forgiveness of our sins, and our hearts may be purified; for we believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who created heaven and earth, and all things; who shall come down among the children of men.

And it came to pass that after they had spoken these words the Spirit of the Lord came upon them, and they were filled with joy, having received a remission of their sins, and having peace of conscience, because of the exceeding faith which they had in Jesus Christ who should come, according to the words which king Benjamin had spoken unto them. Mosiah 4:2-3

I bear witness to the reality of this account as recorded in the Book of Mormon. I can do so because I have experienced it myself. Jesus Christ is not only the Savior of the world; He is an individual Savior as well. Go here for my testimony.

I pray that all who read this post will have a renewed determination to fulfill their baptism covenant, if not already received, and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost and a remission of your sins. If you have already received this gift, then I hope both you and I can retain a remission of our sins and be brought back into the presence of God.

A word of caution, these things are not to be trifled with. The gifts of God cannot be demanded. Enos, in my opinion, didn’t receive a remission of his sins because he prayed all day long; he received this gift because God intended to give it to him. The scriptural account says: “the words which I had often heard my father speak…sunk deep into my heart… And my soul hungered… Enos 1:3 – 4. This was an invitation for Enos to approach the Lord in mighty prayer which enabled him to pray as he did.


King Benjamin and his people were very good at keeping the commandments. They were close to the Lord, had a temple, and had many manifestation of the Holy Ghost. However, as the account makes clear, they had not been born again and received a remission of their sins. In this scriptural account, receiving the gift of Holy Ghost, and receiving a remission of sins by fire and the Holy Ghost, or in other words to be born again, can be separate and distinct events.

[1] Mosiah 1:11 & 13.

[2] Words of Mormon 1:15-18.

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