Answer on Forgiveness

In response to prayers over the last several months I received the following Answer to an Inquiry About Forgiveness:

You have inquired of me concerning the questions raised by the scriptures which state, Then came Peter to him and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Until seven times? Jesus said unto him, I say not unto you, until seven times, but, until seventy times seven; on the one hand, and the scripture which states, You shall love your wife with all your heart, and shall cleave unto her and none else, and he that looks upon a woman to lust after her shall deny the faith, and shall not have the spirit, and if he repent not he shall be cast out. You shall not commit adultery, and he that commits adultery and repents not shall be cast out; and he that commits adultery and repents with all his heart, and forsakes and does it no more, you shall forgive him; but if he does it again, he shall not be forgiven, but shall be cast out; on the other hand. I answer your inquiry as follows:
In the Answer to Prayer for Covenant you were told to, Be like me. You have all been wounded, your hearts pierced through with sorrows because of how the world has treated you. But you have also scarred one another by your unkind treatment of each other, and you do not notice your misconduct toward others because you think yourself justified in this. You bear the scars on your countenances, from the soles of your feet to the head, and every heart is faint. Your visages have been so marred that your hardness, mistrust, suspicions, resentments, fear, jealousies, and anger toward your fellow man bear outward witness of your inner self; you cannot hide it. When I appear to you, instead of confidence, you feel shame. You fear and withdraw from me because you bear the blood and sins of your treatment of brothers and sisters. Come to me and I will make sins as scarlet become white as snow, and I will make you stand boldly before me, confident of my love. I descended below it all, and know the sorrows of you all, and have borne the grief of it all, and I say to you, Forgive one another. Be tender with one another, pursue judgment, bless the oppressed, care for the orphan, and uplift the widow in her need, for I have redeemed you from being orphaned and taken you that you are no longer a widowed people. Rejoice in me, and rejoice with your brethren and sisters who are mine also. Be one.
How can you be one if you gather together with another who has been the adulterer again after being forgiven? And how can a man love his wife with all his heart and cleave unto her and none else if he commit adultery again after being forgiven?
You did not ask, but remember that I have said also that, You shall not kill, and he that kills shall not have forgiveness, neither in this world nor in the world to come. And again, you shall not kill; he that kills shall die. You shall not steal, and he that steals and will not repent shall be cast out. You shall not lie; he that lies and will not repent shall be cast out. How can you be one with he who murders, with the liar who deceives, and with the thief who steals? I say to you that you cannot be one when you are fractured and your little ones threatened by the disobedience of the adulterer, murderer, liar and thief who will not repent.
You did not ask me, but I say that your question arises from the instructions I gave you: I have told you that to remove authority to use priesthood outside a man’s family requires a unanimous decision by twelve women. A council of twelve women must be convened, either in the man’s home fellowship among those who are acquainted with his daily walk, or in private at a general conference, also including among the twelve women from the conference those who are acquainted with his daily walk, so that no injustice results. Reinstatement of the man’s authority must be considered by the same council of twelve women when the man petitions for the decision to be rescinded, and requires seven of the twelve to agree upon his reinstatement, which can occur at any time. During the period of suspension, nothing affects the man’s duties and responsibility in his own family. I say to you, if a man has been suspended for adultery, and then been reinstated, and return again to adultery, he shall not be reinstated again, for to do so places my community at peril. These words were to guard so that no injustice results. I ask, is there injustice if my people cannot become one because of disobedience? Even a single disobedient soul who breaks the hearts of others by his sinful disobedience can destroy the peace of all my people. I say again, Each of you must equally walk truly in my path, not only to profess, but to do as you profess. You shall not show mercy to the disobedient when to do so results in injustice to the people who seek to become one. You shall not forgive the adulterer and welcome him into the community when he has been forgiven and returns again to his sin. You shall not place the community at peril by embracing the willful and unrepentant among you, to leave your little ones at peril of injury, harm, and destruction. Study the words given in the Answer to Prayer for Covenant, and you will see how to regard one another, how to succor one another, how to protect one another, and how to live in peace with one another. I have given what I have given to be followed, neither to be added to nor taken from, but to be your counsel and guide. Do as you are bidden and you will have peace in this troubled world, which will be your first reward.