Quotes on Sin
See also: Alma 30:60; John 3:4
“It is true that the great principle of repentance is always available, but for the wicked and rebellious there are serious reservations to this statement. For instance, sin is intensely habit-forming and sometimes moves men to the tragic point of no return. Without repentance there can be no forgiveness, and without forgiveness all the blessings of eternity hang in jeopardy. As the transgressor moves deeper and deeper in his sin, and the error is entrenched more deeply and the will to change is weakened, it becomes increasingly near-hopeless, and he skids down and down until either he does not want to climb back or he has lost the power to do so” (Spencer W. Kimball, Miracle of Forgiveness, p. 117). — Book of Mormon Student Manual, p. 94
Murder, adultery, and stealing, dealing respectively with life, virtue, and property, are generally considered more serious offenses before the law than the bearing of false witness. And yet, what the latter may lack in severity, it more than makes up for in prevalence. As a matter of fact, most of the readers of these lessons will likely shun – as they would a plague – the first three of these major social offenses; but consciously or unconsciously, we may all at times be tempted into the carelessness of rumor and other forms of bearing false witness. . . .
To bear false witness is to testify to or to pass along reports, insinuations, speculations, or rumors as if they were true, to the hurt of a fellow human being. Sometimes the practice stems from a lack of correct information – sometimes from lack of understanding – sometimes from misunderstandings – sometimes from a vicious disposition to distort and misrepresent.
Whereas murder involves the taking of human life, bearing false witness centers in the destruction of character or its defamation. It reaches to the ruin of reputation. (Elder Adam S. Bennion, “The Ninth Commandment,” Ten Commandments Today, pp. 134-36) — Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual, p. 84
Moroni declared the need for us to deny ourselves “all ungodliness” (Moro. 10:32), thus including both large and small sins. While boulders surely block our way, loose gravel slows discipleship, too. Even a small stone can become a stumbling block. — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, May 1995, p. 66
Gross sins arise ominously and steadily out of the swamp of self-indulgence and self-pity. But the smaller sins breed there, too, like insects in the mud, including the coarsening of language. But why should we expect those who “mind the things of the flesh” to mind their tongues? (Rom. 8:5) — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, May 1995, p. 67
No one, however clever, bypasses the “due reward of our deeds.” There are dark, deep corners, locked rooms, isolated spots, but no act, good or bad; no thought, ugly or beautiful, ever escapes being seen or heard. Every one will make the imprint on the individual and be recorded, to be met and paid for. Hence, one only deceives himself to think he is “getting by” with anything improper. (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p. 155) — Book of Mormon Student Manual, p. 16
Some may feel they are too intelligent or sophisticated to be influenced by the craftiness of Satan. What a tragic miscalculation. — Elder H. David Burton, Ensign, May 1994, p. 68
I am convinced that we must impress upon the Latter-day Saints the awfulness of sin rather than to content ourselves with merely teaching repentance. — President Harold B. Lee
Prevention is far, far better than redemption. — President Spencer W. Kimball
Brethren, I do not wish to be negative. But I lift a warning voice to all, men and boys, to shun sin. Transgression is incompatible with divine authority. Avoid pornography as you would avoid the plague. Avoid sexual sin of any degree or kind. Shun dishonesty and deceit. I plead with you to rein in any element of pride or vain ambition. I ask you to look into yourselves to see that there is no attitude of dominion or compulsion over your wives or your children. . . .” — President Gordon B. Hinckley, address given at Priesthood Commemoration Fireside in Salt Lake City, Utah, May 3, 1992
There are carefully charted on the maps of the opposition the weak spots in every one of us. They are known to the forces of evil, and just the moment we lower the defense of any one of those ports, that becomes the D Day of our invasion and our souls are in danger. . . . Prayer is the means we have of communicating with our Heavenly Father. We are not capable of overcoming Satan by ourselves. – President Harold B. Lee, Conference Report, September 30, 1949, p. 56
In recent times, those individuals and institutions that have had the courage to stand up and speak out against adultery, dishonesty, violence, and gambling, and other forms of evil are often held up to ridicule. Many things are just plain and simply wrong, whether they are illegal or not. — Elder James E. Faust, Ensign, May 1992, p. 6
Mental health and moral health are identical, and the only way today’s suffering, struggling, anxious society can hope to prevent ills is by recognizing the reality of sin. (Dr. Karl Menninger, author of Whatever Became of Sin?) — President Thomas S. Monson, BYU address, March 7, 1993
As difficult as a physical captivity or prison is, there are other captivities or prisons even more devastating. They are very subtle and take various forms in life, like (1) taking advantage of another; (2) bearing false witness to get gain; (3) knowing things to be true and not defending them; (4) stealing the morality of another; (5) destroying the innocence of a little child; (6) being captive to alcohol or drugs; (7) or financially digging a pit for another, causing hardship and destroying his ability to take care of his needs and so on. There are many prisons which come from our sins or the sins of others “according to the captivity and power of the devil” (2 Nephi 2:27) who leads us away. — Elder James M. Paramore, Ensign, November 1992, p. 9
Few things extinguish the fervor of the Holy Spirit in the heart of any individual more quickly than does sin. It dulls the spiritual senses, diminishes confidence and personal security, and separates the sinner from the Savior. One who carries the burden of unrepented sin is more likely to rationalize additional disobedience. The more sin is rationalized, the greater the possibility of destruction by Satan’s wolves. . . .
The simple fact is this: anything that does not draw us closer to God takes us away from Him. We have no middle ground, no foggy gray area where we can sin a little without suffering spiritual decline. — Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, Ensign, November 1992, p. 36
Elder Dallin H. Oaks discussed the difference between sins and mistakes at BYU Education Week. “Both can hurt us and both require attention, but the scriptures direct a different treatment. Chewing on a live electrical cord or diving headfirst into water of uncertain depth are mistakes that should be made known that they can be corrected. Violations of the commandments of God are sins that require chastening and repentance. In the treatment process we should not require repentance for mistakes, but we are commanded to preach the necessity of repentance for sins.
“…Applying that fact to the question of sins and mistakes, I would say that a wrong choice in the contest between what is good and what is bad is a sin, but a poor choice among things that are good, better, and best is merely a mistake.” — Elder Dallin H. Oaks, 1994 BYU Education Week, Church News, August 27, 1994, p. 6
Nothing is so much calculated to lead people to forsake sin as to take them by the hand and watch over them with tenderness. When persons manifest the least kindness and love to me, O what power it has over my mind, while the opposite course has a tendency to harrow up all the harsh feelings and depress the human mind.” — Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 5:23-24, 517
Being easily offended is a prideful and selfish thing. — Ed Pinegar, 1994 BYU Women’s Conference
The murderer, by terminating an individual’s earthly experience, sins grievously against the person he has killed. Those who murder steal the precious gift of mortal experience from another and set themselves in open opposition to God, the giver of life.
Further, murderers place themselves in a position where it is impossible to ask forgiveness of the one sinned against or to make restitution – at least in this life. So grievous is the act that the Prophet Joseph Smith said murderers “cannot be forgiven, until they have paid the last farthing.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 189) — Arthur R. Bassett, “Thou Shalt Not Kill,” Ensign, August 1994, pp. 27-28
All the Lord has called us to do is to renovate our own hearts, then our families, extending the principles to neighborhoods, to the earth we occupy, and so continue until we drive the power of Satan from the earth and Satan to his own place. That is the work Jesus is engaged in, and we will be co-workers with him. Do not suppose that we shall ever int he flesh be free from temptations to sin. Some suppose that they can in the flesh be sanctified body and spirit and become so pure that they will never again feel the effects of the power of the adversary of truth. Were it possible for a person to attain to this degree of perfection in the flesh, he could not die neither remain in a world where sin predominates. Sin has entered into the world, and death by sin. I think we shall more or less feel the effects of sin so long as we live, and finally have to pass the ordeals of death. (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 10:173) — Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual, p. 41
Our body is an instrument, and was created for divine purposes. To use it in any other way is contrary to God’s plan. Jeffrey R. Holland, when president of Brigham Young University, said: “The purchase price for our fullness of joy – body and spirit eternally united – is the pure and innocent blood of the Savior of this world. We cannot then say in ignorance or defiance, ‘Well, it’s my life,’ or worse yet, ‘It’s my body.’ It is not. ‘Ye are not your own,’ Paul said. ‘Ye are bought with a price.’ So in answer, ‘Why does God care so much about sexual transgression?’ it is partly because of the precious gift offered by and through his Only Begotten Son to redeem the souls – bodies and spirits – we too often share and abuse in cheap and tawdry ways.” — Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “Of Souls, Symbols, and Sacraments,” 1987-88 Devotional and Fireside Speeches, p. 79
Few things extinguish the fervor of the Holy Spirit in the heart of any individual more quickly than does sin. It dulls the spiritual senses, diminishes confidence and personal security, and separates the sinner from the Savior. One who carries the burden of unrepented sin is more likely to rationalize additional disobedience. The more sin is rationalized, the greater the possibility of destruction by Satan’s wolves.
Few would argue the potential spiritual risk of major sins like murder or marital infidelity. But what about the person who uses an employer’s time to complete personal projects, the person who sneaks into a pornographic movie, the student who cheats at school, the person who criticizes others unfairly, or the parent who thinks family home evening is a good idea-for someone else?
The simple fact is this: anything that does not draw us closer to God takes us away from Him. We have no middle ground, no foggy gray area where we can sin a little without suffering spiritual decline. That is why we must repent and come to Christ daily on submissive knees so that we can prevent our bonfires of testimony from being snuffed out by sin. — Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Spiritual Bonfires Of Testimony,” Ensign, November 1992 p. 36
The carnal pleasures cannot finally deliver. In fact, there is a scripture in the Book of Mormon declaring that the adversary lets his followers down at the last day (see Alma 30:60). He can’t finally deliver. It is Jesus who is the Great Deliverer! — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, “Brim with Joy,” BYU Devotional, January 23, 1996
One of the evils of our time is taking for granted so many of the things we enjoy. This was spoken of by the Lord: “For what doth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receive not the gift?” (D&C 88:33). The Apostle Paul described our day to Timothy when he wrote that in the last days “men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy” (2 Timothy 3:2). These sins are fellow travelers, and ingratitude makes one susceptible to all of them. — Elder James E. Faust, Ensign, May 1990, p. 85
In the case of spiritual death, we must remember that our state of being separated from God in mortality is only partially due to Adam’s transgression. We are born mortal, away from the presence of God, because of the Fall. But once we become accountable and yield to temptation we are responsible for our own state of uncleanness. In other words, we are then to blame for maintaining our state of alienation or spiritual death. (2 Nephi 9:13-16) — Book of Mormon Student Manual, Rel. 121 and 121, p. 29
We cannot say we will sow a few wild oats in our youth or that we will just dabble a little around the fringes of sin. There are no fringes of sin. Every act, good or bad, has a consequence. Every good act improves our ability to do good and more firmly stand against sin or failure. Every transgression, regardless of how minor, makes us more susceptible to Satan’s influence the next time he tempts us. Satan takes us an inch at a time, deceiving us as to the consequences of so-called minor sins until he captures us in major transgressions. Nephi describes this technique as one of pacifying, lulling, and flattering us away until Satan “grasps us with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance” (2 Ne. 28:22; see also 2 Ne. 28:21). There are no fringes of sin. We are constantly shooting our foul shots, and the basket is either getting bigger or, as Satan would have it, smaller. Our confidence is either waxing strong in the Lord or waxing strong in Satan. . . . — Elder Richard C. Edgley, “That Thy Confidence Wax Strong,” Ensign, November 1994, p. 41
Our behavior in public must be above reproach. Our behavior in private is even more important. It must clear the standard set by the Lord. — President Gordon B. Hinckley, “Personal Worthiness to Exercise the Priesthood,” General Conference, April 2002
The contrast between a sin and a transgression reminds us of the careful wording in the second article of faith: “We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.” It also echoes a familiar distinction in the law. Some acts, like murder, are crimes because they are inherently wrong. Other acts, like operating without a license, are crimes only because they are legally prohibited. Under these distinctions, the act that produced the Fall was not a sin – inherently wrong – but a transgression – wrong because it was formally prohibited. These words are not always used to denote something different, but this distinction seems meaningful in the circumstances of the Fall.” (Dallin H. Oaks, Conference Report, Oct. 1993, 98; Ensign, Nov. 1993, 73) — The Pearl of Great Price Student Manual, p. 13
God is truly loving and kind. Part of his pattern is to help us use our gift of free agency, but his pattern does not condone sin. When we abuse our agency to choose a life-style contrary to revealed patterns, we must live with the consequences. Our unwillingness to follow the true and tested patterns given for our happiness causes the individual, family, and friends heartaches and ultimate disaster. Our freedom to choose our course of conduct does not provide personal freedom from the consequences of our performances. God’s love for us is constant and will not diminish, but he cannot rescue us from the painful results that are caused by wrong choices.
It is no secret that Satan wages open war with the truth and all those who live righteous lives. He deceives with skill and effectiveness even his own followers. He would have us give up, quit, rebel when setbacks come. Sometimes in life when we are committed to and are following proper patterns, we experience heavy bumps and anxious hours. Many times true winners in life are those who have been hurt and disappointed but have risen above these challenges. Very often in life, God gives us difficulties to bring out the best in us. It is true, life does not determine winners. Winners determine life. — Elder Marvin J. Ashton, “A Pattern in All Things,” Ensign, November 1990, p. 20
Of apostates who had committed the unpardonable sin, the Prophet Joseph Smith said: “When a man begins to be an enemy to this work, he hunts me, he seeks to kill me, and never ceases to thirst for my blood. He gets the spirit of the devil – the same spirit that they had who crucified the Lord of Life – the same spirit that sins against the Holy Ghost.” (Teachings, p. 358)
People do not come to such a state in a moment. Elder Joseph Fielding Smith described the path that some follow, which would cause them to hate God and his servants: “The change of heart does not come all at once, but is due to transgression in some form, which continues to lurk in the soul without repentance, until the Holy Ghost withdraws, and then that man is left to spiritual darkness. Sin begets sin, the darkness grows until the love of truth turns to hatred and the love of God is overcome by the wicked desire to destroy all that is just and true. In this way Christ is put to open shame, and blasphemy exalted.” (Instructor, Oct. 1935, p. 432)
Some people have placed themselves outside the redemptive powers of Christ (see Hebrews 6:4-9; 10:26-29; Matthew 12:31-32). They cannot partake of his mercy because they cannot incline themselves to repent, having totally lost the spirit of God. Their sin “is an offense so heinous that the sinner is unable to repent; and this is what makes his case hopeless. If he could repent, he could be forgiven; but being incapable of repentance, he cannot be reached by the pardoning power.” (Orson F. Whitney, Improvement Era, March 1920, p. 413) — Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual, p. 161
There is also an age-old excuse: “The devil made me do it.” Not so! He can deceive you and mislead you, but he does not have the power to force you or anyone else to transgress or to keep you in transgression. — President Boyd K. Packer, “Cleansing the Inner Vessel,” Ensign, October 2010
The infidel will impart infidelity to his children if he can. The whoremonger will not raise a pure, righteous posterity. He will impart seeds of disease and misery, if not of death and destruction, upon his offspring, which will continue upon his children and descend to his children’s children to the third and fourth generation. It is perfectly natural that the children should inherit from their fathers, and if they sow the seeds of corruption, crime and loathsome disease, their children will reap the fruits thereof. Not in accordance with God’s wishes for His wish is that men will not sin and therefore will not transmit the consequences of their sin to their children, but that they will keep His commandments, and be free from sin and from entailing the effects of sin upon their offspring; but inasmuch as men will not hearken unto the Lord, but will become a law unto themselves, and will commit sin they will justly reap the consequences of their own iniquity, and will naturally impart its fruits to their children to the third and fourth generation. (President Joseph F. Smith, in Conference Report, Oct. 1912, p. 9; see also D&C 124:50.) — Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual, p. 297
(Joshua 24:21-33) There are powerful spiritual lessons for modern Saints in the account of Achan and Israel’s defeat at Ai. First, the story shows the effect of individual sin on the whole community. No one sins in isolation. We cannot say that our actions influence only ourselves for even if we do something sinful that is completely personal, our individual loss of spiritual power means a lessening of power for all mankind and contributes to the withdrawal of the Lord’s Spirit, and that is damaging to all mankind. — Old Testament Student Manuel, p. 243
It would be easier to exercise self-mastery in the face of sin if the bad effects of sin were instantaneous. But they are not. Further, it is an illusion that sin always appears to the mind to be ugly, vile, and repulsive. Consider this insight from Elder Spencer W. Kimball: “Whoever said that sin was not fun? Whoever claimed that Lucifer was not handsome, persuasive, easy, friendly? Sin is attractive and desirable. Transgression wears elegant gowns and sparkling apparel. It is highly perfumed; it has attractive features, a soft voice. It is found in educated circles and sophisticated groups. It provides sweet and comfortable luxuries. Sin is easy and has a big company of pleasant companions. It promises immunity from restrictions, temporary freedoms. It can momentarily satisfy hunger, thirst, desire, urges, passions, wants without immediately paying the price. But, it begins tiny and grows to monumental proportions – drop by drop, inch by inch.” (Faith Precedes the Miracle, p. 229) — Old Testament Student Manuel, p. 264
The Lord has warned in modern times, “But unto that soul who sinneth [after the Lord has forgiven him] shall the former sins return” (D&C 82:7). — Doctrine and Covenants
Do not take comfort in the fact that your transgressions are not known by others. That is like the ostrich with his head buried in the sand. He sees only darkness and feels comfortably hidden. In reality he is ridiculously conspicuous. Likewise our every act is seen by our Father in Heaven and His Beloved Son. They know everything about us….
If you have seriously transgressed, you will not find any lasting satisfaction or comfort in what you have done. Excusing transgression with a cover-up may appear to fix the problem, but it does not. The tempter is intent on making public your most embarrassing acts at the most harmful time. Lies weave a pattern that is ever more confining and becomes a trap that Satan will spring to your detriment. — Elder Richard G. Scott, General Conference, April 1995
One of the most common of all sins among worldly people is relying on and then boasting in the arm of flesh. This is a most serious evil. It is a sin born of pride, a sin that creates a frame of mind which keeps men from turning to the Lord and accepting his saving grace. When a man knowingly or unknowingly engages in self-exultation because of his riches, his political power, his worldly learning, his physical prowess, his business ability, or even his works of righteousness, he is not in tune with the Spirit of the Lord. . . . The many admonitions in the scriptures to avoid boasting send the message that we should realize the source of all our blessings. Everything is given by God. All talent, creativity, ability, insight, and strength comes from him. In our own strength we can do nothing. . . . When we seek the praise of man more than the praise of God, it will become easy to fall. — Elder Marvin J. Ashton, Conference Report, April 1990, pp. 84-85
I will put my own definition to the term sanctification, and say it consists in overcoming every sin and bringing all into subjection to the law of Christ. God has placed in us a pure spirit; when this reigns predominant, without let or hindrance, and triumphs over the flesh and rules and governs and controls as the Lord controls the heavens and the earth, this I call the blessing of sanctification.
Will sin be perfectly destroyed? No, it will not, for it is not so designed in the economy of Heaven. All the Lord has called us to do is to renovate our own hearts, then our families, extending the principles to neighborhoods, to the earth we occupy, and so continue until we drive the power of Satan from the earth and Satan to his own place. That is the work Jesus is engaged in, and we will be co-workers with him.
Do not suppose that we shall ever in the flesh be free from temptations to sin. Some suppose that they can in the flesh be sanctified body and spirit and become so pure that they will never again feel the effects of the power of the adversary of truth. Were it possible for a person to attain to this degree of perfection in the flesh, he could not die neither remain in a world where sin predominates. Sin has entered into the world, and death by sin. I think we shall more or less feel the effects of sin so long as we live, and finally have to pass the ordeals of death. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 10:173
Wisdom comes through effort. All good things require effort. That which is worth having will cost part of your physical being, your intellectual power and your soul power – “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” (Matt. 7:7) But you have to seek, you have to knock. On the other hand, sin thrusts itself upon you. It walks beside you, it tempts you, it entices, it allures. You do not have to put forth effort. It is like the poor, fallen woman who lies in wait to deceive. It is like the billboard advertising attracting you to drink and to smoke. It is like the message that comes into your very homes with the television and radio or the golden packet put right into your hand. Evil seeks you, and it requires effort and fortitude to combat it. But truth and wisdom are gained only by seeking, by prayer, and by effort. —President David O. McKay, Conference Report, October 1965, p. 145
In teaching the Saints not to accuse one another, the Prophet said, “What many people call sin is not sin” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith, , 193). I believe that the large category of actions that are mistakes rather than sins illustrates the truth of that statement. If we would be more understanding of one another’s mistakes, being satisfied merely to correct and not to chasten or call to repentance, we would surely promote loving and living together in greater peace and harmony. — Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “Sins and Mistakes,” Ensign, October 1996, p. 62
Nothing is so much calculated to lead people to forsake sin as to take them by the hand, and watch over them with tenderness. When persons manifest the least kindness and love to me, O what power it has over my mind, while the opposite course has a tendency to harrow up all the harsh feelings and depress the human mind. . . .
. . .There should be no license for sin, but mercy should go hand in hand with reproof” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 240–41). — Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “Sins and Mistakes,” Ensign, October 1996, p. 62
It is up to us. Therein lies life’s greatest and most persistent challenge. Thus when people are described as “having lost their desire for sin,” it is they, and they only, who deliberately decided to lose those wrong desires by being willing to “give away all [their] sins” in order to know God (Alma 22:18). — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, “According to the Desire of [Our] Hearts,” Ensign, November 1996, p. 22
It was understood from the beginning that in mortality we would fall short of being perfect. It was not expected that we would live without transgressing one law or another.
“For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord.” (Mosiah 3:19) . . . .
If you have made no mistakes, then you do not need the Atonement. If you have made mistakes, and all of us have, whether minor or serious, then you have an enormous need to find out how they can be erased so that you are no longer in darkness.
President Joseph F. Smith taught: “Men cannot forgive their own sins; they cannot cleanse themselves from the consequences of their sins. Men can stop sinning and can do right in the future, and so far [as] their acts are acceptable before the Lord [become] worthy of consideration. But who shall repair the wrongs they have done to themselves and to others, which it seems impossible for them to repair themselves? By the atonement of Jesus Christ the sins of the repentant shall be washed away; though they be crimson they shall be made white as wool [see Isaiah 1:18]. This is the promise given to you.” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith , 99-100)
We do not know exactly how the Lord accomplished the Atonement. But we do know that the cruel torture of crucifixion was only part of the horrific pain which began in Gethsemane – that sacred site of suffering – and was completed on Golgotha. . . . — Elder Boyd K. Packer, “The Atonement,” Ensign, November 2012
Throughout your life there may be times when you have gone places you never should have gone and done things you never should have done. If you will turn away from sin, you will be able one day to know the peace that comes from following the pathway of complete repentance.
No matter what our transgressions have been, no matter how much our actions may have hurt others, that guilt can all be wiped out. To me, perhaps the most beautiful phrase in all scripture is when the Lord said, “Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more.” (D&C 58:42)
That is the promise of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Atonement: to take anyone who comes, anyone who will join, and put them through an experience so that at the end of their life, they can go through the veil having repented of their sins and having been washed clean through the blood of Christ. (See Revelation 1:5.) — Elder Boyd K. Packer, “The Atonement,” Ensign, November 2012
Darkness and sin were permitted to come on this earth. Man partook of the forbidden fruit in accordance with a plan devised from eternity, that mankind might be brought in contact with the principles and powers of darkness, that they might know the bitter and the sweet, the good and the evil, and be able to discern between light and darkness, to enable them to receive light continually. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 7:158
Paul asks, “Shall we sin that righteousness may abound?” No, there is plenty of sin without your sinning. We can have all the experience we need, without sinning ourselves, therefore we will not sin that good may come, we will not transgress the law of God that we may know the opposite. There is no necessity for such a course, for the world is full of transgression, and this people need not mingle up with it. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 268-69[The Lord has said]: “I cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance;” not with the least degree of allowance [D&C 1:31]. Why? Because He knows that if we partake of sin we lose a blessing that we would enjoy if we did not forsake the pathway that leads to that blessing. — Teachings of Presidents of the Church: George Albert Smith, p. 192