strtoupper('“I') Have Repented of My Sins, and Have Been Redeemed and Born Again”

Born of God or “born again” refers to the personal spiritual experience in which repentant individuals receive a forgiveness of sins and a witness from God that if they continue to live the commandments and endure to the end, they will inherit eternal life. The scriptures teach that just as each individual is “born into the world by water, and blood, and the spirit,” so must one be “born again” of water and the Spirit and be cleansed by the blood of Christ (John 3:5; Moses 6:59). To be born of God implies a sanctifying process by which the old or natural man is supplanted by the new spiritual man who enjoys the companionship of the Holy Ghost and hence is no longer disposed to commit sin (see Colossians 3:9–10; Mosiah 3:19; TPJS, 51). When individuals are born again they are spiritually begotten sons and daughters of God and more specifically of Jesus Christ (see Mosiah 5:7; 27:25). The Book of Mormon prophet Alma calls this inner transformation a “mighty change in your hearts” (Alma 5:14). Enos relates that after “mighty prayer and supplication” the Lord declared that his sins had been forgiven (Enos 1:1–8). After King Benjamin’s discourse, the people said that the Spirit had “wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts,” and that they had “no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually” (Mosiah 5:2).

Of his conversion experience, Alma the Younger says, “Nevertheless, after wading through much tribulation, repenting nigh unto death, the Lord in mercy hath seen fit to snatch me out of an everlasting burning, and I am born of God” (Mosiah 27:28). Persons who have experienced this mighty change manifest attitudinal and behavioral changes. Feeling their hearts riveted to the Lord, their obedience extends beyond performance of duty. President Harold B. Lee taught, “Conversion must mean more than just being a ‘card-carrying’ member of the Church with a tithing receipt, a membership card, a temple recommend, etc. It means to overcome the tendencies to criticize and to strive continually to improve inward weaknesses and not merely the outward appearances” (“The Iron Rod,” Ensign, June 1971, 8). (Ed J. Pinegar, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 1–4 vols. ed. Daniel H. Ludlow [New York: Macmillan, 1992], 218–219)

Ed J. Pinegar, Richard J. Allen -

Ed J. Pinegar, Richard J. Allen

Commentaries and Insights on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 1