"Unfortunately, many Latter-day Saints today continue to carry the burden of past sins because they refuse to forgive themselves. President Howard W. Hunter (1907–95) observed: “It has always struck me as being sad that those among us who would not think of reprimanding our neighbor, much less a total stranger, for mistakes that have been made or weaknesses that might be evident, will nevertheless be cruel and unforgiving to themselves. When the scriptures say to judge righteously, that means with fairness and compassion and charity. That’s how we must judge ourselves. We need to be patient and forgiving of ourselves, just as we must be patient and forgiving of others.”3
Apparently, many individuals do not understand the importance of self-forgiveness in the process of repentance. The Lord, however, makes no exceptions when He declares, “I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men” (D&C 64:10; emphasis added). This includes forgiving ourselves.
Without doubt, Satan uses this refusal to forgive ourselves as a means of enslaving us by turning past sins into addictions. He tempts some, for example, to believe that if they make themselves suffer enough, they will not return to the sin. This often leads, however, to self-loathing or self-abuse.
Satan tempts others to judge themselves harshly and to believe they don’t deserve to be forgiven, even when the Lord is willing to forgive them. Such individuals continue to dwell on their transgressions and mistakes, remembering the details and thus increasing the danger of repeating them. According to President Boyd K. Packer, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Preoccupation with unworthy behavior can lead to unworthy behavior.”4
People trapped in this cycle of sin, self-condemnation, and further sin, tend to become discouraged. Satan also uses discouragement to create addictions. A discouraged individual will be tempted to stop trying or to seek solace in more sin. In contrast, the Savior beckons us forward with the promise that we can become free from the chains of sin as we fully repent and forgive ourselves."
"Forgetting is part of forgiving. But forgiving oneself involves a special kind of forgetting. We don’t forget the sin and its effects; rather, the memory ceases to be part of how we see ourselves. For example, when Alma had been forgiven of his sins, he said, “I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more” (Alma 36:19). The fact that he could describe his repentance to his son Helaman showed that a memory was still there. But through Christ’s Atonement and forgiveness, that memory lost its edge of guilt and self-recrimination."