"Sin cannot be committed unless laws are ordained (Alma 42:17) and unless people have knowledge of those laws so that they can violate them. Adam and Eve could not commit sin while in the Garden of Eden, although laws of conduct had already been established, because the knowledge of good and evil had not yet been given them. Unless they had partaken of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil "they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin."  (2 Nephi 2:23.)  - Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, pg. 735

"We should always seek to distinguish between sins and mistakes in our own behavior and in the conduct of others. When we do so, the scriptures direct us to the proper corrective.  Sins result from willful disobedience of laws we have received by explicit teaching or by the Spirit of Christ, which teaches every man the general principles of right and wrong. For sins, the remedy is to chasten and encourage repentance.  Mistakes result from ignorance of the laws of God or the workings of the universe or people he has created. For mistakes, the remedy is to correct the mistake, not to condemn the individual. We must make every effort to avoid sin and to repent when we fall short. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ we can be forgiven of our sins through repentance and baptism and by earnestly striving to keep the commandments of God. Being cleansed from sin, receiving forgiveness, and being reconciled with God through the Atonement of Christ is the means by which we can achieve our divine destiny as children of God." - Elder Dallin H. Oaks, October 1996.


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