Some people are harder on themselves than the Lord is. Of course, we must repent to be eligible for the cleansing and forgiving powers of the Atonement, but once we have repented, there is no such thing as a spotted repenter in God’s kingdom.
There is no black mark on our right ankle that says “2008 sin” or brown stain behind our left ear that says “2010 trespass.” The Lord declared the comprehensive cleansing power of the Atonement when He said, “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18). That is the miracle of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
On some occasions I believe our sins are cleansed before the guilt goes away. Why is that? Perhaps in God’s mercy, the memory of that guilt is a warning, a spiritual “stop sign” that cries out when similar temptations confront us: “Don’t go down that road. You know the pain it can bring.” Perhaps for those in the process of repenting, it is meant to be a protection, not a punishment.
How Do I Know When I Am Forgiven? By Elder Tad R. Callister Of the Presidency of the Seventy, Liahona Aug. 2012 ¬