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JON - I need to find the scriptures that state we (children) do pay for the sins of the Fathers. I am always trying to keep the family on track. There is someone out there telling them, that because of sins committed by our Fathers (past church leaders) we have been taught wrong and we should repent. I said there is a scripture I read some time back that said. If a child, even 4 generations down sins because of the bad teachings of the fathers or sin of the fathers, then because they are unaware of that sin, the sin belongs to the father who perpetuated that sin in the 1st place leading the innocent generations from the truth. I am I right and where can I show that scripture and what do you think.

JOEL - Here's what Abinidi said in the Book of Mosiah to king Noah:
"And now, ye remember that I said unto you: Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of things which are in heaven above, or which are in the earth beneath, or which are in the water under the earth.
And again: Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them; for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquities of the fathers upon the children, unto the third and fourth generations of them that hate me;" (Mosiah 13:13. See also Exodus 20:5, Deut 5:9)

This could happen to the children if they don't turn away from those sins. The scriptures also tell us:
"But the children of the murderers he slew not: according unto that which is written in the book of the law of Moses, wherein the Lord commanded, saying, The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, nor the children be put to death for the fathers; but every man shall be put to death for his own sin." (2 Kings 14:6)

And from our own articles of faith:
"We will be punished for our own sins and not for Adam's transgression" (AofF #2)

The iniquities of the fathers being visited upon the children is also illustrated in the lives of the Lamanites. Mormon commented regarding the Lamanites:
"Now I would that ye should see that they brought upon themselves the curse; and even so doth every man that is cursed bring upon himself his own condemnation" (Alma 3:19).

The dark spirit manifested by Nephi's older brothers remained the dominant force in them all their days and infected their posterity with similar dispositions. The sins of the fathers were indeed visited on the children of Laman and Lemuel(see Jacob 3:9), not only to the third and fourth generation, but for over 500 years!

But the children of the Lamanites could escape the sins of the fathers if they wanted to:
"But behold my brethren, the Lamanites hath he hated because their deeds have been evil continually, and this because of the iniquity of the tradition of their fathers. But behold, salvation hath come unto them through the preaching of the Nephites; and for this intent hath the Lord prolonged their days." (Helaman 15:4)

Taking all these scriptures into account, we learn that if the children continue to walk in the steps of their fathers, such as with the Lamanites or idolitry as mentioned in the Mosiah scriptures, they will be visited with the judgments of the Lord. But if they listen to the word of the Lord they can escape the consequences of the sins committed by their fathers.

The explanation given as a footnote in the LDS scriptures to Exodus 20:5 is helpful. Commenting on the phrase “visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children,” the note says: “insofar as the children learn and do the sinful things the parents do; but see v. 6 concerning those who repent and serve the Lord” (Exodus 20:5 f; see also D&C 98:46–47; 124:50–52).

Verse 6: "And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments."

While it is true, as the Lord declared, that He is a “jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children” (Deuteronomy 5:9), it does not follow that we can blame our own sins upon our ancestors. We won't be punished for thier sins; only for our own sins if we don't turn away from what they taught us. We must rise above those sins and become children of God if we are given the chance to do so. I don't know of any sins committeed by our past church leaders that we need to repent for.

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