Forgiveness really is a miracle. I know that it's real.
I believe that through the Atonement of Christ, we can all receive the gift of forgiveness and be made clean, and be prepared to return home to our Father in heaven.
As a bishop I've been blessed to witness the repentance and forgiveness of many people. It's real. There is such a visible difference in the eyes of people from when they first confess a misdeed to when they have fully repented. The joy I see in those who repent is, in itself, a powerful witness to me of the reality and truthfulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The discernment and insight I receive through the rights and keys of the office of bishop is likewise a powerful witness to me of the truthfulness of the Restoration, and of the power in the priesthood.
A few months ago I was studying the scriptures about forgiveness and I went online to search for a scripture. I came across a presentation on the topic of forgiveness that someone up at BYU-Idaho had put together. I was pumped because it had tons of scriptures and quotes and it was all pre-packaged just waiting for me to find it. It's a great resource.
Since then I've referred to it a few times and drawn from it to share with others. Last night idea dawned on me that I could put it on Goggle Docs and embed it here so that it could be more easily accessed by others. So here it is below. Enjoy.
If you're currently seeking forgiveness and having a hard time with it, part of your problem might be something I've noticed among those I counsel with. It seems that specificity and the direct request for forgiveness are sometimes forgotten in our prayers of repentance. You might ponder whether this is true in your case. When we pray specifically we get specific results. For the sake of clarity, with some I've even given some sample words: "I did _(sin)_. I know that was wrong because _(reasons)_. I hate the fact that I did that. I know it is offensive to Thee. Please forgive me."
Our prayers can thereafter include a testimony of the Savior's Atonement, an expression of faith somewhat like the Brother of Jared's words: "Behold, O Lord, thou canst do this." In fact, the first five verses of Ether chapter 3 give a great model for faithful prayers of any type.