It is difficult at any time to imagine people who are perfect, and the majority of religions that have survived offer a mechanism to help people find forgiveness for their sins. This allows them an opportunity to be able to enter the next life with the possibility of being able to ascend to a paradisiacal existence even if they have broken the rules of their religion. The concept of forgiveness is easy enough, but there are many different ways to achieve it, and it all depends upon the beliefs of each religion as to how a person can satisfy the deity so they can enter their own version of paradise.
Confession is often a large part of the forgiveness of sins, and it is a widely held belief that acknowledging a sin to a deity is an important part of the process. Some religions offer a person to confess to on this plane of existence, but others hold that a person needs only speak directly to their deity. Each of these has in common the fact that the person must freely make the choice to acknowledge they have broken the rules before they can receive forgiveness.
After a person confesses, there are several different paths they might travel before they are completely forgiven for breaking the rules and committing sins. In some religions, they need only confess what they have done to receive it. There are no burdens placed upon them to achieve their goal, and they hold the belief that they are now able to join others in the promise of paradise with no further work on their part.
Many religions hold the commission of sins to be a formidable offense, and they have handed down the belief that atonement is necessary before forgiveness will be granted. Some of them demand a series of actions based on the severity of the sin, and once a person has completed their tasks the sin will be stricken from their soul.