This week I have been studying a lot about repentance.
Real repentance must involve faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, faith that He can change us, faith that He can forgive us, and faith that He will help us avoid more mistakes. This kind of faith makes His Atonement effective in our lives. When we “perceive afterwards” and “turn around” with the Savior’s help, we can feel hope in His promises and the joy of forgiveness. Without the Redeemer, the inherent hope and joy evaporate, and repentance becomes simply miserable behavior modification. But by exercising faith in Him, we become converted to His ability and willingness to forgive sin.
I am so grateful for the ability to repent. I spent quite a few years doing so many things that I later regretted. There was so much freedom from guilt and shame in the repentance process for me.
The fact that we can repent is the good news of the gospel! Guilt can be “swept away.” We can be filled with joy, receive a remission of our sins, and have “peace of conscience.” We can be freed from feelings of despair and the bondage of sin. We can be filled with the marvelous light of God and be “pained no more.” Repentance is not only possible but also joyful because of our Savior
I also watched “Repentance” by Elder Neal A Maxwell from October 1991.
Repentance is a rescuing, not a dour doctrine. It is available to the gross sinner as well as to the already-good individual striving for incremental improvement.
I am learning that as I work on growing into the person that I know Heavenly Father wants me to be I need to seek repentance on a daily basis. Not because of major sin, but because I am striving to overcome the tendencies of the natural man. I desire to be meek, but it’s hard to be completely meek every day, so I repent each night and try again in the new day. The same thing is true with me with practicing Charity (the pure love of Christ), true patience and many other characteristic of my Savior that I strive to apply in my daily life.
I have stated many times that I am so grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the repentance that comes with it. Without that I could be as sorry as I wanted and it wouldn’t matter. It is because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ that I can learn from my mistakes and not be condemned by them!
Repentance exists as an option only because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It is His infinite sacrifice that “bringeth about means unto men that they may have faith unto repentance” (Alma 34:15). Repentance is the necessary condition, and the grace of Christ is the power by which “mercy can satisfy the demands of justice” (Alma 34:16). Our witness is this:
“We know that justification [or forgiveness of sins] through the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is just and true;
“And we know also, that sanctification [or purification from the effects of sin] through the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is just and true, to all those who love and serve God with all their mights, minds, and strength” (D&C 20:30–31).
I am working diligently daily now to turn my life to Heavenly Father. I work diligently to live the commandment. I do my best daily. But, because of this human condition, I don’t always succeed. So I am so grateful that I can utilize the repentance that is possible because of the Savior.
I want to let you know that I believe in the Atonement of Jesus Christ! I know that through His love and sacrifice I can be forgiven. Not only that, but through his Grace, I can move through this life improving line upon line, precept upon precept. I am so much better than I use to be and I look forward to becoming an increasingly better and better person. I look forward to learning more about the character of Christ and learing to apply those things in my life on a daily basis.