Thursday, December 8, 2011

Repentance

Repentence follows faith in Jesus Christ.  Repentance is necessary because “no unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of heaven” (Alma 11:37).  Because we "trust in the Lord", we change our lives to follow His commandments (Proverbs 3:5-6).

In order to change and repent, we must recognize that what we have done offends God.  We must recognize that we have sinned.  This recognition brings true remorse or "godly sorrow" (2 Corinthians 7:10).  We feel sorry not because we've been caught, but because we know that we have broken God's commandments.

We must always confess our sin to the Lord through prayer.  In cases of serious sin we should confess our sins to our local priesthood leaders.  We should seek their counsel and guidance as we strive to be clean again.

As we work towards being forgiven by God, we must seek the forgiveness of those we may have hurt by our actions.  We should seek to make restitution with them; we should repay or repair what we can.

After all this, the truly repentant person will forsake his sin and strive to never return to it or repeat it again.  "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy" (Proverbs 28:13; see also Doctrine and Covenants 58:43).

As we strive to leave our sins behind, we will need to fill our time with good things.  In order to receive and keep the strength we need to avoid and resist temptationa and sin, we should keep the commandments of God.  We should live righteously. (see Doctrine and Covenants 1:32)

We have the Lord's promise that as we sincerely repent we can be made clean.  "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." (Isaiah 1:18; see also Doctrine and Covenants 58:42)


As the prodigal son returning to his father, through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, we can return to our Father.