“February 28. What Does It Mean to Repent? Doctrine and Covenants 18–19,” Come, Follow Me—For Aaronic Priesthood Quorums and Young Women Classes: Doctrinal Topics 2021 (2020)
“February 28. What Does It Mean to Repent?” Come, Follow Me—For Aaronic Priesthood Quorums and Young Women Classes: Doctrinal Topics 2021
At the beginning of the meeting, repeat together the Young Women Theme or the Aaronic Priesthood Quorum Theme. Then lead a discussion about the work of salvation and exaltation using one or more of the questions below or questions of your own (see General Handbook, 10.2, 11.2, ChurchofJesusChrist.org). Plan ways to act on what you discuss.
Live the gospel. What topics has the bishopric discussed in our ward youth council meetings? What can we do as a class or quorum based on those discussions?
Care for those in need. How can we reach out to people in Christlike ways when we see a need and don’t know what to say?
Invite all to receive the gospel. What have we found in the gospel of Jesus Christ that brings us joy? How can we share that joy with others?
Unite families for eternity. What are we doing to find names of our ancestors who need temple ordinances? What can we do to help others find the names of their ancestors?
At the end of the lesson, as appropriate, do the following:
Testify of the principles taught.
Remind quorum or class members about the plans and invitations made during the meeting.
It is hard to read Doctrine and Covenants 19:16–19 and not feel the Savior’s love for us. In these verses, He described the suffering He experienced as He atoned for our sins and revealed why He was willing to suffer so greatly—“that [we] might not suffer if [we] would repent.” Repentance is a blessing made possible by the Savior. It is a constant, daily effort to turn away from sin and turn to God. It is part of Heavenly Father’s plan to help us return to Him. Understanding how to repent can help us be cleansed of our sins, change our hearts and minds, and draw closer to God.
How has repentance helped you come closer to Heavenly Father? How can you help those you teach desire to repent? How can you help them see that repentance is a daily effort and not just reserved for serious sins? As you prepare to teach, consider studying President Russell M. Nelson’s message “We Can Do Better and Be Better” (Ensign or Liahona, May 2019, 67–69).
All prophets since the beginning have called upon people to repent. However, perhaps no invitation to repent is as poignant as the Savior’s found in Doctrine and Covenants 19:15–19, which the youth may have read this week. You might ask them what they learn about the Savior from these verses. What do these verses say about the importance of repentance in the Lord’s eyes? The following ideas can help those you teach see repentance as a daily blessing in their lives.
To help quorum or class members understand how repentance blesses their lives, you could begin by asking these questions: How do I know if my efforts to repent are working? How will the Savior help me change? In addition to forgiveness of sin, what other blessings come from repentance? Invite class members to read one or more of the scriptures in “Supporting Resources,” looking for answers to the questions. What did they find? As part of this discussion, you could show the video “Repentance: A Joyful Choice” (ChurchofJesusChrist.org).
Many young people misunderstand what it means to repent. They may dread repentance or think it applies only to serious sins. To help correct this misunderstanding, you could invite quorum or class members to study part of President Russell M. Nelson’s message “We Can Do Better and Be Better” (Ensign or Liahona, May 2019, 67–69), looking for phrases that help them understand what it means to repent. What did they find that helped them think about repentance in a new way? What blessings did President Nelson promise to those who repent?
How can you help those you teach understand why and how we repent? President Dallin H. Oaks’s message “Cleansed by Repentance” (Ensign or Liahona, May 2019, 91–94) could help. You could divide the quorum or class into four groups and assign each group to read one of the four sections of President Oaks’s talk. Each group could then present a summary of what they read to the other groups, along with any scriptures from the message that support what they learned. You could conclude by asking quorum or class members to share their testimonies of the importance of repentance in God’s plan.
Encourage quorum or class members to ponder and record what they will do to act on the impressions they received today. How does today’s lesson relate to personal goals they have made? If they would like, quorum or class members could share their ideas.
Doctrine and Covenants 18:10–16 (Repentance brings joy)
“Repentance,” in For the Strength of Youth (2011), 28–29
“Repentance through the Atonement of Jesus Christ,” in chapter 3 of Preach My Gospel (2019), 62–63
“Repentance Is a Blessing to All of Us,” “Atonement—Not a One-Time Thing” (videos), ChurchofJesusChrist.org