“Repentance,” The Gospel of Jesus Christ (2005)
“Repentance,” The Gospel
Faith in Jesus Christ leads you to want to change your life for the better. As you study the gospel, you recognize that you have sinned, or acted against the will and teachings of God. Through repentance, you change those thoughts, desires, habits, and actions that are not in harmony with God’s teachings. He promises that when you repent, He will forgive your sins. When you repent you:
Recognize that you have sinned and feel sincere sorrow for what you have done.
Stop doing what is wrong, and strive never to do it again.
Confess your sins to the Lord and ask for forgiveness. Doing so relieves a heavy burden. If you have sinned against another person, you also ask that person for forgiveness.
Make restitution. You do all you can to correct the problems your actions may have caused.
Keep the commandments. Obeying God’s commandment brings the power of the gospel into your life. The gospel will give you strength to abandon your sins. Keeping the commandments includes giving service, forgiving others, and attending Church meetings.
Acknowledge the Savior. The most important part of repentance is the realization that forgiveness comes because of Jesus Christ. Sometimes you may have felt that God will not forgive serious sins. But the Savior suffered for our sins so they can be put behind us, even the serious ones. The result of true repentance is forgiveness, peace, comfort, and joy.
Repentance does not always mean making big changes. Often it simply requires an increased commitment to live according to God’s will. True repentance does not always happen quickly; be patient with yourself as you strive to do what is right and correct mistakes you make. As you repent, you will experience a change of heart. You will no longer desire to sin. You will come to know that you are a child of God and that you need not continue making the same mistakes over and over. Your desire to follow God will grow stronger and deeper.