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Repentance

In Mormon doctrine, repentance is “a change of mind and heart that brings a fresh attitude toward God, oneself, and life in general. Repentance implies that a person turns away from evil and turns his heart and will to God, submitting to God’s commandments and desires and forsaking sin. True repentance comes from a love for God and a sincere desire to obey his commandments. All accountable persons have sinned and must repent in order to progress toward salvation. Only through the atonement of Jesus Christ can our repentance become effective and accepted by God” (LDS Guide to the Scriptures, lds.org).

Steps of Repentance

1.         Feel Godly Sorrow
*          This includes recognizing that you’ve committed a sin
*          Must include true sorrow for what you’ve done and for any pain you may have caused others because of your sin

2.         Confess to God
*          Pray and be honest with Heavenly Father about what you have done
*          If the sin is serious, you will need to confess to your bishop, and he will instruct you on what to do

3.         Ask for Forgiveness
*          Pray and ask God for forgiveness
*          Forgive those who have hurt you
*          Forgive yourself, and remember that God still loves you

4.         Make Restitution
*          Do everything possible to fix the problems caused by your sin
*          Ask for forgiveness from those who have been wronged, and try to show your change of heart

5.         Forsake the sin
*          Work hard not to recommit the same sin
*          Continue to repent as you work towards pushing the sin out of your life

President Spencer W. Kimball taught,

Spencer W Kimball MormonIf we will earnestly seek our Heavenly Father’s help and apply the steps that constitute the doctrine of repentance, then we will find peace and joy both in this life and in eternity. It is our great opportunity to experience the peace of repentance and the joy of forgiveness, and then to proclaim that pathway to others. Once we have found that peace, we are to bear witness of it and teach others how they can obtain it. This we do by being long-suffering, gentle, meek, and by having the pure love of Christ for all we meet. This is our calling as Latter-day Saints. This is our great joy and our blessing (“The Gospel of Repentance,” Ensign, Oct. 1982, 2).

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