The Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ is the heart and core and center of revealed religion.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie Christ and the Creation

For some months, I’ve tried to emphasize repentance, one of the most vital and merciful doctrines of the kingdom. It is too little understood, too little applied by us all, as if it were merely a word on a bumper sticker. Since we have been told clearly by Jesus what manner of men and women we ought to become—even as He is (see 3 Ne. 27:27)—how can we do so, except each of us employs repentance as the regular means of personal progression? Personal repentance is part of taking up the cross daily. (See Luke 9:23.) Without it, clearly there could be no “perfecting of the Saints.” (Eph. 4:12.)

Besides, there is more individuality in those who are more holy.

Sin, on the other hand, brings sameness; it shrinks us to addictive appetites and insubordinate impulses. For a brief surging, selfish moment, sin may create the illusion of individuality, but only as in the grunting, galloping Gadarene swine! (See Matt. 8:28–32.)

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.

Repentance requires both turning away from evil and turning to God. (See Deut. 4:30; see also Bible Dictionary, s.v. “Repentance.”) When “a mighty change” is required, full repentance involves a 180-degree turn, and without looking back! (Alma 5:12–13.) Initially, this turning reflects progress from telestial to terrestrial behavior, and later on to celestial behavior. As the sins of the telestial world are left behind, the focus falls ever more steadily upon the sins of omission, which often keep us from full consecration.

Real repentance involves not a mechanical checklist, but a checkreining of the natural self. Often overlapping and mutually reinforcing, each portion of the process of repentance is essential. This process rests on inner resolve but is much aided by external support.

Elder Neal A. Maxwell

Repentance,”

Ensign, Nov 1991, 30

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