“R” is for Repentance
In Mosiah 15:26 Abinadi warns “. . . the Lord redeemeth none such that rebel against him and die in their sins.” He is trying to get the people to repent. Repentance is the second principle of the gospel and essential for each one of us as well as for our investigators.
The Lord further instructs “I command you to repent – repent, lest I smite you . . .” (D&C 19:15) “For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God;” (Alma 34:32) We all inwardly know we must repent. However, for various reasons we delay, refuse, or don’t know how to repent. Repentance can be facilitated as we study and teach more effectively. President Kimball taught that Pompeii was in the “same lamentable situation as Sodom and Gomorrah” and was destroyed because the people did not repent.
As a youth in seminary I learned about the steps to repentance and feel that sharing them with you might help you understand repentance so you can more effectively teach your investigators to repent and be worthy of baptism.
Recognize is the first step. We must recognize we have sinned and acknowledge that repentance is necessary.
Regret must follow. Do not rationalize! Sorrow for sin is prompted by our conscience.
Remorse for the sin is the deepening of our regret which moves us along the path to repentance.
Realizing the seriousness of sin helps us feel true remorse.
Rejection of the sin and the circumstances that tempt us to sin is an important step. Have we completely rejected the sin if we allow it to repeat itself? (D & C 82:7, James 4:7)
Resist temptation. The temptation will come again. Resist the temptation to sin!
Resolve to abandon the sin. Never do it again.
Relay your conviction to repent by confessing the sin to God and when necessary, to the appropriate priesthood leaders. Apologize to those you have offended. We often deceive ourselves by thinking that a confession to God in a brief private prayer is sufficient, but it is not enough. (James 5:16, Mosiah 26: 29,35-36)
Restore, Repay and Restitution As much as possible, we must put things back as they were. Return stolen goods. Some things like life, virtue and honor cannot be fully replaced and we must plead for the atonement to make up for our short comings.
Resist the temptation to return to old ways. Never give up hope.
Receive His atonement as we complete the steps and truly have a change of heart.
Rejoice in the Saviors atonement and in His acceptance of our repentance.
President and Sister Waddoups