This FHE lesson on repentance focuses on why it can be hard to forgive ourselves and how we can accomplish it through Jesus Christ.
For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
1. Come unto Jesus, ye heavy laden,
Careworn and fainting, by sin oppressed.
He’ll safely guide you unto that haven
Where all who trust him may rest.
2. Come unto Jesus; He’ll ever heed you,
Though in the darkness you’ve gone astray.
His love will find you and gently lead you
From darkest night into day.
3. Come unto Jesus; He’ll surely hear you,
If you in meekness plead for his love.
Oh, know you not that angels are near you
From brightest mansions above?
4. Come unto Jesus from ev’ry nation,
From ev’ry land and isle of the sea.
Unto the high and lowly in station,
Ever he calls, “Come to me.”
Begin the lesson by discussing an injury someone in the family may have had. The goal of this discussion is to remind children of a time when someone learned to avoid something dangerous or be more careful. If you do not have a personal story, use the analogy of touching a hot stove and how painful burns can be. Even though the burn (and the pain) will go away, we will remember how it felt and avoid touching the stove again.
Read aloud: Repentance can be similar to this experience. We can make a mistake and it can hurt. We experiences feelings of guilt and regret. We feel bad for what we’ve done. We repent and learn not to make those mistakes again.
However, even when we have tried really hard to repent, guilt and pain can last. One important aspect of repentance is forgiving ourselves. Satan can twist repentance so instead of accepting the grace of Jesus Christ and moving forward, we get stuck in shame and bad feelings.
Ask: How can we forgive ourselves?
Read aloud: We can forgive ourselves by not thinking bad thoughts about ourselves, building a relationships with Jesus Christ, not talking about our mistakes over and over again, and thanking Heavenly Father for forgiving us. Heavenly Father wants us to be happy and when he forgives us, he forgives us completely. Even though we need to learn from our mistakes, he doesn’t want us to stay stuck in our bad feelings of guilt and unhappiness forever.
Share any personal experiences about a time when you had a hard time forgiving yourself. Finish the lesson by bearing your testimony about the complete nature of repentance.
For Teens & Adults
Begin by watching the following video. Before you press play, ask everyone to ponder on what this video teaches us about forgiving ourselves.
Ask: What does this video teach us about forgiving ourselves?
Read aloud: Accepting the forgiveness of our Savior is meant to be a cleansing and lead us to joy. Though repentance is often hard and requires us to face painful feelings, the ultimate goal is peace and renewal. However, Satan wants to fill us with shame. Shame is more than just feeling bad about what we have done. It is believing we are bad, at our very core.
Ask: What are some feelings and thoughts associated with shame?
Read aloud: When we experience shame, it can be nearly impossible to forgive ourselves. We replay our sins over and over again. We are unable to move forward. While godly sorrow is necessary in repentance, Jesus Christ wants to forgive us. He wants us to forgive ourselves and never lose sight of our divine potential.
Ask: What are some ways we can learn to forgive ourselves? Have you ever experience a time when it was hard to forgive yourself? What did you do?
Finish the lesson by sharing any personal experiences and bearing your testimony.
For Single Study
Read this article about forgiving oneself. Ponder on any shame your may be holding onto and write down ways you can forgive yourself and move forward.
- 1 pkg Kool-Aid mix in any flavor
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 cups milk
- In a large bowl, whisk together all three ingredients until sugar and Kool-Aid mix is dissolved. Pour into a shallow dish, cover and then place in the freezer for about 2 hours, or until mostly set.
- Place the partially frozen sherbet back in a bowl and mix with an electric mixer until smooth. Refreeze in the covered, shallow container until set (at least a few hours, I freeze mine overnight). Set the sherbet out about 10-15 minutes prior to serving to make it easier to scoop.
(Courtesy of butterwithasideofbread.com)
DIY Circle Spinners
For this fun craft, you’ll need:
- Printed circle templates
- Glue sticks
To make, print off the circles and color them in. The more color and designs, the better. Cut out the circles and use them to trace circles on the cardboard. Cut out the cardboard circles. Glue the paper circles onto each side of the cardboard. Poke two holes in the middle of the cardboard. Run a length of twine through the holes so you end up making a loop on one end. To spin, twist the twine multiple times. Then, pull it apart. Keep relaxing and pulling to keep it spinning!
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.