10 – Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God;
11 – For, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him.
12 – And he hath risen again from the dead, that he might bring all men unto him, on conditions of repentance.
13 – And how great is his joy in the soul that repenteth!
14 – Wherefore, you are called to cry repentance unto this people.
“I am sorry” is not always easy to say
When I know I’ve been thoughtless and done something wrong.
I’ll try to repent, to do better, to pray
That Heavenly Father will help me be strong.
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.”
*For Younger Children* Read “Making Things Right” (Friend, April 2012). Discuss the story. Testify of the power of Repentance.
Read or retell “Making Things Right” (Friend, April 2012).
Making Things RightBy Michelle S. Kurns (Based on a true story)
“I need to tell you something, Mom,” Melissa said, looking at the floor. She took a deep breath and started to cry.
“My teacher is really mad because someone wrote on the bathroom wall,” Melissa said. “I know I shouldn’t have done it, but someone else started writing and I thought it was funny, so I did too. I feel so bad inside. What can I do?”
Mom gave Melissa a hug and pointed to a picture on the shelf. It was taken on the day Melissa was baptized. “Do remember what Uncle Brett talked about at your baptism?”
Sniffling, Melissa nodded. “That the Holy Ghost can help us know what is right and wrong,” she said. “He said if I did something wrong I would get a bad feeling. Is this what he was talking about?”
“Yes,” Mom said. “What else did he say?”
Melissa thought for a moment. “When we mess up we can repent by asking for forgiveness and fixing what we did wrong,” she said. “And promising to never do it again.”
As Melissa said those words, she knew what she needed to do.
Before the school bell rang the next morning, Melissa was at her teacher’s desk.
“Mrs. O’Dell, I wrote on the bathroom wall,” Melissa said, her heart pounding. “I’m really sorry, and I will clean it up.”
Mrs. O’Dell looked at Melissa for a moment. “You’ll have to stay after school to clean it,” she said. “And you need to tell your mother what you have done.”
“I know, I already told her. I promise to never do anything like this again,” Melissa said.
Melissa smiled as she walked to her desk. The bad feeling she had yesterday was gone.
Discuss the following questions after reading the story.
- Why did Melissa feel bad inside?
- What did Melissa’s mom remind her about?
- What does the Holy Ghost help us to know?
- Can we do anything if we mess up?
- What did Melissa decide to do?
Testify of the power of Repentance
*For Teenagers or Adults* Read “Repentance and Conversion”, from April 2007 General Conference. Discuss the talk given by Elder Nelson and it’s meaning to your family. Testify of the power of Repentance.
Read “Repentance and Conversion”, a talk given by Elder Russell M. Nelson in April 2007.
Repentance and Conversion
Russell M. Nelson
Last year while Elder David S. Baxter and I were driving to a stake conference, we stopped at a restaurant. Later when returning to our car, we were approached by a woman who called out to us. We were startled by her appearance. Her grooming (or lack of it) was what I might politely call “extreme.” She asked if we were elders in the Church. We said yes. Almost unrestrained, she told the story of her tragic life, swamped in sin. Now, only 28 years old, she was miserable. She felt worthless, with nothing to live for. As she spoke, the sweetness of her soul began to emerge. Pleading tearfully, she asked if there was any hope for her, any way up and out of her hopelessness.
“Yes,” we responded, “there is hope. Hope is linked to repentance. You can change. You can ‘come unto Christ, and be perfected in him.’” We urged her not to procrastinate. She sobbed humbly and thanked us sincerely.
As Elder Baxter and I continued our journey, we pondered that experience. We recalled the counsel given to a hopeless soul by Aaron, who said, “If thou wilt repent of all thy sins, and will bow down before God, and call on his name in faith, … then shalt thou receive the hope which thou desirest.”
Now, at this closing session of general conference, I too speak on repentance. I do so because the Lord has commanded His servants to cry repentance unto all people. The Master has restored His gospel to bring joy to His children, and repentance is a crucial component of that gospel.
The doctrine of repentance is as old as the gospel itself. Biblical teachings from the books of Genesis to Revelation teach repentance. Lessons from Jesus Christ during His mortal ministry include these warnings: “The kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel” and “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”
References to repentance are even more frequent in the Book of Mormon. To the people of ancient America, the Lord gave this commandment: “Again I say unto you, ye must repent, and be baptized in my name, and become as a little child, or ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God.”
With the Restoration of the gospel, our Savior has again stressed this doctrine. The word repent in any of its forms appears in 47 of the 138 sections of the Doctrine and Covenants!
Repent from Sin
What does it mean to repent? We begin with a dictionary’s definition that to repent is “to turn from sin … to feel sorrow [and] regret.” To repent from sin is not easy. But the prize is worth the price. Repentance needs to be done one step at a time. Humble prayer will facilitate each essential step. As prerequisites to forgiveness, there must first be recognition, remorse, then confession. “By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins—behold, he will confess them and forsake them.” Confession is to be made to the person who has been wronged. Confession should be sincere and not merely an admission of guilt after proof is evident. If many persons have been offended, confession should be made to all offended parties. Acts that may affect one’s standing in the Church or the right to its privileges should be confessed promptly to the bishop, whom the Lord has called as a common judge in Israel.
The next step is restitution—to repair damage done—if possible. Then come steps to resolve to do better and refrain from relapse—to repent “with full purpose of heart.” Thanks to the ransom paid by the Atonement of Jesus Christ, full forgiveness is given to the sinner who repents and remains free from sin. To the repentant soul, Isaiah said, “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
The Lord’s imperative emphasis on repentance is evident as we read from section 19 of the Doctrine and Covenants: “I command you to repent—repent, lest I smite you by the rod of my mouth, and by my wrath, and by my anger, and your sufferings be sore—how sore you know not, how exquisite you know not, yea, how hard to bear you know not.
“For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent;
“But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I.”
While the Lord insists on our repentance, most people don’t feel such a compelling need. They include themselves among those who try to be good. They have no evil intent. Yet the Lord is clear in His message that all need to repent—not only from sins of commission but from sins of omission as well. Such is the case in His warning to parents: “Inasmuch as parents have children in Zion … that teach them not to understand the doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ the Son of the living God, and of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost … , the sin be upon the heads of the parents.”
Broader Meaning of the Word Repent
The doctrine of repentance is much broader than a dictionary’s definition. When Jesus said “repent,” His disciples recorded that command in the Greek language with the verb metanoeo. This powerful word has great significance. In this word, the prefix meta means “change.” The suffix relates to four important Greek terms: nous, meaning “the mind”; gnosis, meaning “knowledge”; pneuma, meaning “spirit”; 28 and pnoe, meaning “breath.”
Thus, when Jesus said “repent,” He asked us to change—to change our mind, knowledge, and spirit—even our breath. A prophet explained that such a change in one’s breath is to breathe with grateful acknowledgment of Him who grants each breath. King Benjamin said, “If ye should serve him who has created you … and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath … from one moment to another—I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants.”
Yes, the Lord has commanded us to repent, to change our ways, to come unto Him, and be more like Him. This requires a total change. Alma so taught his son: “Learn wisdom in thy youth,” he said. “Learn in thy youth to keep the commandments of God. … Let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever.”
To repent fully is to convert completely to the Lord Jesus Christ and His holy work. Alma taught that concept when he posed these questions: “I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts?” That change comes when we are “born again,” converted and focused upon our journey to the kingdom of God.
Fruits of Repentance
The fruits of repentance are sweet. Repentant converts find that the truths of the restored gospel govern their thoughts and deeds, shape their habits, and forge their character. They are more resilient and able to deny themselves of all ungodliness. Moreover, uncontrolled appetite, addiction to pornography or harmful drugs, unbridled passion, carnal desire, and unrighteous pride are diminished with complete conversion to the Lord and a determination to serve Him and to emulate His example. Virtue garnishes their thoughts, and self-confidence grows. Tithing is seen as a joyful and protective blessing, not as a duty or a sacrifice. Truth becomes more attractive, and things praiseworthy become more engaging.
Repentance is the Lord’s regimen for spiritual growth. King Benjamin explained that “the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.” 45 Brothers and sisters, that means conversion! Repentance is conversion! A repentant soul is a converted soul, and a converted soul is a repentant soul.
Repentance for Those Who Are Dead
Each living person can repent. But what about those who have died? They also have opportunities to repent. Scripture declares that “the faithful elders of this dispensation, when they depart from mortal life, continue their labors in the preaching of the gospel of repentance … among those who are … under the bondage of sin in the great world of the spirits of the dead.
“The dead who repent will be redeemed, through obedience to the ordinances of the house of God,
“And after they have paid the penalty of their transgressions, and are washed clean, [they] shall receive a reward according to their works.”
The Prophet Joseph Smith further revealed that “the earth will be smitten with a curse unless there is a welding link of some kind or other between the fathers and the children. … We without [our dead] cannot be made perfect; neither can they without us be made perfect. … [This] dispensation is now beginning to usher in, that a whole and complete and perfect union, and welding together of dispensations, and keys, and powers, and glories should take place.”
“Jesus wants me for a sunbeam”? Yes! And you too! He also wants us as bonding blacksmiths—creating celestial welding links—to curb the curse of family fragmentation. The earth was created and temples provided so that families can be together forever. Many, if not most, of us could repent and be converted to more temple and family history work for our ancestors. Thus, our repentance is necessary and essential for their repentance.
For all our kindred dead, to the 28-year-old woman mired in the swamp of sin, and to each one of us, I declare that the sweet blessing of repentance is possible. It comes through complete conversion to the Lord and His holy work.
I know that God lives. Jesus is the Christ. This is His Church. His prophet today is President Gordon B. Hinckley. I so testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Discuss the article as a family. You can direct the conversation in any direction you wish. You might consider the following questions as you lead your discussion.
- What are the 4 different aspects of repentance that Elder Nelson mentioned in his talk?
- What are the steps of repentance?
- Discuss the broader meaning of the work “Repent”
- Based on the broader meaning of the word “Repent”, would consider repentance as periodic events, or as an ongoing process?
- What is something new you have learned about repentance after studying this conference talk?
Testify of the power of Repentance.
Mini Cheesecake Tarts and Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie
Mini Cheesecake Tarts
12 Nilla Wafer Cookies
2 8oz packages cream cheese
3/4 C sugar
2 Tbs flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
Foil cupcake liners
canned pie filling
Preheat oven to 375. Soften cream cheese if needed. With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar. Add in flour and baking powder and beat to combine. Then add in eggs, one at a time, lemon juice, and vanilla. Beat to combine.
Fill a muffin pan with cupcake liners and place one vanilla wafer at the bottom of each one. Divide batter between 12 muffin papers, filling each cup up to about 1/4 inch from the top. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. They’ll puff way up during baking, but they’ll settle after being chilled.
When you take them out of the oven, place them on a cooling rack and let them cool completely. While they cool, they will sink down in the center. Don’t worry- that’s normal! It makes the perfect little well to fill up with the fruit filling. Before you top them, chill in the fridge for at least 4-6 hours or preferably over night. Then top and serve. You can be creative and top with whatever you like, like chocolate, caramel, lemon curd, whatever! Makes 12 cheesecakes.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie
1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust, homemade or store-bought.
2 large eggs
1/2 C flour
1/2 C white granulated sugar
1/2 C packed brown sugar
3/4 C real butter, softened (1 1/2 sticks)
1 C chocolate chips (semi-sweet or dark works best, you might find milk too sweet)
1 C chopped pecans (if desired)
Vanilla ice cream, or sweetened whipped cream for serving
optional: chocolate sauce
Preheat oven to 325° F.
Beat eggs in large mixer bowl on high speed until foamy. Beat in flour, granulated sugar and brown sugar. Beat in butter. Stir in morsels and nuts. Spoon into pie shell.
Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until knife inserted halfway between edge and center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack or serve slightly warmed. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.
(Recipes taken from www.OurBestBites.com )
1- Family Olympics – In honor of the Summer 2012 Olympics going on, have your own family Olympics. Pick your favorite olympic events, or even come up with your own! To make it even more fun you could award medals or have family members act as judges.
2- Star Gazing – Enjoy a night outside on a blanket and watch the stars come out! (Weather permitting)
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.