Jesus Christ calls His disciples to repent. The Bible Dictionary tells us that repentance “denotes a change of mind, a fresh view about God, about oneself, and about the world.” This includes the process of “turning of the heart and will to God, and a renunciation of sin to which we are naturally inclined.” Repentance is not optional. It is a commandment.
We learn in Alma 26:22 that those who repent, exercise faith, and bring forth good works will come to “know the mysteries of God.” Clearly, repentance is a gospel principle we need to embrace and actively participate in. However, we often frame repentance as a painful, negative experience that we should avoid if we can. Repentance is so much more than that. In fact, President Russell M. Nelson said repentance is “a never-ending privilege.”
How can we reframe repentance in our minds to see it as a joyful reunion back with God? Here are three ideas.
Learn About the Nature of God
We have loving Heavenly Parents. The more we learn about the nature of God, the more confidence we will have in the plan of salvation and the desire of heaven to help us achieve our righteous goals. For most of us, fear or terror of God and His retribution comes because we do not know Him.
Get started by studying the page “God the Father” and the accompanying resources.
Focus on Your Eternal Progress
When we talk about repenting daily, it isn’t about creating a list of all the ways we’ve failed and beating ourselves up over it. Our Heavenly Parents have sent us to mortality to succeed. We need to repent of our sins, but we also need to gain a vision of our eternal destiny and work towards it.
How can we do this? Read your patriarchal blessing and identify your natural gifts and talents. Look for goals and promises you can work towards.
At some point or another, we will all sin. When these moments come, do not hesitate to turn to God. Do not let Satan shame you and hide you from the multitude of resources at your disposal. As soon as you know you’ve done wrong, boldly come to the throne of God and ask for forgiveness. Don’t dwell in self-hatred but strive to make reasonable adjustments to change and avoid sin in the future.
In all things, we should remember the words of Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf: True repentance is about transformation, not torture or torment.
What are some ways you’ve reframed repentance for the better in your mind?
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.