The doctrine of repentance is beautiful. No matter how many mistakes we have made or how weak we feel, we can find forgiveness and peace because of Jesus Christ. We become completely clean and we become perfected through the process of repentance. This is exciting and glorious! Elder D. Todd Christofferson even said repentance is a gift and there should be a smile on our face whenever we think of it.
However, repentance isn’t easy and we can lose perspective as we work our way forward. Many people who are doing their best to repent wonder why they aren’t changing faster. Sometimes the feelings of peace and cleanliness don’t come right away. In the face of serious sins and deep struggles, repentance can really hurt.
Sometimes, we need to soak a little bit longer. Think of that casserole dish from your latest ward potluck. It can get crusty bits and streaks that are really hard to get off. Sometimes even our hardest scrubbing won’t do the trick. Instead, we need to soak the dish in some hot, soapy water for a little while. It makes it so much easier to clean!
We are the same way. Sometimes, we need to soak a little to have our hearts softened. Just because we may not feel like anything is happening, we are being prepared to be changed and cleansed in a major way.
So what can we do while we’re soaking? Here are a few ideas:
- Focus on just spending time with Christ. This can mean different things for different people, but do things that make you feel closer to him.
- Express gratitude to help keep your mind and heart in the proper perspective.
- Be patient with yourself and don’t be self-deprecating. In fact, keep track of the good things you’re striving to do.
- Dream your dreams. Repentance gives us a fresh start and a fresh view of God. With that, we can do things we never thought possible. Making plans and dreaming dreams can keep our hope and hearts alive as we go through the repentance process.
Repentance is both hard and wonderful. If we can stay the course, the blessings will be eternal.