Since we are all human, we all make mistakes. Sometimes they are small mistakes, easy to fix. Other times, they are bigger mistakes and much harder to fix. Whatever the case may be, we can learn from what we did and become better. This week’s challenge is:
How did you come to really learn about the repentance process?
You can recount just one time (something big or small) or record a few times. Focus on what you learned, and how the repentance affected your future actions.
Since this is a pretty delicate topic, you don’t need to spill your transgressions—just give enough details to help your readers. Or if you prefer, write the details down in a super private place that no one will find until after you’re gone.
What Natalie did:
There was a time in my life that was really hard for me. It took me a long time to admit that I had done something wrong. The guilt ate at me again and again, before I was ready to do something about it. I remember the day when I finally got the courage to take care of the situation. Repenting was not easy. As soon as it was taken care of, peace overcame me. A huge burden was lifted off my shoulders.
When we repent of our sins, we are forgiven and the Lord remembers them no more. "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." (Isaiah 1:18).
The atonement of Jesus Christ affords us the opportunity to repent and to be forgiven. As we apply the atonement in our lives, we become more like the Savior. The atonement is a gift to each one of our Heavenly Father's children.
Elder D. Todd Christofferson said, "Repentance is a divine gift, and there should be a smile on our faces when we speak of it. It points us to freedom, confidence, and peace. Rather than interrupting the celebration, the gift of repentance is the cause for true celebration."
What I did:
(I just wrote my story down in a Word document and will print it off as well as make a digital copy of it.)
It’s amazing how something that seems so small can feel so big. I felt like the “Princess and the Pea”—a little pea so covered up by piles of mattresses that I thought I would not feel it anymore. But the truth was, that I could still feel it.
It was a harmless lie I told a group of friends. Or so I thought it was harmless. I was having a bad day, and it made me feel “cooler” and better about myself. I felt a twinge of guilt at the time, thinking that it was no big deal—it didn’t harm anyone, so really, it wasn’t a problem. I never really saw those friends anymore, and we were all scattered about, didn’t have contact information, etc. so it didn’t matter. I buried the pea under mattress upon mattress of excuses, to try and hide that twinge of guilt…for over 10 years. But somehow, no matter how many mattresses I used, that little tiny pea could still be felt, and I swear it even got bigger.
Finally I connected with my friends through Facebook (so no more excuses in that area), but I was still too prideful to apologize to my friends and properly repent. I still threw another mattress upon the pile—it didn’t really matter, they didn’t know I had lied, it didn’t affect anything, there was no reason to even bring it up.
One day as I was studying my scriptures, the Spirit hit me so hard that I needed to repent of ALL my sins. Big and small. It was always easier for me to repent of the bigger sins, because it was pretty obvious that I needed to repent. But this little “pea” (and others) also needed to be extracted.
I finally mustered up the courage to write a message to my three friends. I only heard back from one of them, but it didn’t matter that the other two didn’t respond. I had done my part and felt that the chains of bondage, the “pea”, was gone! Finally I could feel free of the little (nagging) twinge of guilt, that had really been a large ever-present burden. In my pride, I had told myself that it was smaller than it really was. But the chains indicated otherwise.
I learned from that experience that it doesn’t matter how big or small our sins are. Sins are sins, and they keep us from fully experiencing the happiness we would otherwise feel. Of course, being human I sin pretty much everyday, but since that experience, I’ve come to realize that I need pull my “peas” out on a daily basis to truly feel the happiness that my Heavenly Father wants me to feel. And to have the blessings of the Holy Ghost as my constant companion.
I have also come to more fully appreciate the atonement of Christ. He suffered for ALL sins—the big ones and the small ones. I now think more about how my sins affected Him. It helps me feel even more grateful that Heavenly Father allowed His only perfect son suffer so much in my behalf.
I love this quote by Elder Neil Anderson: “We must become converted to daily repentance. President Benson taught that many of our troubles sprout from pride, which he defined as a selfish pitting of our will against God’s (see Ensign, May 1989, 4–7). We repent as we follow the Savior’s example in doing ‘not as I will, but as thou wilt’ (Matt. 26:39). As we gain sufficient faith and trust to meekly surrender ourselves to the Lord’s way, we are repenting.” (There are also a ton more awesome repentance quotes found here.)
I am indeed grateful for the gift of repentance, and I know that it is a gift we should not waste.
Now I challenge you to record how you learned about the repentance process!