Friday, December 4, 2015

Repentance and the power to change

In this weeks lesson there was a lot about repentance and being clean and the power to change.  We all know from the 4th Article of Faith that repentance is one of the first principles of the gospel.  We all at some point are going to have to repent.  The Savior is our key to repentance because it is through the Atonement that we can receive forgiveness when we repent and our sins are washed away and we become clean. Those of us who have gone through the repentance process can attest that it is one that can be very painful but is worth it.  Elder Holland said "Repentance of necessity involves suffering and sorrow.... In the process of repentance we are granted just a taste of the suffering we would endure if we failed to turn away from evil.... We learn that when repentance is complete, we are born again and leave behind forever the self we once were."

I find so much comfort in those words.  Additional comfort is that our Heavenly Father remembers our sins no more.  What most of us have a hard time with is we think that there are scars left after we have repented, that they are there to remind us of what we did in our past to help us not repeat those mistakes.  While I think that we will have times when we might think for a moment about our past, which we have been counseled by our Lord to not do, we can take comfort in the fact that those scars do not exist.  Elder Holland reminds us again with these words "To me, none of the many approaches to teaching repentance falls more short than the well-intentioned suggestion that 'although a nail may be removed from a wooden post, there will forever be a hole in that post.'..... where repentance is possible, and its requirements are faithfully pursued and completed, there is no 'hole left in the post' for the bold reason that it is no longer the same post.  It is a new post."

It is through true and honest repentance that we can be made clean through the Atonement and are given the power to change.  Elder Christofferson reminds us that "without repentance there is no progress."  Just as in the days of Alma, we live in a time when the Lord calls all to repentance and to be born again.  As we heed that call we can all take comfort in knowing we are on the path to returning to our Heavenly Father.