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How Can Repentance Help Me E veryday? & What is Grace?. Repentance is a gift.

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repentance is a gift
Repentance is a gift
  • 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.
repentance progress
Repentance = progress

Without repentance, there is no real progress or improvement in life. Pretending there is no sin does not lessen its burden and pain. Suffering for sin does not by itself change anything for the better.

Only repentance leads to the sunlit uplands of a better life. & of course, only through repentance do we gain access to the atoning grace of Jesus Christ & salvation.

what is grace
What is Grace?
  • Grace is the help or strength given through the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ. Through the grace of God, everyone who has lived will be resurrected.
  • Through His grace, the Lord also enables those who live His gospel to repent and be forgiven.
  • No one can return to the presence of God without divine grace.
what is grace continued
What is grace? (continued)
  • The scripture that goes along with our theme for 2014 talks a lot about grace.

Moroni 10:32-33 32 Yea, come unto Christ, &be perfected in him, & deny yourselves of all ungodliness; & if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, & love God with all your might, mind & strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; & if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.

 33 And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, & deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot.

what is grace continued1
WHAT IS GRACE (CONTINUED)
  • To receive this enabling power, we must obey the gospel of Jesus Christ, which includes having faith in Him, repenting of our sins, being baptized, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and trying to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ for the rest of our lives.

EFFORT ON OUR PART IS REQUIRED TO RECEIVE GRACE.

  • The grace of God helps us every day. It strengthens us to do good works we could not do on our own. The Lord promised that if we humble ourselves before Him and have faith in Him, His grace will help us overcome all our personal weaknesses (see Ether 12:27, Jacob 4:7).
repentance requires work
Repentance requires work
  • It would mock the Savior’s suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross for us to expect that He should transform us into angelic beings with no real effort on our part. Rather, we seek His grace to complement and reward our most diligent efforts.
turn around re turn toward god
Turn around & Re-turn Toward God
  • The invitation to repent is rarely a voice of chastisement but rather a loving appeal to turn around and to “re-turn” toward God. (Neil Anderson)
  • “Behold, he sendeth an invitation unto all men, for the arms of mercy are extended towards them, and he saith: Repent, and I will receive you.” Alma 5:33
  • We have each felt to some extent these spiritual arms around us. We have felt His forgiveness, His love and comfort. The Lord has said, “I am he [who] comforteth you.” (Neil Anderson)
the blessing of repenting
The Blessing of Repenting
  • The invitation to repent is the beckoning of a loving Father and His Only Begotten Son to be more than we are, to reach up to a higher way of life, to change, and to feel the happiness of keeping the commandments. Being disciples of Christ, we rejoice in the blessing of repenting and the joy of being forgiven. They become part of us, shaping the way we think and feel.
divine forgiveness
Divine forgiveness

Divine forgiveness is one of the sweetest fruits of the gospel, removing guilt and pain from our hearts and replacing them with joy and peace of conscience. Jesus declares, “Will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you?”

repentance a daily pattern
Repentance: a daily pattern

Wise King Benjamin spoke to his people of “retaining a remission of your sins from day to day.” (Mosiah 4:26)

The right time to be spiritually concerned about our sins is every day. Once a week is not enough. Once a month or once a year could prove spiritually fatal. An essential aspect of true repentance is daily prayer. And it must be meaningful as well as regular.

The right way to repent of sins is by going before our Maker in secret prayer, identifying the specific transgression, confessing it, forsaking it, and continuing in the Lord’s Spirit. (Franklin Gonzalez, Ensign 1980)

what does true repentance consist of
What does true repentance consist of?

True repentance brings us back to doing what is right. To truly repent we must:1) Recognize our sins and feel remorse, or godly sorrow, 2) Confess those sins to God. If our sins are serious, we must also confess them to our Bishop or Branch President. 3) Ask God for forgiveness and do all we can to correct whatever harm our actions may have caused.

Repentance means a change of mind and heart—we stop doing things that are wrong, and we start doing things that are right. It brings us a fresh attitude toward God, oneself, and life in general. (President Uchtdorf)

change can be difficult
change can be difficult
  • For most, repentance is more a journey than a one-time event. It is not easy. To change is difficult. It requires running into the wind, swimming upstream. (Neil Anderson)
re turn towards god
Re-turn towards god
  • Repentance is turning away from some things, such as dishonesty, pride, anger, and impure thoughts, and turning toward other things, such as kindness, unselfishness, patience, and spirituality.

It is “re-turning” toward God.

immediately turn around
Immediately Turn around!

If I were going the wrong way in the middle of a marathon, and I realized my mistake, would I keep going? I would immediately turn around! Why?...

don t waste valuable time precious energy
Don’t waste valuable time & precious energy

…Because I would have lost valuable time and precious energy and strength, and it would be much harder for me to finish the marathon because of this extra distance and added time. I wouldn’t stay on the wrong course because no matter how long I ran there, I would never reach the finish line. (Sister Elaine Dalton)

don t believe satan
Don’t believe satan!
  • And yet for many who have made a [serious] mistake, a little voice keeps saying:

“You blew it. You can’t turn around now!You can’t change. No one will ever know anyway.” To you I would say, Don’t believe it.“Satan wants you to think that you cannot repent, but that is absolutely not true” (For the Strength of Youth [2001]).

take the sacrament personally
Take the sacrament personally
  • Repentance should become part of our daily lives. Our weekly taking of the sacrament is so important—to come meekly, humbly before the Lord, acknowledging our dependence upon Him, asking Him to forgive and to renew us, and promising to always remember Him.
don t give up keep on climbing
Don’t give up! Keep on climbing!

Sometimes in our repentance, in our daily efforts to become more Christlike, we find ourselves repeatedly struggling with the same difficulties. Real repentance, real change may require repeated attempts, but there is something refining and holy in such striving. If you are striving and working to repent, you are in the process of repenting.

it is never too late
It is never too late!

The scriptures warn us, “Do not procrastinate the day of your repentance.” But, in this life, it is never too late to repent.

slide23

Repentance Means Not Only Abandoning Sin But Also Committing To OBEDIENCE.

*Hand out tote bags if you are using this object lesson

covenant of obedience
Covenant of obedience

In the memorable expression of Professor Noel Reynolds, “The choice to repent is a choice to burn bridges in every direction [having determined] to follow forever only one way, the one path that leads to eternal life.”

For our turning to the Lord to be complete, it must include nothing less than a covenant of obedience to Him. Without this covenant, repentance remains incomplete and the remission of sins unattained.

repentance is motivated by a love for god
Repentance is motivated by a love for god
  • Repentance is more than simply acknowledging wrongdoings. It is a change of mind and heart. It includes turning away from sin and turning to God for forgiveness.
  • It is motivated by love for God and the sincere desire to obey His commandments.
christ will take away our burden
Christ will take away our burden
  • Once we have truly repented, Christ will take away the burden of guilt for our sins. We can know for ourselves that we have been forgiven and made clean. The Holy Ghost will verify this to us; He is the Sanctifier. No other testimony of forgiveness can be greater. (President Uchtdorf)

*Remove the tote bags from the girls shoulders…

and i the lord remember them no more
And I, The lord remember them no more
  • “Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more” (D&C 58:42).Satan will try to make us believe that our sins are not forgiven because we can remember them. Satan is a liar; he tries to blur our vision and lead us away from the path of repentance and forgiveness. God did not promise that we would not remember our sins. Remembering will help us avoid making the same mistakes again. But if we stay true and faithful, the memory of our sins will be softened over time.(President Uchtdorf)
the key to happiness
The key to happiness
  • The divine gift of repentance is the key to happiness here and hereafter. In the Savior’s words and in deep humility and love, I invite all to “repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). I know that in accepting this invitation, you will find joy both now and forever. (Elder Christofferson)
true joy never has never will come from sin
True Joy never has & never will come from sin
  • Happiness comes from living the gospel of Jesus Christ. This, perhaps, is the most important thing I have learned over the years.

“Joy never has and never will

come from sin and selfishness.

I am grateful for the knowledge

that I can repent and begin anew.” (June 2008 Ensign)

how great is his joy in the soul that repenteth
How great is his joy in the soul that repenteth

I cannot help but imagine the sense of fulfillment the Savior must feel each time we repent of our sins and apply His atoning sacrifice in our lives. Surely John echoed the Savior’s feelings when he declared:

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth” (3 John 1:4). Christ, speaking of Himself, said, “How great is his joy in the soul that repenteth” (D&C 18:13). (Elder Craig C. Christensen)