Today i wanted to share the importance and the steps of repentance as given in Preach My Gospel. Repentance is one of the biggest principles we teach as missionaries. The reason that it is such a big deal for us is we all sin. We all make mistakes, and we all need our Saviors help. With out the Atonement and the gift of repentance we would not be able to return to live with our father in heaven. When we ask people to repent and when i repent myself there are certain steps you must follow to truly repent. Not everything can be taken care of by just saying a prayer and asking for forgiveness, this is a necessary step but not the whole formula. So what is the first step of repentance?
1) Recognition, this can actually in my opinion be one of the hardest steps of repentance. We need to recognize we have sinned, or wronged someone. This takes an act of humility and honesty to yourself. This is a very important first step because until you recognize you have sinned you cant make things right.
2) STOP, stop what it is you are doing and strive to never do it again! This isnt to say if you do do it again then you cant be forgiven but notice it says strive to never do it again, if your heart is in the right place and you are doing your best heavenly Father will do everything he can to help you out.
3)Confess, Depending on what the sin is, a sin where you have hurt someone or yourself you need to confess your sins. For those small sins confession may only mean confessing to our Heavenly Father that you have sinned, for those more serious sins we made need to confess to Priesthood leaders. If you have hurt or offended someone the confessing can also be part of the restitution process and you confess to that person to help make things right.
4) Make Restitution, this one is a difficult one to put into words. This is something you must decide what needs to be done. If you have damaged something or hurt someone you have to make restitution to that person. But if it is a sin that only affects you, how do you make restitution? I am going to leave that question open to your own answers.
5)Acknowledge the Savior, It is only through him we can have repentance of our sins. he took on our sins for us! These steps are not easy steps, but was it easy for Christ in Gethsemane? No! He took on the pains of our sins and afflictions and satisfied justice. If it wasn't easy for him to suffer for our sins why would it be easy for us to seek repentance? Compared to the suffering the Savior went through these steps are very simple, but they require humility and sorrow and your self striving to do what is right.
Repentance does not always mean making big changes. Often it simply
requires an increased commitment to live according to God’s will. True
repentance does not always happen quickly; be patient with yourself as
you strive to do what is right and correct mistakes you make. As you
repent, you will experience a change of heart. You will no longer desire
to sin. You will come to know that you are a child of God and that you
need not continue making the same mistakes over and over. Your desire to
follow God will grow stronger and deeper.