The clensing gift of repentance (ctrl-z, UNDO!)

by Rusty Lindquist on January 25, 2011 · 0 comments

As an addendum toWhat do Mormons really believe, Part 4

Spending as much time on the computer as we do, there’s a command that we often take for granted.  The wonderful, marvelous, brilliant “ctrl-z” key combo!

I don’t know who originally thought this up, but bless them.

There you are, working away, and suddenly you realize that you’ve made a mistake.  All you have to do is hold down the control key, and hit “z” at the same time, and beautifully, your error disappears as though it never existed, and you can pick up where you last left off, or start from scratch.

A wise and loving Father in Heaven realized that as we progress through life, occasionally we’d make such mistakes.  Some might be inadvertent while others more intentional.  Therefore he gave us the marvelous mechanism of repentance – a process whereby our mistakes in life might be wiped clean from the book of life, allowing us to start over, on a clean slate.

What refreshing doctrine.

This forgiveness is made possible through the everlasting atonement of Christ, who in the Garden of Gethsemane took upon himself the sins of the world, thereby making it possible for us to repent, and invoke the efficacy of his sacrifice.  He paid the price of justice, that we might know mercy.

But how careful we must be to not take repentance flippantly, for an attitude of “sin now, repent later”, is offensive to God.  This is not a “get out of jail free” card that we can just play at will.  Repentance isn’t instantaneous, nor free.

To fully repent, we must confess and forsake of our sins.  Seek restitution from those we have wronged, and promise not to do it again.  That process can be difficult, but it is sure.  And when complete, our sins are forgiven, we are washed clean through blood of our Savior, and made whole – again worthy of the companionship of the Holy Ghost.  It’s an incomparable feeling of relief, as though a huge burden has been lifted from your shoulders.  It freshens your vision, fills you with enthusiasm, energizes your soul, and spurs you to do better, and be more.

Every one of us can be free from the shackles of the sins by which we are beset, freed from the burdens that weigh us down and hamper our enjoyment of life.

May each one of us find the strength to repent of our sins, and make that enriching process a never-ending aspect of our daily lives.

Rusty

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rusty Lindquist May 15, 2008 at 1:44 AM

I might add that the doctrine of repentance (confessing and forsaking our sins), is another illustration of why Mormons believe that we are not saved by faith alone, and that we are judged also according to our works. Something we discuss so much in the comments in part 3 and 4 of this series. For why would God require man to repent, if he were already saved in spite of his actions? Repentence would therefore be fruitless, and brought to naught.

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2 ponderingpastor May 15, 2008 at 8:35 AM

“For why would God require man to repent, if he were already saved in spite of his actions? Repentence (sic) would therefore be fruitless, and brought to naught.”

Ever consider that it is not God who needs us to repent, but rather we need the repentance/forgiveness and what it brings? Maybe repentance/forgiveness is a reminder of what Christ has already done. Maybe repentance/forgiveness leads us to that same action for others when they have harmed us.

Pondering Pastor

From Rusty… A very good point, and one that I glossed over too lightly in my post – the personal blessings of repentance and forgiveness are deep and rich. Indeed, there is much personal benefit. And Luke 7:41-48 makes the beautiful point that he who will love Jesus the most, is he who has been forgiven the most, so indeed the value of repentance/forgiveness extends to creating stronger, more compelling, and more personal relationships with our Savior.

These scriptures, taken of themselves may lead me to believe that could be the extent of the purpose of repentance, but taking the word of God in whole expands my understanding beyond that, to the appreciation that repentance is a saving principle.

Luke 13:1-5 “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”
Matthew 4:17 “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”
2 Corinthians 7:10 “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation”

These references and others help me understan that repentence is more than a convenient process for our own emotional benefit, but rather a necessary step for salvation. Thus reinforcing the notion that if our actions have no affect on our salvation, why then the doctrine of repentance for salvation? If my actions can’t keep me from heaven, why am I told to “work repentance to salvation”?

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3 ponderingpastor May 15, 2008 at 2:27 PM

Every exchange of posts reminds me how each of us wear lenses through which we read scripture. Everyone believes they have the “plain meaning”. Only when we are willing to entertain that another’s lens is acceptable can we begin to see the richness of scripture.

Pondering Pastor

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4 Rex Shannon July 6, 2008 at 6:53 PM

My sincere sympahty and condolences to each member of Martha’s family, expecially my friend and
brother in Christ, John Haywood–since I have not had the privilege of even meeting other family members. May our God of Love, Mercy and Comfort manifest His
Presence and Strength in each of your lives as you deal with this time of adjustment in the loss you are
experiencing. In Christian Love, Rex Shannon

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