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Monday, May 27, 2013

07. Crying Repentance Without Tears

Note: This is one of a series of posts devoted to the study of D&C 93:1, and the seventh examining the phrase "forsake his sins".

Seizing Opportunities to Cry Repentance


If you're like me, you just don't go out looking for opportunities to preach and cry repentance.  My personality is such that I much rather enjoy talking about family, food, entertainment, books, recreation, religion and more.  Repentance is not in my top ten list of conversation starters.

However, I think there's a way that we can work repentance into our conversations.  Take a look at Alma 29:1-2, 9-10:
"O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people!
Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth.
I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy.
And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy; then do I remember what the Lord has done for me, yea, even that he hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember his merciful arm which he extended towards me."
After reading this, the thought struck me that we should be praying for opportunities to mention how much the Lord has done for us, and how He's heard our prayers, and how merciful He's been to us.  In so doing, we may be able to be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance.

Imagine that! 
  1. Today, you could pray for the Lord to show His mercies, His forgiveness, His kindnesses, His blessings to you. 
  2. He would bless you with such opportunities, which you would receive.
  3. Then in receiving them, you could thank Him by asking for opportunities to tell others how merciful, how forgiving, how kind, how blessed God has been to you (see D&C 14:8).
  4. Because this is a (very!) righteous desire, He would open up such opportunities.
  5. During such an opportunity, you would challenge others to feel the joy that comes from asking for and receiving these wonderful blessings (see Alma 32:27-34).

I want to make this point crystal clear to you


In preaching repentance, I seriously doubt the Lord expects you to put on a robe or sackcloth and ashes, and like some Old Testament prophet, go out into the streets, screaming at the top of your lungs, "Repent!  For the kingdom of God is nigh!"

Nope.  You're not going there.

What He does expect you to do is to testify -- testify of His goodness and mercy in redeeming a soul so rebellious as you.

Do not complicate this process.  Start simple.  Simply pray and ask for the opportunity to testify.  Then seize the opportunity to testify.  He'll let you know when.

Happy Endings


I began this series on forsaking sins with this statement:
"Now, before you conclude that this post (about repentance) is going to be a downer, or display an online version of hell, fire and brimstone, or will leave you feeling guilty or upset, I'd like to invite you to hear me out. The true message of repentance is a prime component of the Lord's gospel of happiness (not the gospel of pain, suffering or guilt).  In fact, repentance is (or can be) highly motivating, inspiring, uplifting and can (by itself) trigger some touching, sincere, understanding, non-judgmental conversations with God." 
As you implement the five numbered steps mentioned above, you'll realize a fulfillment of my promise.

As you conduct your nightly return and report with Father, I have no doubt you would hear these words: 'Well done, my good and faithful servant" (Matthew 25:23)

And truly, you will be blessed:
"Say nothing but repentance unto this generation; keep my commandments, and assist to bring forth my work, according to my commandments, and you shall be blessed." (D&C 6:9)
Which mirrors something the Lord said to another person who begged for forgiveness:
"And there came a voice unto me, saying: Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed.
And I, Enos, knew that God could not lie; wherefore, my guilt was swept away.
And I said: Lord, how is it done?
And he said unto me: Because of thy faith in Christ, whom thou hast never before heard nor seen." (Enos 1:5-8)

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." -- Lao-tzu


And what a terrific first step this is!

Now that we've covered "forsake your sins", we're now ready to take a step forward in our understanding of D&C 93:1 --

"cometh unto me"

Your thoughts?


2 comments:

  1. Thanks you so much for this 7 part series on Forsake Your Sins. Your style of writing and with the pictures/visual aids make this enjoyable reading for me. Very powerful as well. Thank you for reminding me to NOT complicate this process. As for my thoughts on "cometh unto me" I think of that as a open invitation from the Savior to come to him -mentally,emotionally, spiritually, and physically. In ALL that we are, do, think,feel,see etc. I try to come unto him in all those areas and desire to be embraced by him, have my own interview with him while I am still in mortality. Obedience, Sacrifice, and Service.They go hand in hand. THank you again, Sally D

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    1. I too agree with your comments about this series. I am not afraid anymore of repenting.

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