01 June, 2009
The five R's of repentance: recognition, regret, relinquishment of sin (including confession), restitution and resolution.
I might add righteous living (as the action part of resolution-i.e. enduring to the end with the resolution not to commit that sin again).
And rejoicing (rejoice in the atonement and the opportunity we have to repent and be made clean again).
In second Nephi chapter two it says:
"25. Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy."
Out of Adam's fall came sin into this world. But from that fall man came to be and we are meant to have joy. (Some people out there think this only applies to this life or the trials we go through. Others think that it means that it is our goal. I say why can't it be both? And more. Heavenly Father is the author of all things so of course He is most excellent at putting layers of meaning in His words. We "hear" them spiritually as we are ready. That is the way all things are learned and accomplished. Line upon line, Precept upon precept.) Can joy be born out of sin? That was a strange thought when it first occurred to me. Wickedness never was happiness you know. And then it hit me- The sin doesn't bring joy. True repentance from sin does.
In fact in the very next verse it states:
"26. And the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall."
In verse 14 of the same chapter it says:
"14. And now, my sons, I speak unto you these things for your profit and learning; for there is a God, and he hath created all things, both the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are, both things to act and things to be acted upon."
We are given free agency to act. Everyone else also has the agency to act as well so sometimes we will be "acted upon". This can mean trials, which we should go through with as cheerful hearts as possible, but it can also mean when somebody else does something nice for us. (and vice versa)
So add rejoice to your repentance process. Rejoice that the Savior loved us enough to give His body and blood for us. We are beloved by Him. Our salvation is His work and His glory. He wants us to return. The dark times preceding repentance are not when He turns His light from us, but when we turn our backs on Him. He is always there for us. He understands that we will sin, so He provided a Redeemer for us. May we use this Atonement and rejoice as we repent.