Spiritual Messages and Teachings for LDS Youth and Youth Leaders

How Do I Repent? Part 2

By: John Bytheway

From the Book: What I Wish I’d Known in High School: The Second Semester

Conviction of and Sorrow for Sin

That doesn’t mean just saying, “Oh, I’m supposed to be sorry? Oh, okay. I’m sorry.” It’s a little more involved than that. Go ahead and read President Kimball’s explanation:

To be sorry for our sin, we must know something of its serious implications. . . . We are sorry. We are willing to make amends, pay penalties, to suffer excommunication, if necessary. . . .

If one is sorry only because his sin was uncovered, his repentance is not complete. Godly sorrow causes one to harness desire and to determine to do right regardless of consequences; this kind of sorrow brings righteousness and will work toward forgiveness. (Page 180)

That’s what it means to really be sorry. You’d be willing to do anything needed to get things cleared up. Yes, even seeing the bishop. Some people carry around serious burdens and regrets for years because they’re too embarrassed to talk with their bishop. They are worried that their parents or friends will find out, and I guess that’s understandable. But if we’re more worried about what our peers think than what the Lord thinks, we’re not truly sorry. When we are filled with godly sorrow, we will be willing to do anything the Lord requires.

So, guilt can be good! My car has a little warning light that says, “Service Engine Soon.” Some maintenance on my car I can do myself, but other things require outside help. Sorrow and guilt are like a little warning light telling us there’s something wrong that needs to be fixed. And, as with my car, some repairs we can’t do by ourselves. We’ll talk more about that when we get to confession. Just remember, acting sorry is not the same as being sorry. Okay, let’s go back to President Kimball and talk about the second step:

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