Spiritual Messages and Teachings for LDS Youth and Youth Leaders

How Do I Repent? Part 5

By: John Bytheway

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

Restitution for Sin

You probably already know what restitution means; another word for it might be restoration. When we repent, we try to “restore” what was taken away. Let’s continue reading from Faith Precedes the Miracle:

When one is humble in sorrow, has unconditionally abandoned the evil, and confesses to those assigned by the Lord, he should next restore insofar as possible that which was damaged. If he burglarized, he should return to the rightful owner that which was stolen. Perhaps one reason murder is unforgivable is that having taken a life, the murderer cannot restore it. Restitution in full is not always possible. Virginity is impossible to give back.

However, the truly repentant soul will usually find things that can be done to restore to some extent. The true spirit of repentance demands this. Ezekiel taught:

If the wicked . . . give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live. . . . (Ezekiel 33:15.) . . .

A pleading sinner must also forgive all people of all offenses committed against himself. The Lord is under no obligation to forgive us unless our hearts are fully purged of all hate, bitterness, and accusations against others. (Pages 182-83)

You may have wondered why adultery is a sin next to murder. When you think about restitution, it may help you answer the question. A murderer cannot restore life, and one who commits a sexual sin cannot restore purity. But the Lord, because of his mercy, still allows a way to make restitution from the serious sin of unchastity through the wonderful and powerful doctrine of repentance. Much of that restitution comes from the next step.

After all we’ve talked about, it may seem like the most difficult part of repentance is over. It isn’t. Confession takes real courage, but the hardest part is yet to come.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>