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Stop Suffering, Start Living

Last week I found an article from the Ensign that changed me forever:

…suffering it not repentance. Suffering comes from the lack of complete repentance…punishment is not repentance. Punishment follows disobedience and precedes repentance…confession is not repentance. Confession is an admission of guilt that occurs as repentance begins…remorse is not repentance. Remorse and sorrow continue because a person had not yet fully repented. Suffering, punishment, confession, remorse, and sorrow may sometimes accompany repentance, but they are not repentance.” Theodore M. Burton, “The Meaning of Repentance,” Ensign, Aug 1988

Whoa. So, I don’t have to continue to punish myself endlessly when I have done something wrong?

What, then, is repentance? The meaning of repentance is not that people be punished, but rather that they change their lives so that God can help them escape eternal punishment and enter into his rest with joy and rejoicing. If we have this understanding, our anxiety and fears will be relieved. Repentance will become a welcome and treasured word in our religious vocabulary.” Theodore M. Burton, “The Meaning of Repentance,” Ensign, Aug 1988

No kidding. We repent so we can “escape eternal punishment”. We repent so that we don’t have to carry a heavy burden. We repent because Christ suffered for us already. We repent to find peace in forgiveness. We repent to find happiness and joy. We repent so we can once again, live with God.

After reading the article quoted above I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude that Heavenly Father truly wants us to stop suffering, and start living free from guilt and sorrow. Repentance is a freeing process that breaks the shackles from our souls so that we can live in peace.


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