The Unauthorized Investigator's Guide to
The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints

Lesson 3


The Missionaries Will Teach...

The second principle of the gospel is repentance. Repentance means that through our faith in Jesus Christ, we change our thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors so that they are in accordance with God's will. Repentance causes us to feel godly sorrow for the things we do wrong, so that we stop doing things that are wrong and do things that are right.  This process of repentance is one of the central purposes of our lives.  The only way to return and live with Heavenly Father is through the mercy of Jesus Christ, and the only way to receive Christ's mercy is upon the condition of repentance.

In order to repent, we first feel remorse, or godly sorrow.  We then must confess our sins to God.  We also confess very serious sins to God's authorized Church leaders, who can help us repent.  We ask God to forgive us, and do everything we can to correct the problems that our sins caused.  Through repentance, the way we see the world changes, and we realize that we are children of God and don't need to make the same mistakes over and over and over.  If our repentance is sincere, we turn away from our sins and stop sinning.  We resist desires to sin and our desire to follow God becomes more and more strong.

When we sincerely repent, we feel God's forgiveness and feel peace in life.  We no longer feel guilt and sorrow.  We feel the spirit of God more deeply.  And after this life, we'll be more prepared to live with Heavenly Father and his son Jesus Christ.

Even after accepting Jesus and repenting, we'll probably fall short and sin again.  We need to continually try to stop sinning and strive to always improve and develop Christlike qualities.  As we learn more about how Christ wants us to live, we'll demonstrate our love of him by obeying.  As we repent daily, our lives change  and improve.  Our hearts and behaviors become more like Christ's, and we will come to feel great joy in repenting daily.

Some Additional Thoughts...

Mormon Ethics. This raises an interesting question; if God commanded you to do something that was unethical, would it be sinful to disobey?

Mormon Guilt. How much guilt should we feel?

Mormon Confession. Confess to God or to you bishop?

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