When I used to hear the words “true repentance”, I would automatically think of negative words like sin, dread, fear, scary, guilt, confession, etc. Although most of my life I have been religious, I used to feel uncomfortable when the subject of true repentance came up for discussion.
Uncomfortable with Discussions about True Repentance
It seems counterproductive that someone who has read their scriptures and attended church for 56 years would feel uncomfortable about the subject of repentance. I feel the scriptures were designed to help us feel the love of God, especially when struggling with life happenings.
My question is…why do so many of us have instilled fears and guilt surrounding religion, repentance, and God although we are striving to be good people? I suspect these uncomfortable feelings I have experienced surrounding religion could be the same reason many young people are turning away from religion. My inner-self tells me these negative feelings come from the adversary and other men, not from God.
This scripture teaches us that we are all given weakness so that we may be humble.
And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them. Ether 12:27
Weakness helps us turn to God in true repentance. None of us would be humble enough to turn to God if He had not given us weakness. Weakness gives us the opportunity to witness the strength we can borrow from God if we are humble. Weakness can be blessings if we allow God to lend us His strength enabling us to become strong. It is a miracle to witness the process of weakness becoming strengths.
Greek Meaning of Repentance
The Greek meaning of repentance is metanoia which means to decide to turn and face a new direction. I like to think of repentance or metanoia as turning and facing God saying, “I am ready to receive your intelligence”.
True Repentance Related to Gaining Intelligence
When I was taught that true repentance is related to gaining intelligence or in other words light and truth, I immediately felt peaceful and believed this relationship was true.
The glory of God is intelligence or in other words, light and truth. Light and truth forsake that evil one. D&C 93:36-37
Focus on Intelligence, Light, or Truth
You may want to consider true repentance is replacing false beliefs, errors, weakness, etc. with God’s intelligence which is truth or light. Isn’t that beautiful? This was the first time I have ever considered repentance in a positive way. Instead of focusing on our wrongs or weakness, we simply focus on gaining light or truth through study and prayer. If we consistently focus on light rather than our mistakes and weakness, we will naturally leave behind errors without worry, guilt, or shame. The negatives will gradually dissipate away and we will become filled with goodness and light. The best cure for sin is light or truth. I love that!
That which is of God is light and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day. D&C 50:24
I believe focusing on receiving God’s intelligence is the best way to address true repentance. It is less painful, and I would imagine what is causing us problems will begin to diminish as soon as we turn and face God and begin to recognize and accept His light which is truth. I love truth. I prefer spending my time looking for and accepting truth rather than seeking money, fame, and power. I feel lighter each time I discover truth.
I express gratitude to God for the opportunity to receive His intelligence that can replace my follies and errors.