1 Nephi 20:1
Repentance Brings Joy
This is for those who have been baptized and say they believe but are not honest or righteous.
They are receiving this because they need correction. Nephi wants to bring them hope through these teachings.
This is for people who “swear by the name of the Lord and make mention of the God of Israel”
Jesus is the Lord and the God of Israel.
Repentance a Joyful Choice
Such joy is one of the inherent results of repentance. The wordrepent connotes “to perceive afterwards” and implies “change.”4 In Swedish, the word is omvänd, which simply means “to turn around.”5The Christian writer C. S. Lewis wrote about the need and the method for change. He noted that repentance involves “being put back on the right road. A wrong sum can be put right,” he said, “but only by going back till you find the error and working it afresh from that point, never by simply going on.”6 Changing our behavior and returning to the “right road” are part of repentance, but only part. Real repentance also includes a turning of our heart and will to God and a renunciation of sin.7 As explained in Ezekiel, to repent is to “turn from … sin, … do that which is lawful and right; … restore the pledge, … [and] walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity.”8
President Boyd K. Packer affirmed the hopeful promises of repentance in April 2015 at his last general conference. He described the power of the Savior’s Atonement to heal in what I consider the distillation of the wisdom gained in half a century of apostolic service. President Packer said: “The Atonement leaves no tracks, no traces. What it fixes is fixed. … It just heals, and what it heals stays healed.”9
...We can—and sometimes do—make different choices. Such choices may not seem intrinsically wrong, but they prevent us from becoming truly penitent and thus preclude our pursuit of real repentance. For instance, we may choose to blame others. As a 12-year-old in Göteborg, I could have blamed Steffan. He was the one who brought the big firecracker and the matches to the church in the first place. But blaming others, even if justified, allows us to excuse our behavior. By so doing, we shift responsibility for our actions to others. When the responsibility is shifted, we diminish both the need and our ability to act. We turn ourselves into hapless victims rather than agents capable of independent action.13
Another choice that impedes repentance is minimizing our mistakes. In the Göteborg firecracker incident, no one was hurt, no permanent damage occurred, and the meeting was held anyway. It would have been easy to say that there was no reason to repent. But minimizing our mistakes, even if no immediate consequences are apparent, removes the motivation to change. This thinking prevents us from seeing that our mistakes and sins have eternal consequences.
...Brothers and sisters, as we conclude this conference, I invite you to feel more joy in your life: joy in the knowledge that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is real; joy in the Savior’s ability, willingness, and desire to forgive; and joy in choosing to repent. Let us follow the instruction to “with joy … draw water out of the wells of salvation.”27 May we choose to repent, forsake our sins, and turn our hearts and wills around to follow our Savior. I testify of His living reality. I am a witness and repeated recipient of His incomparable compassion, mercy, and love. I pray that the redeeming blessings of His Atonement may be yours now—and again and again and again throughout your lives,28 as they have been in mine. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
The key to repentance is given in the first word of this verse. Hearken and hear. Or in other words, pay attention to what is being said, listen, ponder, understand.
How can we apply this message to our own lives? How can we do better in keeping the covenants that we have made? We have received council and strength by studying the word of the Lord.
Being baptized is just the beginning and it brings with it responsibility to keep the covenants we have made to serve Him all of our days. How can we as individuals serve Him better in our circle of influence? What would He have us do today?
180- Father In Heaven, we Do Believe