We Need To De-Stigmatize Repentance

Scenario: you know you need to see your bishop and confess a problem because the loss of the Spirit is making you miserable, but you can’t, because you know that if you do, you’ll have to stop taking the sacrament, and people will see that, and you’ll be embarrassed.

And what if you’re called on to pray in a class, but you may not be able to–the shame!

And of course people will wonder what awful dirty evil thing you did. They’ll talk about it. They’ll treat you differently. Worse.

In short, your life could be ruined.

What a heartbreaking tragedy that anybody may ever feel this way. But those fears are justified–they didn’t just grow out of nothing in the minds of a paranoid few.

Too many times, we Latter-day Saints do in fact treat people badly because they have clearly Broken A Rule.

And that makes people less likely to go down the path to self improvement. Nobody wants to be a social pariah, or be judged, or looked down on at all.

The biggest tragedy here is that this behavior of ours towards those who are repenting should be the exact opposite of this.

A wise bishop once told a priesthood meeting that if anyone felt hesitant to come to him because of a major sin they’d committed because they worried he might lose respect for them, to not worry–he would have more respect for them because of their courage in confessing and starting up the path to forgiveness.

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A Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

 

I thank Thee for Thy mercy and patience with me,

for thy perfect grace, which I don’t deserve or fully understand.

 

Father, please forgive me for my selfish indulgences,

for my rebellions and ingratitude.

Please help me to repent and turn more fully to Thee.

Please help my heart to change.

 

I would be Thy man and live Thy way.

But I can’t do it on my own.

I’ve tried and failed.

I need Thee, Father.

I need Thee that I may see the glory of Thy plan and creation,

to do Thy work and serve Thee.

I need Thee just to be happy.

 

Father, I feel so full of regret,

of weakness and cold, hard hearted pride.

Please help me to be open to Thy Spirit,

and to see others as Thou sees them,

as my brothers and sisters,

to love them and be there for them,

and I need Thee to open my eyes to the joy

of purity and virtue.

Please help me to see potential and hope.

Please help me to seek after these things.

 

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