Or to waste time idly discussing how far one can take the philosophical concept that there is nothing so constant as change. (See the 102nd Psalm, around verse 26, and also Isaiah 51: 6, or where Nephi quotes that in the 2nd book of Nephi chapter 8, verse 6.)
Some people get stuck in the rut of thinking that repentance is for the unbelievers. (If you are inclined to think so, see 2nd Nephi ch. 30, starting from verse 1. If that doesn't convince you, try the 6th Chapter of Moses, in the Pearl of Great Price, around verse 50.)
They say that the word in the Greek New Testament source texts which we translate as "repentance" is "metanoia", the "great change". That reminds me of the "mighty change of heart" talked about in Alma 5: 14.
So, what exactly is this repentance thing that Jesus and his followers preach?
In the Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, section 58, verse 43, we find that a person who repents of his or her sins will confess those sins and give them up.
To whom should one confess? Matthew 5: 23, 24 gives us a clue, and Jesus repeated that to His disciples in ancient America, recorded in the 3rd Nephi 12:23, 24.
What if we think someone has offended us? Similar clues are available in the Doctrine and Covenants, section 42, verse 88.
There is a pattern here.
Repenting requires us to understand, to some extent, the nature of our offence. What have we done wrong? Whom have we offended?
We cannot repent if we refuse to believe we have really done something wrong, and we can't repent if we refuse to understand how and why it was wrong. That means we have to talk with the people that we have sinned against and be reconciled to them.
And we have to change our ways.
Members of this Church talk about steps of repentance. Elder Richard G. Scott, addressing the entire Church, summarized the steps this way:
recognition, sorrow, abandonment [of the sin], confession, and restitution(in a conference address titled, "The Path to Peace and Joy", October 2010, down at the 11th paragraph, if I counted that right).
And the ultimate goal is to be reconciled to God, as described in 2nd Nephi 10: 23, 24.
The ultimate goal, again, is to be reconciled with God.
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