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How Can I Receive Forgiveness from God?

Repentance brings forgiveness and healing through the power of Jesus Christ.

What is Repentance?

Repentance is much more than recognizing wrongdoings or saying we are sorry. It is a change of mind and heart that includes turning away from sin and turning to God for help and forgiveness. When we repent we experience lasting happiness.

Repentance is a chance to become better. God will be patient with you as you work to overcome bad habits, addictions, and make real changes in your life. This change is possible through Jesus Christ and His sacrifice. No matter how long it takes, it’s worth it.

Why do I need to repent?

Many believe that there is no ultimate right or wrong. However, God does have expectations for us and has given us commandments to follow. When we disobey God’s commandments, we sin. We are all imperfect and we all have need to repent, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Our sins prevent us from being able to return home to live with God.

Jesus Christ provided a way for us to be forgiven. He suffered for our sins so that if we repent, we can become clean again and be free from regret.

Blessings of Repentance

Sin is a heavy burden that fills us with regret and sorrow. Repentance removes those feelings and replaces them with joy. Alma, a prophet in the Book of Mormon, described his happiness after repenting: “There can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy” (Alma 36:21). When we fully repent, we are forgiven and healed. We will feel peace, joy, freedom, and confidence.

Study session: How to forgive and be forgiven

How do I repent?

Jesus Christ has the power to forgive your sins. The process of repenting is not complicated, but it can sometimes be painful and difficult. The Lord has promised, “He who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more” (D&C 58:42).

Repentance is a personal experience with Jesus. Some sins may take longer to repent of than others.  While the process of repenting should not be viewed as a checklist, these principles can help you if you’re not sure where to start or if you are struggling to see your progress.  

Learn the Principles of Repentance

Have faith

Faith in Jesus Christ is essential in repentance. Have faith that Jesus Christ can free you of the burden of sin and that you can be clean again.

Recognize sin

Recognize that you have sinned – that you have in some way turned away from God. Change cannot happen if you refuse to admit you’ve done something wrong.

Feel sorrow

You should feel true remorse for the things in your life that ate in conflict with God’s will. Have a sincere desire to make changes. Once your sins are forgiven, your sorrow will be replaced with joy.

Abandon sin

Sincere sorrow should lead you to stop doing what is wrong. Jesus told the woman taken in adultery, to “go and sin no more” (John 8:11).

Confess

Be open and honest with God through prayer and admit that you have made mistakes. Once you have confessed your sins, ask for help. “By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins – behold, he will confess and forsake them” (D&C 58:43).

Make restitution

If possible, you should repair the damage your actions have caused. If we have wronged someone else, ask that person for forgiveness and do all you can to make the situation right.

Fill your life with good

Fill your life with uplifting and empowering activities. These include sending time with good friends, praying, reading the scriptures, and going to church. These bring spiritual power and increases strength to overcome weaknesses.

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Continue to come unto Christ

President Dallin H. Oaks addresses each of the principles of repentance and said, “All of this is part of the frequent scriptural invitation to come unto Christ.” The Savior’s loving invitation to repent is as important and liberating in modern times as it has always been.

Have I sinned too much to repent?

Jesus has paid the price for every sin. You may have felt like your sins are too serious or that you have made the same mistake too many times. But no matter how much we have sinned, we can always repent and be forgiven. Some sins may be easier to correct than others, but Jesus Christ has provided for total forgiveness from all sins. He is eager to forgive.

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Go and Sin No More
3:21

Jesus teaches about compassion and forgiveness.

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