Monday, January 19, 2009

Urgent Nature of Salvation - Repentance

The situation is dire. There is precious little time to act. Every moment that passes without certain and decisive measures toward that most important goal leaves an abyssal hole in what could be. The anxiety surrounding what could become reality pervades every nerve. Since nothing is yet etched in stone, we can act now to subvert potential catastrophe. In a season when the common theme is change, few are focused on that most important change of all. The very personal change, a change of heart.

The Savior’s call for repentance expressed certain urgency and others throughout the scriptures echo the Savior’s call.

While on a mission with Alma to the Zoramites, Amulek taught we should not “procrastinate the day of [our] repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed.”

The Bible Dictionary suggests the term from which repentance was translated is Greek describing the process as a change of mind or a fresh view about God, oneself and the world. This is a change from the carnal to an adoption of a higher state, suggesting repentance to be a positive experience from the very beginning of the process.

Interestingly, searching the internet for definitions of repentance returns a stark contrast to this, in most cases describing repentance as almost synonymous with guilt. Although the foundation of change for some, these references suggest guilt or sorrow are an integral part of repentance.

Does the Savior’s call for repentance require a sense of guilt? Although a motivator for some, is guilt compulsory for everyone to truly repent? Is it an integral part of the process?
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