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Question

 

Gramps,

If I have done everything I need to do to repent (and the bishop has verified that I’ve done everything I need to) why do I still remember and feel guilty about what i’ve done?

Kay

 

Answer

 

Dear Kay,

Sometimes the hardest thing for us to do is forgive ourselves.  Elder D. Chad Richardson once spoke of this:

“When the scriptures say to judge righteously, that means with fairness and compassion and charity. That’s how we must judge ourselves. We need to be patient and forgiving of ourselves, just as we must be patient and forgiving of others. 

“Apparently, many individuals do not understand the importance of self-forgiveness in the process of repentance. The Lord, however, makes no exceptions when He declares, “I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men” (D&C 64:10; emphasis added). This includes forgiving ourselves.

Forgiving Ourselves

Remember the words of Nephi in 1 Nephi 3:7,

“I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.”

The Lord wants you to forgive yourself, and He will help you to do so.  Pray for that help.

Elder D. Chad Richardson also said,

“When we turn to our Savior, He can heal us not only of the sin but also of the self-recrimination and the constant mental replaying of our sins or obsessing over them. We must turn the sins and the guilt over to the Savior in a process of complete repentance. For serious sins we will need the help of a bishop or another appropriate priesthood leader to complete our repentance. We then must let the Savior judge whether we or He must make final payment for the sin. Finally, we will need the Savior’s help to feel self-acceptance rather than self-contempt. With the Lord’s help, we will experience a change in how we see ourselves.”

It may take time, but with the Lord’s help you can do it.

 

Gramps

 

 

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