"When Satan reminds you of your past, remind him of his future."
"In the battle of life, the adversary takes enormous numbers of prisoners, and many who know of no way to escape and are pressed into his service.
Every soul confined to a concentration camp of sin and guilt has a key to the gate. The adversary cannot hold them if they know how to use it.
The key is labeled Repentance. The twin principles of repentance and forgiveness exceed in strength the awesome power of the adversary."
Boyd K. Packer, April 1992 General Conference
I read a letter from a troubled friend who is wrestling with a profound personal problem. I would like to quote excerpts from that letter:
The guilt and failure I feel make it almost impossible for me to repent. I am losing my faith. The sins were first; the doubts followed. The order is important because sin needed doubt. When I doubted my faith, sins lost their meaning and guilt its bite.
Doubting began, then, as a means of anesthesia. It served to diminish the guilt that was literally tearing me apart. Before long, however, the doubts thrived independent of the needs that conceived them.
My painful indecisiveness, my tentativeness, my lack of direction, my paralysis of volition, my poverty of confidence, have caused suffering and depression. My family, my future, and my faith are at stake. I am losing hope.
"I shall tell you a great secret, my friend. Do not wait for the last judgment, it takes place every day."
"Repentance takes care of the past, faith the future, and the Holy Ghost helps us with today."
Elder Neal A. Maxwell "Of One Heart," p. 30
"When we think of the great sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ and the sufferings he endured for us, we would be ingrates if we did not appreciate it so far as our power made it possible. He suffered and died for us, yet if we do not repent, all his anguish and pain on our account are futile."
President Spencer W. Kimball (L.D.S. Historical Calendar - 1999)
"True repentance does not permit repetition."
Spencer W. Kimball (LDS Speaker's Sourcebook, Aspen Books 1991, page 379)
"The longer repentance is pushed into the background, the more exquisite will be the punishment when it finally comes....If men would only let their sins trouble them early, when the sins are small and few, how much anguish would be saved them."
President Spencer W. Kimball - Miracle of Forgiveness
"Everybody's got to repent sometime--do it now and avoid the rush!"
“And when mistakes occur, let them become instructive, not destructive.”
Neal A. Maxwell (Ensign, May 1982, p. 39)
"I have never seen happier people than those who have repented."
Stephen L. Richards (General Conference Report, October 1940, page 35)
"Repentance is the key with which we can unlock the prison from inside. We hold that key within our hands, and agency is ours to use it."
Boyd K. Packer - Ensign May 1988
"I readily confess that I would find no peace, neither happiness nor safety, in a world without repentance. I do not know what I should do if there were no way for me to erase my mistakes. The agony would be more than I could bear. It may be otherwise with you, but not with me."
Boyd K. Packer - Ensign May 1988
"I refer to the blessing of true, sincere, continuing repentance, the path to peace and joy. It is a conduit to the reforming power of the Lord and, when understood and used, a dear and precious friend."
Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
"Can't you see that to continue to suffer for sins, when there has been proper repentance and forgiveness of the Lord, is not prompted by the Savior but by the master of deceit, whose goal has always been to bind and enslave the children of our Father in Heaven?
Satan would encourage you to continue to relive the details of past mistakes, knowing that such thoughts make progress, growth, and service difficult to attain. It is as though Satan ties strings to the mind and body so that he can manipulate one like a puppet, discouraging personal achievement.
"I testify that Jesus Christ paid the price and satisfied the demands of justice for all who are obedient to His teachings. Thus, full forgiveness is granted, and the distressing effects of sin need no longer persist in one's life. Indeed, they cannot persist if one truly understands the meaning of Christ's Atonement."
(Richard G. Scott, "We Love You -- Please Come Back," Ensign, May 1986, p. 11)
"Again, while we are blessed with and need the principle of repentance, with its soothing, prescriptive balm, prevention is still the primary task!"
Neal A. Maxwell - "Talk of the Month" - "New Era," May 1971, 29
"Your personal chain that anchors your souls to the gospel can be as strong as you want to make it through a daily review of your life. Be grateful for the principle of repentance, which provides the way for us to strengthen any weak links in our chain."
M. Russell Ballard, "Steadfast in Christ" - "Ensign," Dec. 1993, 53
"Repentance is a great blessing, but you should never make yourself sick just so you can try out the remedy."
M. Russell Ballard, "Purity Precedes Power" - Ensign, Nov. 1990, 36
"Repentance is not that superficial sorrow felt by a criminal when caught in the act of wrong-doing-a sorrow not for sin, but for sin's detection, for being taken in transgression. Chagrin is not repentance. Mortification and shame, alone, bring no change of heart toward right living or right feeling.
Repentance involves remorse; but even remorse is not all there is to repentance. In its highest meaning and fullest measure, repentance is equivalent to reformation--a resolve to 'sin no more,' backed by conduct consistent with such a determination."
Orson F. Whitney, "Gospel Themes," [Salt Lake City: n.p., 1914], p. 37-38
"If you have made bad choices, repent now. Remove any such barrier to your progress and happiness."
173rd Semiannual General Conference, October 2003, Elder Richard G. Scott, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
"Have faith in Christ, trust Him, come unto Him, follow Him (see 3 Ne. 27:13-16; Moro. 10:32-33). Make a mental list of those things you know you ought not to be doing. Stop doing today at least one such thing, and replace it with what you ought to do.
Pray to Heavenly Father for forgiveness and for the strength to complete this journey. As you overcome one obstacle and move on to another, I promise that step by step the way will unfold before you until, as the wearied traveler, you are back where you belong."
Keith B. McMullin, "Welcome Home," Ensign, May 1999, 80
"As to remedying our personal mistakes, we face no hindering traffic jams on the road of repentance. It is a toll road, not a freeway, and applying Christ's Atonement will speed us along."
Neal A. Maxwell - "Encircled in the Arms of His Love" - November 2002 Ensign, p. 17
"I warn you of a pervasive false doctrine. For want of a better name, I call it 'premeditated repentance,' by which I mean consciously sinning with the forethought that afterward repentance will permit the enjoyment of the full blessings of the gospel, such as temple marriage or a mission. In an increasingly wicked society, it is harder to toy with evil without becoming contaminated."
James E. Faust - "Finding Light in a Dark World," [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1995], p. 105-106
"The scriptures point out that 'though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow' (Isaiah 1:18). A marvelous cleansing spirit turns the lights on again, which puts the color back into life. When it has entered a person's life he can be in the presence of himself, his fellows, and the Lord, and be at peace."
Boyd K. Packer, "The Things of the Soul," [Salt Lake City, Utah: Bookcraft, 1996]
"Closely related to our own obligation to repent is the generosity of letting others do the same."
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland - Ensign, Nov. 1996, 83
"If you are one who's been wandering off course, now is the time to return. You can, you know."
President Boyd K. Packer - Ensign, May 1996, 19
"Repentance opens the doors of enlightenment and aids inspiration."
Elder Richard G. Scott - Ensign, Nov. 2000, 26
"When temptation besets us, we experience pain of conscience. A sensitive conscience is the evidence of a healthy spirit. The pain or guilt we feel is the spirit's reaction to temptation, imperfection, or sin.
Conscience is the companion of every traveler (see Moro. 7:16-19); it can also make the trip very uncomfortable, since 'all have sinned' and 'the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance' (Rom. 3:23; D&C 1:31). Thanks be to God for this supernal gift, for it can lead us to repentance and peace of conscience (see Mosiah 4:1-3)."
Keith B. McMullin, "Welcome Home," Ensign, May 1999, p. 80
"Full repentance results in forgiveness with spiritual renewal. One can feel the cleansing, the purity, the freshness that accompanies sincere repentance at any time in life."
Elder Richard G. Scott - Ensign, Nov. 2000, 25
"Repentance is not optional. . . . Each one of us is commanded to both repent and to call upon God continually throughout life. That pattern allows each day to be an unspoiled page in the book of life, a new, fresh opportunity.
We are given the rejuvenating privilege of overcoming mistakes of commission or omission, be they small or profoundly serious. Full repentance results in forgiveness with spiritual renewal. One can feel the cleansing, the purity, the freshness that accompanies sincere repentance at any time in life."
Richard G. Scott, "The Path to Peace and Joy," Ensign, Nov. 2000, 25
"You can cast out guilt, overcome depression, receive the blessing of peace of mind, and find enduring joy. Pray for help and guidance, and you will be led to find it. Go to where you know the light of truth shines--to a worthy friend, a loving bishop or stake president, an understanding parent.
Please come back. We love you. We need you. Follow the path to peace and joy through complete repentance. The Savior will help you obtain forgiveness as you sincerely follow all of the steps to repentance. He is the Redeemer. He loves you. He wants you to have peace and joy in your life.
Richard G. Scott, "The Path to Peace and Joy," Ensign, Nov. 2000, 26
"To continue to suffer for sins when there has been proper repentance and forgiveness of the Lord is prompted by the master of deceit.
Lucifer will encourage you to continue to relive the details of past mistakes, knowing that such thoughts can hamper your progress. Thus he attempts to tie strings to the mind and body so that he can manipulate you like a puppet to discourage personal achievement."
Richard G. Scott, "The Path to Peace and Joy," Ensign, Nov. 2000, 26
"The temptation to delay repentance comes not only at the end of the world. . . That temptation seems to have been nearly constant since the beginning of time and goes on throughout our lives. . . . That temptation to delay comes from our enemy, Lucifer. . . . We have all been tempted with that delay.
We know from our own experience that President Spencer W. Kimball was right when he wrote, 'One of the most serious human defects in all ages is procrastination,' and then he defined it: 'an unwillingness to accept responsibility now.'"
Henry B. Eyring, "Do Not Delay," Ensign, Nov. 1999, 33-34
"Without earnest prayer, repentance and cleansing are not possible. When the door is opened by prayer, there is possibility for peace. One of the questions we must ask our Heavenly Father in private prayer is this:
'What have I done today, or not done, which displeases Thee? If I can only know, I will repent with all my heart without delay.' That humble prayer will be answered. And the answers will surely include the assurance that asking today was better than waiting to ask tomorrow."
Henry B. Eyring, "Do Not Delay," Ensign, Nov. 1999, 34
"For some months, I've tried to emphasize repentance, one of the most vital and merciful doctrines of the kingdom. It is too little understood, too little applied by us all, as if it were merely a word on a bumper sticker.
Since we have been told clearly by Jesus what manner of men and women we ought to become—even as He is (see 3 Ne. 27:27)—how can we do so, except each of us employs repentance as the regular means of personal progression?
Personal repentance is part of taking up the cross daily. (See Luke 9:23.) Without it, clearly there could be no 'perfecting of the Saints.' (Eph. 4:12.)"
Neal A. Maxwell, "Repentance," Ensign, November 1991, p. 30
"The discouraging idea that a mistake (or even a series of them) makes it everlastingly too late, does not come from the Lord. He has said that if we will repent, not only will He forgive us our transgressions, but He will forget them and remember our sins no more. (See Isa. 43:25; Heb. 8:12; Heb. 10:17; D&C 58:42; Alma 36:19.)
Repentance is like soap; it can wash sin away. Ground-in dirt may take the strong detergent of discipline to get the stains out, but out they will come."
Elder Boyd K. Packer, "To Young Women and Men," Ensign (CR), May 1989, p.53