Brother Howard had something to say about repentance that I will be chewing on for awhile. It will probably be part of my mental gospel architecture for life.

He said that repentance is the obverse of agency.  They are indispensably paired.

I agree.  Agency means meaningful choices with consequences.  A loving God lets his rash children exercise their agency before they are ready, because they cannot ever be made ready without exercising it, but He requires no one to ultimately bear those consequences other than himself.

It is a good talk, that talk of Brother Howard’s.  It bears reading.

Some thoughts of my own related to repentance and forgiveness.

There are sound psychological reasons why Christ to heal us must require us to do things whose only logic is that he told us to. Like telling the blind man to rub mud in his eye. Or telling us to pay 10%, not 11 nor 9%, teetotal, do thus and so on Sunday and not otherwise, and so on. Not that these commandments are completely arbitrary, but they are mostly opportunities for obedience.

Why does that matter? Because obedience is what you render to someone with more status than you. But it takes someone with more status than you to absolve you of your sins.

If someone at your level were capable of doing it, you would have done it already.

Other Posts from the Sunday Morning session of the April 1983 General Conference

Shifts That Refocus Our Sights On Christ
A calm that displaces doubts

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