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Confidence: A Perfect Understanding of Repentance

"God promises us the gift of confidence." girl sits on a rock, looking out into distance.

Photo by Caleb Frith

Jesus Christ has the power to provide healing and relief regardless of the trials we face.

The most harrowing feeling I’ve ever had was looking at my husband sleeping so peacefully next to me and thinking, “I’m going to be the thing keeping him out of heaven.” I wanted to die so he could go on and find a good wife, a wife who didn’t have the plethora of weaknesses I showed him on a daily basis, a wife who actually progressed.

Being raised in the Church has made me hyper-aware of what expectations exist for my behavior. For some, knowing exactly what is expected is a comfort, but for others it is an anxiety-ridden struggle. Yet one of the greatest gifts God promises us is a gift called confidence. In a general conference talk titled “Approaching the Throne of God with Confidence,” Elder Jörg Klebingat explains how to receive the gift of confidence as described in D&C 121:45, “Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God.”

How? As Elder Klebingat says, “Choose honest, joyful, daily repentance by striving to simply do and be your very best.” Making a habit of repentance will bring the Spirit, as well as humility and confidence. The confidence of knowing that you are honest before your Heavenly Father will draw you closer to him. This will let you “approach the throne of God with [the] confidence” that you can look at his face and tell him that you tried to be the person he hoped you would be. And then you will not be ashamed.

Read Elder Jörg Klebingat’s talk “Approaching the Throne of God with Confidence.”

—Linde Fielding, Mormon Insights contributor

feature image by steve halama

Find more insights

To learn how repentance can bring peace and happiness, read or watch “Repentance: A Joyful Choice,” a general conference talk given by Elder Dale G. Renlund.

Read “The Confidence of Worthiness,” a message given at a youth fireside in which Elder Jeffrey R. Holland discusses the importance of being optimistic toward the future even when you do face trials and make mistakes.

Check out a New Era article by David A. Edwards called “7 Things We Fear about Repentance—and Why We Shouldn’t” to learn why repentance is both important and possible for everyone.

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  1. Thank you Linde for your honest and candid expressions of fear for repentance. I have had the same feelings, and it is often difficult to realize that repentance is a change of heart, a movement from good to better to best. I am working toward a confidence toward God by learning to simply try to be a little better over time.

  2. I appreciate the honesty of this article. In my own life, I’ve experienced how some expectations can inspire me to move forward and others can discourage me and leave me feeling like I shouldn’t even try. I think the key is, as Elder Klebingat’s said, to keep doing your very best. I enjoyed how you emphasized that repentance is a daily process, not a grand result.

  3. I have absolutely had a similar feeling. When we’re told to be perfect like Christ, it’s easy to see how imperfect we actually are. But we’re a work in progress, and Heavenly Father understands that!

  4. It is comforting to know that most of the people around us experience similar feelings of doubt and frustration. The truth is, we are not perfect and we will not achieve perfection in this life. But I know that we can become perfected in Christ. I know that we can receive all the promised blessings of eternal life and exaltation. I agree that it is the daily acts of faith and repentance that will get us there. If we remember how much our Heavenly Father loves us and trusts in us, we can begin to love and trust in ourselves too.

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