Repentance - Truth in Love Ministry

Dictionary of Mormonese


According to Mormonism, “repentance is a painful process, but it leads to forgiveness and lasting peace” (True to the Faith, p. 133). It is also a detailed and drawn-out process.  It has six steps: faith, sorrow for sin, confession, abandonment of sin, restitution, and righteous living.

This is how the fourth step, abandonment of sin, is explained: “Maintain an unyielding, permanent resolve that you will never repeat the transgression” (Ibid, p. 135). Official Mormonism teaches that if a person repeats a sin, their repentance wasn’t sincere. “There is one crucial test of repentance. This is abandonment of the sin. … The saving power does not extend to him who merely wants to change his life” (Spencer W. Kimball, quoted in Sharing the Gospel Course Manual, p. 94). “Nor is repentance complete when one merely tries to abandon sin. … To ‘try’ is weak” (Spencer W. Kimball, The Miracle of Forgiveness, pp. 164f.)

The sixth step, righteous living, is explained as follows: “It is not enough to simply try to resist evil or *empty your life of sin*. You must fill your life with righteousness and engage in activities that bring spiritual power” (Ibid, p. 135, emphasis added).

Biblical Christianity teaches that repentance is the change of mind when people turn away from trust in themselves and their works to trust in Jesus and his work for them. Instead of a painful process, it gives great joy. A good example of a repentant man is Zacchaeus in Luke 19.

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