I’m a Mormon, So…

I’m a Mormon; so I believe in, and have experienced, the work and subsequent happiness of the repentance process.

The repentance process is a series of steps one takes in order to make amends for a transgression and move forward in an effort to not repeat it. It’s restitution for a sin but also an improvement of character. But, why do we need to repent?

We come to earth for the purpose of growing and progressing. This is a lifelong process. During this time we all sin (see Romans 3:23). We all have need to repent. Sometimes we sin because of ignorance, sometimes because of our weaknesses, and sometimes because of willful disobedience. In the Bible we read that “there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not” (Ecclesiastes 7:20) and that “if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8).

LDS Gospel Principles, “Repentance”

Once a sin is committed, the repentance process begins. The steps are:

  1. Faith in Our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
  2. Sorrow for Sin.
  3. Confession.
  4. Abandonment of Sin.
  5. Restitution.
  6. Righteous Living.
    (According to LDS Gospel Topics, “Repentance”)

Once a person is baptized and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, s/he promises to keep the commandments and behave as Jesus Christ would. We believe that we may repent of any wrongdoing and renew those sacred promises each week by going through the steps listed above and then taking the Sacrament.

Most transgressions are minor; like white lies, not serving others, or stealing candy from the store. In those cases, a personal journey through repentance is just fine.

If guilty of a major transgression, then the steps of repentance need to involve confessing to one’s ecclesiastical leader, perhaps in a membership council. Serious enough sins result in a person’s removal from official church membership. Obviously, a serious sin would already have consequences in wider settings -like being arrested and/or spending time in prison. The council is to determine one’s personal healing process and reinstatement in the LDS Church.

The repentance process is not always easy but is worth doing. I’ve never felt as truly happy as I did after following it for a serious sin in my younger years; it’s like being full of light.

©2022 Chel Owens

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

……

We Mormons are officially members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and are to drop any name but that. Since many still run with the nickname of ‘Mormon,’ however, I will keep pace.

My other note is that I will keep to official doctrinal practices. I will add my own application of them, especially in response to comments.

My final note is that I LOVE discussing anything I write. Don’t be rude, obviously, but any and all queries or responses are welcome.

My final note beyond the final note is that I do not seek to convert anyone. I ought to, but am motivated by forming connections, answering curiosity, and straightening pictures. So, you’re safe.

41 thoughts on “I’m a Mormon, So…

  1. petespringerauthor March 21, 2022 / 11:38 pm

    Thanks for the explanation, Chel. This answers my question to your last post in this series.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens March 21, 2022 / 11:43 pm

      Phew. I often start writing one and realize I need more backstory. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jim Wingrove March 22, 2022 / 12:03 am

    nice picture 🌷🌷

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens March 22, 2022 / 5:15 am

      I believe so, from a continual-movement-toward-betterment and -happiness perspective. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. CarolCooks2 March 22, 2022 / 3:23 am

    I am really enjoying this series its good to know more about other religions 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nope, Not Pam March 22, 2022 / 3:30 am

    In the case of a major transgression and removal, is it possible, through repentance, to be reaccepted in the church, and if so does the past linger or if it accepted as part of the process of growth.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens March 22, 2022 / 5:21 am

      Yes, reacceptance is possible, given those terms. Of course! If so, the past only lingers in terms of whether a legal restriction lingers. Ideally, no one brings the sin up again (they’re not supposed to); there’s a popular phrase from scripture (Isaiah) about this very thing: “though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”

      Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens March 22, 2022 / 5:23 am

      I personally know people who have committed a serious sin, lost membership, repented, applied for readmittance, and are happily in full fellowship again.

      Like

      • hbsuefred April 3, 2022 / 1:01 pm

        So maybe this is what my idiot ex-husband had/has in mind every time he makes noises about going back to the church?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Chel Owens April 3, 2022 / 5:26 pm

          Oh, probably. We’re supposed to reform, though.
          You know: promise not to sin again.

          Like

          • hbsuefred April 10, 2022 / 10:16 am

            Isn’t that a bit like insanity? Doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result? Kind of like dieting, it gets harder every time you do it.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Chel Owens April 10, 2022 / 12:30 pm

              😀 I’m currently dieting.

              No -like with dieting, you are doing it to get a different result. It’s a continual improvement.

              Like

              • hbsuefred April 19, 2022 / 9:54 am

                You always see the bright/up side of things. Thanks for sharing that perspective ALL THE TIME!

                Liked by 1 person

                • Chel Owens April 19, 2022 / 10:20 am

                  Thank you. 😀 I’m actually a pessimist about most things.

                  Like

  5. Richmond Road March 22, 2022 / 4:14 am

    Is there not a problem in promising to follow the commandments, and live as Jesus Christ would live, with the knowledge that one will inevitably transgress and hence be subject to the repentance process? Does that not render the act of baptism a lie in itself – making a promise that one can never hope to keep?
    All that said, I think you would agree that the commandments represent, more or less, what all peoples of all religions acknowledge and accept as a reasonably commonsense approach to sharing a planet. It’s not as though Christians (or anyone else) were the first to be told. Likewise, we all feel guilt when we do the wrong thing (sin) and we all feel an unburdening upon feeling forgiveness. Religion need not have anything to do with it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens March 22, 2022 / 5:41 am

      I can see that perspective, as mine is a pessimistic attitude and I have also seen that sort of helpless, hopeless recursion in the thing. It’s helped me to see that attitude as simply a result of feeling tired and jaded in general; for, is not EVERYTHING a constant fall to needing attention? You don’t hear someone ask why you eat again if you are simply going to defecate and then need to eat afterwards.

      And your second point is also an attitude and question I’ve considered (and the main point of Dawkins’ God Delusion). At the time of reading, I agreed with him. Why religion? The intelligent, ordered mind seems fine. Certainly, I did not combust whilst living under the idea of atheism. Nothing caught fire and descended into brimstone. The world still turned.
      But I can swear to anyone who asks that my world was not the ordered, free paradise I imagined from releasing God (as I thought of it, and as Dawkins describes). The world still turned but there was only the world. Following God’s commandments isn’t a mire of thought and action but is a path of enlightenment and greater freedom. You and I and all humans are beautiful, worthy, potentially-godlike beings. We are not constantly sinning but constantly improving; not above someone else because of adherence to a named religion but taught knowledge anyone and everyone can have.

      Like

      • Richmond Road March 22, 2022 / 1:57 pm

        I think the first point is probably just a semantic one. Perhaps one should promise to TRY to follow the commandments and promise to TRY to emulate the life of Jesus since to actually promise to do it whilst knowing that it is humanly impossible to do so is a lie and therefore a direct contravention in itself. I think that your eating analogy has more to do with the apparent pointlessness of life than with the cycle of sin and forgiveness.

        I would certainly not claim my own life to be an ‘ordered free paradise’ …. was that a claim of Dawkins? I doubt it. And I have little doubt that you genuinely feel more comfortable with faith than without it. But that doesn’t make it valid. Indeed, was not the book you refer to The God DELUSION? I think it can be a very pleasant and comforting delusion, providing structure and apparent meaning to the chaos and meaninglessness of life. But that doesn’t make it valid either.
        I think it could be said that once one has truly found faith then one can never look back, and the same can be said of finding its opposite. Clearly humanity has proved to be capable of living with or without religion and so the Christian defence is to point out that ‘life’ is not the point – what we should be thinking about is what comes next – the afterlife.
        I think that even I would argue that people should live their lives ‘as though’ there were an ‘afterlife’. Oddly, religious people seem no more or less capable of actually doing so than do the rest of us.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Chel Owens March 22, 2022 / 2:35 pm

          Is not promising to live like Jesus promising to try? Now who’s picking at semantics? 😉

          Having experienced both, I am definitely comfortable with faith. And no, one does not invariably continue without once it’s lost. You can find it again.

          Like

          • Richmond Road March 22, 2022 / 3:30 pm

            Hmmmm ….. I used to play a game with my children where I would have them hold their arms up in the air and I would absolutely promise not to tickle them. It was called ‘The Trust Game’. It was the same every time. “You have to trust me,” I would insist, “as my hands came closer and closer, “I know that I failed last time, but I absolutely promise not to tickle you.”
            Then, of course, I would tickle them.
            We would all laugh uproariously. I suppose that was my forgiveness.
            Is that something like what you mean?

            And the opposite to faith is not ‘losing’ faith, it is being without faith. There is a difference …. but, I admit, a fairly semantic one.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Chel Owens March 22, 2022 / 10:03 pm

              Not really, though the game sounds fun to play with children. I see the whole sin/forgiveness thing rather like eating (hence the analogy) or dishes or showering. We must repent as we feel needs repenting but work toward a positive feeling of improvement.

              As to losing faith or being without, I merely meant to address your point that one must be with faith or without. Forever. I argue that either one may return to faith or that no one can actually have no faith.

              Like

              • Richmond Road March 23, 2022 / 1:06 am

                Yes indeed …. much fun and hilarity!
                Um …. the eating/showering analogy seems to miss the mark a bit unless the ultimate aim (the promise) is to stop getting hungry or dirty. Alternatively you might be arguing that sin is actually some sort of daily function which has to be performed – in which case even aiming to be without sin is not expected.
                I don’t know …. it just doesn’t hit the spot with me – you need a better analogy!!

                I’m not sure if you are suggesting that atheism is a faith in itself (having faith in there not being a God, as apposed to the opposite). It’s a reasonable argument as long as you are willing to accept that 1+1=2 is also a matter of faith and not fact (and I really think that a philosophical argument can be put forward to support that).

                And please tell me if I am being offensive in any way. I am only continuing the debate because you indicated your own enjoyment of doing so.
                I’m actually much better at terrible poetry, if you prefer that …..

                Liked by 1 person

                • Chel Owens March 23, 2022 / 2:08 am

                  No offense taken, although I dislike debate. I assumed I was clarifying. 🙂

                  Sin: occurs daily much like chores do. Repentance must therefore continue as well. At some point i do assume we will no longer be hungry nor no longer have dishes – likely at the same terminating point we will no longer sin. Does that make sense as an analogy?
                  A better one might be painting a picture, one brushstroke at a time.

                  I delved into accepting the existence of anything being a matter of faith but am, fortunately for my anxiety, beyond that point. Accepting God as He says He is to me is a much more comfortable and happy position.

                  Terrible poem away! Ask away! I do appreciate your reassurances.

                  Like

                • Richmond Road March 23, 2022 / 1:58 pm

                  Well …. we have probably said enough about this bit of clarification, anyway. I live with a catholic (ex-catholic, really …. living with me takes a toll) and am certainly aware of the whole sin/repentance thing. Via ‘confession’, in their case. It’s always struck me as a bit of a ‘get out of jail free’ card. I suppose my own view is a bit harsher …. no sin can be undone and you should commit it with that knowledge. You do it – you live with it. Final judgement is not down to God, for it resides within your own conscience.

                  But ….. as requested ….

                  I’m not perfect
                  I confess
                  I’ve got myself
                  Into a mess
                  For alter boys
                  I had to grope
                  I’ll ask forgiveness
                  Of the Pope
                  So not to worry
                  I’ll just say
                  That I’m repentant
                  Anyway
                  Goodness, gracious
                  Hail Mary!
                  I’ll fiddle with
                  My Rosary
                  ‘Cause I’m a catholic
                  Ain’t it neat?
                  I sin, confess
                  And then repeat

                  Liked by 1 person

                • Chel Owens March 24, 2022 / 8:38 am

                  😀 Ha ha. Hence, the definite need for the “reformation of character” bit.

                  Like

  6. Norah March 22, 2022 / 4:56 am

    I think recognising transgressions and making an effort to improve is always worthwhile, whatever one’s religion.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Jim Borden March 22, 2022 / 3:27 pm

    another helpful explanation of what seems to be a key part of most religions…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. H.R.R. Gorman March 28, 2022 / 6:52 am

    1) I read several comments, and it seems there may be a disconnect between promising to sin no more and the sheer inability to do so. I think grace and mercy may be concepts you glanced over a bit – but I also think those are shockingly hard concepts, especially during a back-and-forth. Being able to recognize your weakness in the face of Jesus’s gift of mercy is really hard, when you think about it.

    2) A terrible what if: imagine someone is convicted of murder and kicked out of the church. They apply for reacceptance, but they will not confess because they claim innocence. The convict eventually dies in jail, but is posthumously exhonerated of the crime due to irrefutable new evidence. Can the church let them back in? Is church membership required for a good afterlife, or is the personal conviction, faith and relationship enough? Are the church leaders guilty of a sin for not letting the prisoner back in, even if they are blameless (because they had no better eviddnce prior to the convict’s death)?

    Goodness, I love dumb what ifs. I’m Baptist, and it’s reallllll hard to not get reaccepted into Baptist church. However, it’s also pretty well codified that you don’t need church to get to heaven (skipping steps), so it all matters less. I don’t know how Catholic church works, but I’m sure there’s rules because they got rules for everything.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens March 29, 2022 / 10:55 am

      1. You are right. I do not fully understand the Atonement and grace and such. I see things as: I did this bad thing so now I will make up for it.

      2. I love what-ifs. 😀 Of course that person would be “let back in.” Death is not the end; we are constantly working towards perfection.

      I don’t know how Catholic church runs, either. The LDS Church has guidelines about attending and baptism and such, but the overarching concept is following God’s laws and impressions from His spirit.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Michael B. Fishman May 1, 2022 / 2:56 pm

    This: “swearing in front of a child”, confused me a little. Is swearing in front of adults, or by oneself not a sin or something that necessitates repentance? What about hearing swearing, like in movies and TV, or reading it? These posts are interesting. They make me think.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens May 1, 2022 / 3:21 pm

      Good point. I was throwing out a reference to when I wrote about not swearing, earlier. Obviously, if we’ve been asked to not curse than swearing in front of an adult would need repenting. One can get very very caught up in errors needing fixing however, as I did as a child, so I think one needs to keep an open mind and realize the purpose of repentance and working toward improvement.

      Liked by 1 person

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