There have been times in my life when I felt as if there was no hope for me to be happy or to return to our Father in Heaven. Several years ago I was disfellowshipped from the Church. I had lived a life of pride and sin and had suffered greatly because of my actions. My engagement to the woman I loved didn’t work out, my relationships with others were suffering, and I wasn’t happy.
Although I wished I had chosen to be humble long before then, I was compelled to be humble and to seek to do the will of the Lord. I started to read the scriptures more frequently, to pray more often, and to seek to serve others. I tried to repair the relationships I had neglected for so long, including my relationship with Heavenly Father. I truly desired a change of heart.
It was early morning as I drove to school one day, and the sun was not yet up. The eastern horizon glowed, and the western horizon was dark, with a full moon descending behind it. I had developed the habit of conversing with my Heavenly Father while driving. As I prayed during this car ride, my mind was enlightened, and a new hope was placed within my heart.
I realized that my life was glowing and getting increasingly brighter, just like the eastern horizon. The darkness was dissipating, and my sins, which were as great as that full moon, were descending. They were not yet gone, but I knew that they soon would be if I continued my sincere repentance. I had hope that someday my life would be as bright as noonday.
With time and as I prayed for love for my Heavenly Father and others, I became more humble. Increased humility led me to serve God and others more selflessly, and my hope for eternal life and a better future was renewed and replenished. As that hope grew, so did my faith that my Savior, Jesus Christ, is mighty to save and to cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I know the words of Mormon are true: “Ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal” (Moroni 7:41).
Happiness through Repentance
“Do we understand our Heavenly Father’s [eagerness] at our every effort to return to him? Even when we are still a great way off, he welcomes our return. We experience joy as the love of our Savior assures us that we can yet be clean, that we will one day be home again. This happiness comes only through repentance.
“As we leave wrongdoing behind and exercise faith in Jesus Christ, we receive a remission of our sins. We sense that our Savior is doing for us what we cannot do ourselves.”
Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “The Joy of Becoming Clean,” Ensign, Apr. 1995, 51.
What Are the Conditions of Repentance?
The prophet Helaman taught that repentance has conditions:
“The Lord surely should come to redeem his people, but … he should not come to redeem them in their sins, but to redeem them from their sins.
“And he hath power given unto him from the Father to redeem them from their sins because of repentance; therefore he hath sent his angels to declare the tidings of the conditions of repentance, which bringeth unto the power of the Redeemer, unto the salvation of their souls” (Helaman 5:10–11; emphasis added).
Consider studying the following scriptures to understand better some of those conditions: