What is the second principle of the gospel, listed in the fourth article of faith? If you said “Repentance,” you are right!
Repentance is turning from doing wrong to doing right. The Savior wants you to turn away from wrong and turn to Him. (See 3 Ne. 30:1–2.) He gave His life to pay for your sins so that if you repent, you can be forgiven and be clean again.
When you disobey the commandments or hurt others, the Holy Ghost cannot be with you and you may feel sad, guilty, lonely, or afraid. To change these feelings, you need to turn from doing wrong to doing right. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ will help you change. This changing is called repentance.
Repentance begins inside of you—in your thoughts and in your heart. When you know you have done something wrong, think about it until a feeling of sorrow comes into your heart. Do not excuse yourself or blame someone else. Tell Heavenly Father what you have done and how you feel. Tell Him how much you love Him, and ask for His help. If you have hurt someone or something, try to make it better. Promise Heavenly Father that you will try, with all your heart, to do what is right from now on.
Repentance begins on the inside, but usually it shows on the outside as well. When you promise Heavenly Father that you will do what is right, you keep your promise by changing the way you act. You treat others with more love and kindness. You keep the commandments. These actions will help you feel good about yourself and others.
You will need to repent many times throughout your life. As you turn away from wrong and try to do what is right, you will grow closer and closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
(1) Mount page 37 on heavier paper and color each scene. (2) Cut along the heavy black lines and fold on the broken lines. Glue Tab 1 to the edge of the third scene. (3) Make small holes, as indicated, in Tabs 2, 3, 4, and overlap the tabs to align the holes (see illustration). Tie a double knot in a string, then thread the string through the holes with the knot on the botton. (4) Hang your Repentance Reminder where you can see it each day.
Note: The practice song this month might be “To Think about Jesus” (Children’s Songbook, p. 71).
1. Prepare a set of colored paper flowers. Glue a stem (a straw or a stick) to each flower. On the back of each, write the title of a song from the Children’s Songbook that teaches about the Atonement. (Examples: “On a Golden Springtime,” verse 2, p. 88; “He Sent His Son,” p. 34; “He Died That We Might Live Again,” p. 65; “The Third Article of Faith,” p. 123; “I Lived in Heaven,” p. 4.) Place the flowers all around the room. Tell the children that during this wonderful time of year, we celebrate the most important event of all time. Many songs tell of this event. Let the children take turns choosing a flower and putting it in a vase at the front of the room. Sing the songs as each flower is chosen. Have the children guess what the most important event of all time is (the Atonement of the Savior, Jesus Christ). Bear your testimony about what this means to you in your life.
2. Discuss with the older children what the word poison means. Tell them that it is like sin. Just as poison destroys the body, sin destroys the spirit. Explain that if you were to take poison, you might immediately realize what you had done, be sorry, tell someone, and not take any more. But that would not save you from the effects of the poison already in your body. Help the children understand that when you have sinned, or taken spiritual poison, Jesus has commanded you to repent. You must feel sorry for the sin, confess it to Heavenly Father, try to pay for what you have done, and try to not do it again. Jesus Christ suffered and paid for all our sins so that we can repent. This is called the Atonement. Just as taking an antidote (medicine that works against poison) can eliminate the bad effects of poison in our system, repentance and the Atonement together can eliminate sin from our lives. Have the children look up the scriptures, then verbally fill in the blanks in the following sentences with repent, repentance, atone, or atonement. Discuss each scripture as you fill in the blank. Give each child a copy of the activity; suggest that he/she share it with his/her family. Sentences: And he commandeth all men that they must ________________ (2 Ne. 9:23). For the ____________ satisfieth the demands of … justice (2 Ne. 9:26). For according to the great plan of the Eternal God there must be an ____________ made, or else all mankind must unavoidably perish (Alma 34:9). We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, ____________ (A of F 1:4). Now this is the commandment: ____________, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name (3 Ne. 27:20). For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would ____________ (D&C 19:16). For, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might ____________ and come unto him (D&C 18:11).
3. Ask several Primary teachers to explain one of the five steps along the path of repentance. Take the children on the path of repentance by visiting five separate areas in the Primary room. When you arrive at each area, discuss one of the steps: recognition, remorse, confession, restitution, and keeping the commandments (see “Repentance,” Gospel Principles, p. 117). Give each child a list of the steps of repentance and suggest that they share this activity with their families.
4. Invite an adult member of the ward to portray Oliver Cowdery. Discuss with the children the blessing of the principle of repentance, and then introduce Oliver Cowdery to them. Have him explain his conversion, contributions, falling away, repentance, and rebaptism. Information concerning the life of Oliver Cowdery can be found in “The Prophetic Voice” (Ensign, May 1996, pp. 4–7); “Oliver Cowdery” (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, p. 335); and Oliver Cowdery’s description of events (Footnote, JS—H 1:71).
5. Have the Primary presidency and music leader work together for this Sharing Time. Sing “I’m Trying to Be Like Jesus (Children’s Songbook, p. 78). Read “The Horsehair Rope,” Part 1 (Friend, Jan. 1994, pp. 16–19). Sing “Help Me, Dear Father” (Children’s Songbook, p. 99). Read “The Horsehair Rope,” Part 2 (Friend, Feb. 1994, pp. 44–47). Sing “Repentance” (Children’s Songbook, p. 98). Read “The Horsehair Rope,” Conclusion (Friend, Mar. 1994, pp. 26–29). Tell the children that as we try to be like Jesus and as we repent when we do something wrong, we will feel our Savior’s love. Sing “I Feel My Savior’s Love” (Children’s Songbook, p. 74).
6. Invite a member of the bishopric to discuss the gospel standard “I will choose the right. I know I can repent when I make a mistake.” Ask him to tell how this standard has blessed him in his life. Bear your testimony about the principle of repentance.
7. For additional resources on the topics of the Atonement and repentance, please see the following lessons, articles, stories, poems, and Sharing Time pages: “The Atonement” (Friend, Mar. 1995, pp. 48–49); “I Can Repent” (Friend, Feb. 1996, p. 26); “Jesus Christ’s Atonement Is the Greatest Gift of Love” (Friend, Feb. 1996, pp. 36–37); “Our Family” (Friend, Sep. 1995, pp. 46–47); “Rhubarb Pie” (Friend, July 1995, pp. 40–42); “Easter Time” (Friend, Apr. 1996, p. 27); “Jesus Christ in Gethsemane” (Primary 7, Enrichment Activity 2,); “Alma the Younger and the Sons of Mosiah Repent” (Primary 4, Enrichment Activities 2, 3, p. 49); “Jesus Made Repentance Possible” (Family Home Evening Resource Book, “Repentance Quiz,” pp. 39–42).