2 Corinthians 7: Godly Sorrow

New Testament: Student Study guide, (2003), 128–129


Paul taught that “godly sorrow” is required if true repentance is to take place (2 Corinthians 7:10). As you study 2 Corinthians 7, consider the following words of President Ezra Taft Benson: “It is not uncommon to find men and women in the world who feel remorse for the things they do wrong. Sometimes this is because their actions cause them or loved ones great sorrow and misery. Sometimes their sorrow is caused because they are caught and punished for their actions. Such worldly feelings do not constitute ‘godly sorrow’ (2 Corinthians 7:10). Godly sorrow is a gift of the Spirit. It is a deep realization that our actions have offended our Father and our God. It is the sharp and keen awareness that our behavior caused the Savior, He who knew no sin, even the greatest of all, to endure agony and suffering. Our sins caused Him to bleed at every pore. This very real mental and spiritual anguish is what the scriptures refer to as having ‘a broken heart and contrite spirit’ (D&C 20:37). Such a spirit is the absolute prerequisite for true repentance” (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson,  72).
bishop counseling ward member

Understanding the Scriptures

2 Corinthians 7

Vehement (v. 11)Earnest desire 

Studying the Scriptures

Do the following activity as you study 2 Corinthians 7.

Activity A iconGive Your Advice

Study 2 Corinthians 7:8–11 and the quote from President Ezra Taft Benson in the preceding introduction. Imagine working for the New Era magazine and being asked to write a column that answers teenagers’ questions. Write the advice you would give about repentance if the following three statements were submitted to you:

  1. 1.

    Okay, I got caught shoplifting, but everybody does it. It’s no big deal and easy to repent of, right?

  2. 2.

    I talked to the bishop. I just told him what I did, and now everything is okay.

  3. 3.

    I don’t have to tell the bishop. If I just pray about it, that will be enough to repent.