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How can repentance help me every day?

Jesus Christ suffered the penalty for our sins so that we can repent. Repentance is a change of heart and mind that brings us closer to God. It includes turning away from sin and turning to God for forgiveness. It is motivated by love for God and a sincere desire to obey His commandments.

Prepare yourself spiritually

Prayerfully study these scriptures and resources. What inspires you to repent?

Isaiah 1:18; Alma 34:15–16; 36:6–24; D&C 1:32 (Through repentance, we can be forgiven of our sins)

Alma 19:33 (Repentance brings a change of heart)

Mosiah 27:35; D&C 58:42–43 (To repent, we must confess and forsake our sins)

Dale G. Renlund, “Repentance: A Joyful Choice,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2016, 121–24

Linda S. Reeves, “The Great Plan of Redemption,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2016, 88–90

Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “He Will Place You on His Shoulders and Carry You Home,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2016, 101–4

Allen D. Haynie, “Remembering in Whom We Have Trusted,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2015, 121–23

Repentance,” For the Strength of Youth (2011), 28–29

Repentance,” True to the Faith (2004), 132–35

Virtue,” Young Women Personal Progress (2009), value experience 4

Videos: “Not a One-Time Thing,” “A Change of Heart”

Share experiences

At the beginning of each class, invite the young women to share, teach, and testify about the experiences they have had applying what they learned in the previous week’s lesson. This will encourage personal conversion and help the young women see the relevance of the gospel in their daily lives.

Introduce the doctrine

Choose from these ideas or think of your own to introduce this week’s lesson:

  • Show the video “A Change of Heart.” What do the young women learn about repentance from this young man’s experience?
  • Invite the young women to anonymously write on pieces of paper questions they have about repentance, and collect the papers. Invite the bishop to join the class and answer these questions.

Learn together

Each of the activities below can help the young women understand the importance of repentance in their daily lives. Following the guidance of the Spirit, select one or more that will work best for your class:

  • Invite a young woman to come to class prepared to share a story from one of the talks suggested in this outline. You could also show a video of the speaker telling the story. What do the stories teach us about repentance? Write statements about repentance from the talks on slips of paper. Invite the young women to select a statement and share what they learn—first with a partner and then with the class. Give them time to reflect on changes they feel impressed to make because of what they have learned.
  • Ask one of the young women to hide an object while the other class members are watching. Ask another young woman to try to find the object. What does this example teach about trying to hide sins from God? (see Alma 39:8). What scripture stories can the young women share that teach us that we cannot hide our sins from God? (see, for example, Jonah 1–2; 2 Samuel 11–12; Acts 5:1–11). They could also review one of the stories in Sister Linda S. Reeves’s talk “The Great Plan of Redemption.” Invite the young women to discuss the following questions in small groups: What are some of the ways people try to hide their sins? What would you say to help someone understand that we cannot hide our sins?
  • Invite the young women to search (individually or as a class) resources such as the “Repentance” sections of True to the Faith and For the Strength of Youth or Alma 36:11–20. Ask them to share favorite statements or ideas from these resources and explain why they are meaningful to them.
  • Invite the young women to select a scripture passage about repentance (such as those suggested in this outline) and summarize in their own words what they learn from their scripture. How could they use these scriptures to help someone who thinks he or she cannot be forgiven?
  • Give the young women time in class to work on Virtue value experience 4 from the Personal Progress book. If they have already completed this value experience, ask them to share what they learned from it.

Ask the young women to share what they learned today. Do they understand the doctrine of repentance better? What feelings or impressions do they have? Do they have any additional questions? Would it be helpful to spend more time on this doctrine?

Live what we are learning

Invite the young women to consider how they will live by what they have learned today. For example, they could:

  • Examine their lives and find areas where they can repent and improve.
  • Write in their journals what they can do to repent, improve their lives, or continue to live the principles of the gospel.