The Gift of Re-Pent-ance!
SAY NO THING BUT RE-PENT-ANCE D&C 6:9, D&C 11:9; D&C19:13-21. (2016)
Let’s expand upon the idea of “Re-Pent-ance”; so that we may more fully comprehend, and “Re-Ceive” the divine and glorious Gift of “Re-Pent-ance”. We may yet find that “Re-Pent-ance” is the most glorious and fulfilling ordainance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Please note at this point in your reading that the nature of what we will discuss here is so sacred, that to profane this knowledge after recovery of it, has power to placing you in the devil’s grasp. Be sufficiently cautioned that if your heart is not ready to “Re-Ceive” this knowledge, then if you read in skepticism, you will place your immediate salvation in jeopardy. Remember what the Lord has said about our relationship with the Holy Ghost: The only sin that is Un-Pardonable is blasphemy against the Holy Ghost; which is like crucifying Christ afresh and/or shedding “Innocent” Blood. (What is it about His relationship with the Holy Ghost that Father cannot allow us to profane?) See D&C 88: 4 The “First” Comforter is the “GLORY” of the celestial Kingdom
And remember what the Prophet Joseph said about where your heart must be in order to “Re-Ceive” the things of God: “If you hope to be a Joint Heir with Christ, you MUST put away ALL your false traditions.” Now is the time to put away ALL false traditions about “Re-Pent-ance”.
We may, unfortunately, be pre-conditioned to think of “Re-Pent-ance” as a negative “have-to” and a necessary and depressing part of our journey. This is so for many Mormons,, as well as those of other faiths, because of the traditions of men that are taught about “Re-Pent-ance”. And as the Lord has said, it is those “traditions of the fathers” by which that wicked one steals truth and Light from us. (D&C 93:39). As you read, please note that the word “Re-Pent-ance” is hyphenated to “reveal” its root word-components and therefore its true meaning.
We may be pre-conditioned to think of “Re-Pent-ance” as being associated with feelings of guilt and “wrong-doing”, and with fear and other horrible feelings – and even trauma – about our past. We may have either realized by ourselves that we had made a bad choice, or hurt someone, or “broken” a commandment, or neglected to do something we “ought to” have done. Or else we may have experienced the deep shame when we were caught doing any of those things. Many times, we only “repent” when we have been caught and shamed into fixing our problem behavior. Never mind the fact that we are ALWAYS “caught”, since God always sees and knows everything we do.
We usually think of “Re-pent-ance” as a downer because we were caught by some mortal, or our conscience ”catches” us doing something we have chosen to do, because we thought at the time it might be fun, or of some benefit to us. Unless our spirits are dulled by so much iniquity that we no longer feel “bad”, those dark feelings of fear, guilt, and shame are therefore associated with our natural man concept of: “Now I have to repent in order to feel good again”. As such, we believe that “Re-pent-ance” means something along these lines: “To feel bad and to confess our wrong behavior to the victim we have hurt, or to some mortal (who is likewise a “sinner”) who has “Jurisdiction” over us – so that he/she can either forgive us or tell us what we must do to “Fix” our sin and make all things “right” – so God will not punish us, and we don’t have to feel “bad” anymore.”
Now, intellectually, we may say, “No, that’s not what I believe Re-Pent-ance is”. But if we are honest with God and with ourselves we will admit that we are hoping to “Fix” our problem and we hope to eliminate our discomfort (whether minor or extreme), and get back to the comfort of ”Feeling good”. And we believe that is what “Re-Pent-ance” is.
There are some serious fallacies, drawbacks and traps that result from this erroneous concept: 1. If I succeed in “Getting” forgiveness from some mortal then I might just think I have effectively erased the consequences of a “Sin” against my Self and against God; and that there is no “mark” left against me. (D&C 6:16 “There is NONE save God that knowest the thoughts and intents of thy heart”)
2. We may begin to think that all I have to do to “feel better” is to “Pay” for my “Sin” by going through certain motions (or rituals) to make my Self feel clean again. I may even think that I can pay someone some money for “forgiveness” – or that I can “work” off my payments. Yet I will remain unclean and in my sinful nature.
3. We may begin to think that baptism in water is the prescribed method (ritual) to “Cleanse my Self”, as if that water has some “special” cleansing power. Like the waters of Fatima, we may begin to desire and worship that “holy” water.
4. We may find that there are certain chemicals, drugs, hypnosis, medications, alcohol, and other substances (or teachings) that can make me “feel better” and therefore I am forgiven – or else I no longer really need forgiveness because the drugs (or teachings) have made me “feel better”. Or my dulled senses from the use of these things (teachings) cover over the remaining lack of fulfillment.
5. We may begin to think that all I have to do when I choose wrongly is to go through the “5 steps” and I am a “good person” again. This particular illusion damns us (stops our progress toward unity with God).
6. We may discover that “Fixing” my “problem” is impossible - such as the case of taking life or robbing someone innocent of their “Virtue”. This leads to the idea that I will NEVER be forgiven.
7. We may find that no amount of confessions or methodologies can make me a “better person” – because I still continue in “sin” due to some conscious or unconscious perceived benefit or pleasure.
8. If I believe, or have been taught, that success in life is found in obtaining power or possessions, or that success is having “position” or praise (approval) of others, then I will tend to stuff (or hide) my feelings, and I may even hide the truth so as to “Look good” to my Self and others.
9. We may begin to think that fixing my own problems and thereby paying for my own sins is my “ticket” to Heaven.
10. I may also begin to think that I can become a God by “Fixing my problems” and never doing “bad” again, which will perfect me eventually - and thereby I will save my Self. I may even think that if I forgive others, that I can “earn” my own forgiveness and thereby atone for my own sins and “save” myself.
11. On the other hand, I may tend to think my salvation and exaltation is dependent on whether I can sufficiently pay the price of my “sins” or mistakes. And if I don’t (or can’t) succeed at full restitution, then I am locked out of Heaven FOREVER.
12. We may begin to compare ourselves with others on the “list of do’s and don’ts”, and thereby determine whether I am better or worse than my neighbor (or brother). This becomes a measuring stick to my “superiority” or “inferiority”. This results in one or more of the following sins against God: Competition, jealousy, envy, Self-pity, fear, blaming others for my problems, guilt, anger, contention, hopelessness, pride in my Self-righteousness, judgmental-ness, gossip, backbiting, ladder climbing, position seeking, attempting to dominate others through judgment and fear of “Not measuring up”, cliques, ostracizing people who make mistakes, seeking to excel, and thinking I must “look good” and WIN at all costs.
13. If I don’t excel on my list of “goods and evils”, then I tell myself that I am not “worthy” of God’s love and blessings – I sink further into the “Abyss of Hell” (the gall of bitterness).
14. While the necessity of restoring someone we have victimized in our choices, even to four-fold of what we have taken, is critically important, if we allow our Self to think that we have “paid” for our sin by doing so, then we do not understand the devilish nature of our Sin, we will continue IN our Sin because we have perpetuated that very nature of Sin, and we reject the divine offering from the Only One who can take that Sin and that devilish Nature of Sin from us. He can save us from our Sins, but not when we choose to remain IN our sinful nature – that of attempting to fix and perfect and glorify our Natural man Selves.
All of these possibilities (that result from this erroneous concept of “Re-Pent-ance”) can leave us devoid of “Re-Pent-ance” and the joy it brings, and can also leave us unfulfilled and could lead to greater iniquity (Lack of Inner Quiet or “Peace”). The Savior, Jesus Christ, offered us the Gift of Peace. We cannot “Make” our own “peace”, and we cannot “earn” Peace. We may, however, “Re-Ceive” peace as a Loving Gift from Him – which leads us to understanding of what it really means to “Re-Pent”.
Let’s look at some scriptures pointing to the fact that “Re-Pent-ance” is NOT something that we “DO”, but rather something that He does, and something that He “Gifts” to us. “Re-Pent-ance” may even be seen (if we choose to see through the mind of Christ) as an “ORDINANCE” – or something that God “ordains” or bestows upon us.
Elder Neal A. Maxwell: “I’ve tried to emphasize repentance, one of the most vital and merciful doctrines of the kingdom. For a brief surging, SELF-ISH moment, sin may create the ILLUSION of individuality. Re-pent-ance is part of taking up the cross daily. “Re-pent-ance is a RESCUING - not a dour doctrine. It is available to the gross sinner as well as the already “good” individual. Repentance requires both turning away from evil and turning to God. (See Deut. 4:30) When “a mighty change” is required, full repentance involves a 180-degree turn, and without looking back! It is a glorious gift of God.” Consider Alma the Younger and King Lamoni. (Ensign Nov. 1991, pg. 30)
Alma 13:29-30 Have faith on the Lord; having a hope that ye shall receive eternal life; having the Love of God always in your hearts, that ye may be lifted up at the last day and enter into his “Rest”.
30 And may the Lord GRANT unto you Re-pent-ance, that ye may not bring down his wrath (consequences) upon you, that ye may not be (remain) bound down by the chains of hell, that ye may not suffer the second death. (the word “Grant” denotes a bestowal or Gift)
Alma 42:22-24 But there is a law given, and a punishment (consequence) affixed, and a Re-Pent-ance granted (gifted); which Re-Pent-ance, mercy claimeth; otherwise, justice claimeth the creature and executeth the claw, and the law inflicteth the punishment; if not so, the works of justice would be destroyed, and God would cease to be God. (Please note that Alma understood that “Re-Pent-ance” is “granted” – Gifted, Bestowed, as it was, so clearly, for him)
23 But God ceaseth not to be God, and mercy claimeth the penitent (those who Re-Ceive Re-Pent-ance), and mercy cometh because of the At-one-ment (of Christ); and the at-One-ment bringeth to pass the resurrection of the dead; and the resurrection of the dead bringeth back men (u)nto the “Presence” of God; and thus they are “Re-stored” (u)nto his “Presence”, to be judged according to their “works” (what we do).
24 For behold, justice exerciseth all his demands, and also mercy claimeth all which is her own; and thus, NONE but the truly penitent (those who Re-Ceive Re-Pent-ance) are saved.
Acts 5:29-31 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey (listen to and follow) God - rather than men.
30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.
Acts 11: Chapter Heading and Verses 17-18 God grants the GIFT of “Re-pent-ance” to Gentiles
17 Forasmuch then as God gave them the like “GIFT” as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?
18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles GRANTED “Re-Pent-ance” unto (eternal) life.
Ezekial 18:30-31 “Re-Pent, turn your Selves from all your transgressions, so iniquity shall NOT be your ruin, and make a NEW HEART AND NEW SPIRIT, for why will ye die?” (not just a method, but a new heart)
2 Peter 3: 9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to “Re-pent-ance”. (Peter said we “come to” “Re-Pent-ance”, not “DO”)
D&C 18:11-15, 22, 44 He brings all men unto Him on conditions of “Re-Pent-ance”…….to convince many of their sins, that they may COME UNTO “Re-Pent-ance”, unto the Kingdom of My Father. (Re-Pent-ance is to COME unto Christ that He may bring us into the Presence of Father and Mother)
D&C 29: 42 But, behold, I say unto you that I, the Lord God, gave unto Adam and unto his seed, that they should not die as to the temporal death (2nd death), until I, the Lord God, should send forth angels to declare unto them “Re-pent-ance” AND Re-dem-ption, through faith on the name of mine Only Begotten Son. (Please note the sentence structure and Re-read it again - which clearly points out that “Re-Pent-ance” AND “Re-deem-ption” come THROUGH Faith on the NAME of the Only Begotten Son. The prepositional phrase “through Faith on the name of the Only Begotton Son” does not apply to angels, but rather to “Re-Pent-ance” AND “Re-Deem-ption”).
Moroni 8: 28 Pray for them, my son, that Re-pent-ance may COME UNTO them. (notice that Mormon understood and taught that Re-Pent-ance comes to us as a gift and not something we “DO”)
The Prophet Joseph Smith in a letter to Joseph Wentworth: We believe that THROUGH the At-One-ment of Christ, ALL mankind may be saved, by obedience (receiving) the laws and ORDINANCES of the gospel; which ORDINANCES are: Faith the Lord Jesus Christ; “Re-Pent-ance”, Baptism FOR the remission of Sins, Laying on of Hands FOR the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and the Lord’s Supper. (Please note that the Prophet said there are 5 things which are ORDINANCES, or more correctly spelled ORDAIN-ANCES – meaning Bestowals from God. That means that Joseph believed that all 5 of these things are bestowals from God – ORDAINANCES. What is the Ordainance of Re-Pent-ance? Where and when does it occur and how?
Now, let us take a look at the word – Re-Pent-ance. The “ance” is a suffix which creates a noun ‘thing’ out of a verb. “Re-Pent-ANCE” is the noun form of “Re-Pent”. It begins with “Re-Pent”, which is a verb denoting an action. The Prefix “RE” means “again” or “do over”. The real root is “Pent”. What does “pent” mean? Pent-agon, Pent-acost, Pent-atuech, Pent-agram, Pent-angle – These are clues.
If we let go of our traditional pre-conceived notion of what it means to “Re-Pent”, then we may see in scripture some other uses of the word “Re-Pent”.
Genesis 6:6 “It repented the Lord that He had made man”
Genesis 8:25 “It repented Noah that the Lord had made man”
Gen 32: 14, 2 Samuel 24:16, 1 Chron. 21:15, Jer 26:3 “The Lord REPENTED of the evil which He thought to do”
Judges 2:18 “It REPENTED the Lord because of their groanings”
1 Samuel 15;11 “It REPENTED (Samuel) that I have set up Saul to be King”
Psalm 110:4, Hebrews 7:21 The Lord hath “SWORN” and will NOT Re-Pent”
Now, we have just seen several instances where it says the Lord repents and sometimes refuses to repent. If the meaning of Repent is what we have always thought it was, then the Lord has some need to repent of His sins. That does not make sense!
The Hebrew word for “Re-Pent” is Teshuvah, which literally means Re-Turn to God. We get our gospel knowledge as rooted in the Hebrew language and letters.
So on one level then the meaning of Re-Pent is to Re-Turn. The prefix “RE” means again. The word “Turn” means to change our focus and our position from wherever it was placed and to turn our focus or position back to where it was originally before we had shifted it . Literally “Re-Turn or Re-Pent means to “Turn back again” to where we were focused in the beginning.
In a spiritual and literal sense, it means to “turn back again to the Lord”.
In the Lord’s case, it means “turn back again from whatever He was doing – or focusing on.”
Let us verify this by consulting the LDS Bible Dictionary: “Re-Pent-ance comes to mean a TURNING of the heart and will TO God.”
Now, let’s see this picture of any one of us children of God who choose to Re-Pent: if we are “turned” to God with our hearts and our “will”, then we cannot “turn” back to God. We are already “turned” to God.
If we are turned somewhere else, such as on obtaining riches for ourselves, or on glorifying ourselves, then we would Re-Pent of that by Turning our heart and will BACK TO God.
Before we can turn back to God, we must of necessity already been turned somewhere else besides God. Think of it as a horse with blinders who is turned forward and moving in that forward direction. If the horse turns its head in a different direction, then the horse will GO in whatever direction it is turned to. It is a matter of focus. If we are turned with our hearts and our will and our focus is on anything other than God, we can be said to be “NOT TURNED TO GOD” – or not Re-pent-ant, since Re-Pent means to be TURNED TO GOD.
What is it that we are most often turned to when NOT turned to God? Money, praise of men, honors, secular knowledge for ourselves, position among mankind, power through some means other than God, pleasure, self-gratification or satisfaction, trusting in man or the “arm of flesh”, or contentious issues that we believe will further our own “cause” or belief, our own self-pity, our lusts or our possessions. We could be turned to seeking to excel so as to have advantage over others. We could have our hearts turned to an almost continual focus on that which we fear: such as, fear of hell, fear of damnation, fear of men, fear of armies and navies, fear of failing, fear of not being enough, fear of not having enough money to live, fear of failing the “Test of Life”, fear of not measuring up, fear of our own weaknesses, fear of not winning the battle, fear of losing something or someone, fear of death, fear of being hurt, fear of horrible illnesses, fear of war, fear of tyrants, fear of not being able to “earn” God’s love, fear of getting the rewards and comfort we so desperately desire (Lust after). And there are many, many things and people we could be turned to other than God. But the most important distinction to make here is that whenever we are turned away from God, we cannot “see” God, and we are most often turned to focus on our Selves – such as on possessions, praise, position or Power for our Self. This Self-Focus is the cause of ALL SIN. And in fact, it could be said that the definition of Sin IS “focus on Self and things for Self”.
Consider the Lord’s definition of the bondage of Sin the whole world is under:
50 And by this you may know they(ye) are under the bondage of Sin, because (ye) come not unto Me.
51 For whoso cometh NOT unto Me is under the bondage of Sin.
52 And whoso receiveth not My voice is not acquainted with My voice, and is not “OF” Me.
55 Which vanity and unbelief have brought the Whole Church under condemnation.
56 And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all.
57 And they shall remain under this (self) condemnation until they repent and remember the “New Covenant.”
It is fairly easy to see that the Lord’s reason for the fact that “the whole world”, including THE WHOLE CHURCH, even ALL the children of Zion, are under the bondage of SIN, because of: 1. Ye will NOT come unto Me (God)
2. Ye will NOT “Re-Ceive” My Voice (the Holy Spirit).
This is all because we are turned to our Selves and our own Self Knowledge, and Self- Righteousness, Self Gratification and Self-lusts for Power, Position, Praise or Possessions.
And again, let’s turn to D&C 1:15-16 to discover the meaning of the “Sin” of breaking the New Covenant that the Lord talked about in D&C 84:48 – which we must Re-Member in order to Come unto Him and Hear His Voice:
16 They (ye) seek not the Lord, to establish His Righteousness, but every man walketh in his own way, and after the image of his own (Self) god, whose image is in the likeness of the world, and whose substance is that of an idol, which waxeth old and shall perish in Babylon, even Babylon the great, which shall fall.
This New Everlasting Covenant is broken by us whenever we “seek NOT the Lord” (turned somewhere else besides to “Look unto Me in ALL things”) to establish HIS righteousness. In other words, if we are seeking to establish our own righteousness, then we are breaking His New covenant, and we are turned away from Him, and we are in the Bondage of Sin. This Word from the Lord goes on to say that “every man walketh in his OWN way (focus on Self’s possessions, position, power and praise), “after the image (mirror reflection or illusion) of his OWN God. Our OWN God is our Self or whatever we worship besides the One True God. And what we worship will easily be shown to us if we will merely ask our Selves: What is most important to me? And we must be honest with our Selves in seeing what our hearts are placed on – or what we focus on most of the time. Usually this is something FOR our Selves.
Elder Neal A Maxwell really focused in on the Self, the ENEMY TO GOD:
“We all struggle with selfishness. Since it is so common, why worry about selfishness anyway? Because selfishness is really self-destruction in slow motion. No wonder the Prophet Joseph Smith urged, “Let every selfish feeling be not only buried, but annihilated” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith , 178). Hence annihilation—not moderation—is the destination!” (Ensign May 1999, pg 23)
President James E Faust has also indicated that: “The greatest fulfillment in life comes by rendering service to others, and not being obsessed with “what’s in it for me (SELF).” “We have yet to learn to Love and Serve the Lord for UN-SELF-ISH reasons.” (Nov 2002 Ensign pg. 20-22)
If we are honest with ourselves we will quickly discover that almost everything we do is to benefit our Selves in some way – or else we would not do it. That includes most of the reasons for which we try to “keep” His commandments. In some way or another, our reasons and motives will show us that we are doing it for some “Self” reason.
In fact, I have found only one reason for “keeping” the Lord’s commandments that is NOT Self-ish; that being just because of Love FOR God.
The bottom line of all this discussion, which could be pointed out with many, many other scriptures, is that the very definition of Sin IS “Self”, and the very definition of Re-Pent is to Turn back to God (from being turned to Self).
Now, what is wonderful about this realization is that we will quickly see that God has asked us, and enticed us, and encouraged us, and persuaded us constantly through the words He has spoken to prophets, and also in the constant pleadings to us through the Holy Spirit, to “COME UNTO ME, ALL YE THAT ARE HEAVY LADEN, AND I WILL GIVE YOU REST, FOR MY YOKE IS EASY AND MY BURDEN IS LIGHT.” (Matt. 11:28)
In fact, we will discover that it only takes a split second to Re-Pent (turn back to God) – but it must be sincere – otherwise we are faking and we are NOT really turned back to God. Yes, we must attempt to salve and repair the hurts we have done to others (even to paying them fourfold for which we have done damage to them), or else our sincerity is certainly questionable. And if we keep on turning back to our Self (SIN), then likewise our sincerity and intent is questionable. However, it is always a question of FOCUS – Which way am I focused? Toward my Self? Or do I have an Eye single to the Glory of God? (turned to God). Let’s recap:
Sin = TO focus on Self and Self’s Possessions, Position, Praise and Power – and the actions that follow focus on Self. All those things that we normally call sins are in some way created by focus on Self.
Re-Pent = To turn away from Self and turn BACK TO God – With all our heart and will.
Re-penting (turning to God) is not a methodology, not a ritual, and is not found in attempting to pay for our own Sins and fixing all our mistakes so as to “Feel good” again. That “Feel good” effort in itself is Self-ish. It does not focus on God and does not have God’s Glory single in our eyes and hearts. And not only that, but the intent to fix our own Sins is a rejection of the offering of Christ to pay for our Sins and to heal us and to make our weaknesses (which He gave us) into strength.
Ether 12:27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their “weakness”. I “GIVE” unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.
28 Behold, I will show unto the Gentiles their weakness, and I will show unto them that faith, hope and charity bringeth unto Me—the fountain of all righteousness. (Please note that the “FOUNTAIN” of ALL Righteousness is Christ, NOT “self”)
36 And it came to pass that I prayed unto the Lord that he would give unto the Gentiles “Grace”, that they might have charity.
37 And it came to pass that the Lord said unto me: If they have not charity it mattereth not unto thee, thou hast been faithful; wherefore, thy garments shall be made clean. And because thou hast seen thy weakness thou shalt be made strong (not by Self, but by God), even unto the sitting down in the place which I have (already) prepared in the mansions of my Father.
On a higher level of understanding, the word “Re-Pent-ance” has a deeper meaning once we study the Hebrew letters/language. We know that the “RE” means “again”. The suffix “ance” is a modifier that changes a verb into a noun. So while Re-Pent is a verb meaning to Pent “again, then with the modifier “ance”, “Re-Pent-ance” forms a noun manifesting that we are in the state of having “Pented” again.
Now the deeper understanding is found in what the Greek word “pent” signifies. As shown in other Greek words, Pent-agon, Pent-atuech, Pent-agram, Pent-acost we will quickly see that “Pent” has something to do with the number “5”.
In Hebrew “gematria”, in which each letter of the Hebrew alphabet [aleph-beit(a)] has an associated number and an associated “meaning”, the number 5 is associated with Re-Turning to God, Grace, Mercy, At-One-ment, Re-Ceiving from God, Ordain-ance, Re-Conciliation, Re-Stitution, Bestowal, Gifts of God bestowed on one who Re-turns. So therefore, it is easier to see with the Hebrew gematria and Hebrew meanings, the nature of “Pent” is “manifested” in the thought of “Re-Ceiving a Ordain-ance or Bestowal from God. Hence we have Re-Turned to the earlier thought shown by the Prophet Joseph Smith that “Re-Pent-ance” is an Ordain-ance signified by the number 5.
Can you think of a deeply spiritual symbolic “ordain-ance” that was Re-Stored by the Prophet Joseph Smith? When Joseph brought us symbolically to the veil of the Temple (ye are the Temple of God), he told us 5 times that we were brought there to “Re-Ceive” something symbolically glorious at the veil. We say “symbolically” because all things shown in the temple are symbolic of a real experience with the Lord when we are ready to “Re-Ceive” it – and at which point and time that He feels we are ready to have it Bestowed upon us. It is always a matter of the heart. Most of the time, our hearts are upon our Selves, which makes it impossible to “Re-Ceive” Him. Remember that Re-Pent is a TURNING of our Heart and will back to God (turn back from focus on Self).
“Re-Pent-ance” therefore, on a deeply spiritual level, can come to mean the most glorious spiritual bestowal, or Ordain-ance, of all – as signified by Lehi in this statement as He explained what it meant to him to “Re-Ceive” the fruit of the Tree of Life; and why it was the most precious, most pure, most desirable bestowal of all things that could be bestowed by God:
2 Nephi 1:15 “The Lord hath Re-Deemed my soul from hell, I have beheld His GLORY, and I am “encircled” eternally in the Arms of His Love”
Nephi likewise pleads with the Lord for this same bestowal of His Love:
2 Nephi 4:33 “O Lord, wilt thou encircle me around in the robe of THY Righteousness”.
And Lehi said to his young son Jacob in explaining that this bestowal had already occurred for Jacob:
2 Nephi 2:3-4 “I know that thou (Jacob) art Re-deemed, because of the Righteousness OF THY REDEEMER…..and thou hast beheld in thy youth His GLORY, and salvation is Free.”
Elder Neal A Maxwell: “If you and I would come unto Jesus, we must likewise yield to God, holding nothing back. Then other soaring promises await! The prophet Mormon declared that Jesus waits “with open arms to Re-ceive [us]” (Mormon 6:17), while the un-Re-pent-ant and the unconsecrated will never know that ultimate joy described by Mormon, who knew whereof he spoke, of being “clasped in the arms of Jesus” (Mormon 5:11).” (Ensign Nov 1991, pg 32
Alma 5: 33 “Behold, he sendeth an invitation unto all men, for the “Arms of Mercy” are extended towards them, and he saith: Repent, and I will “Re-Ceive” you.”(Whose “Arms” are the “Arms of Mercy”? – IT is a Being – not a Law or Principle)
Moroni 8:8 Listen to the words of Christ, your Re-deemer, your Lord and your God. Behold, I came into the world not to call the righteous but sinners to “Re-Pent-ance”;
Alma 5:62 I speak by way of command unto you that belong to the church; and unto those who do not belong to the church I speak by way of invitation, saying: Come and be baptized UNTO Re-Pent-ance”, that ye also may be partakers of the fruit of the Tree of Life (God’s Holy Perfect Love).
Read that again. Why do “you” who “belong” to the Church need to be “baptized UNTO Re-Pent-ance”? Now you know! So that you may “Re-Ceive” the Tree of Life, The Fountain of Living Waters, The Fountain of ALL Righteousness. (Hint: Jeremiah pointed clearly who the Tree of Life is by saying: “Ye have forsaken the Lord, the Fountain of Living Waters” Jer. 17;13 and Lehi verified that also in 2 Nephi)
It helps to realize that Baptism of water is symbolic, while Baptism of Fire and the Holy Ghost is an actual “IMMERSION” in the HOLY SPIRIT OF PROMISE – IN HIS “NAME”.
The final bestowal of God upon us as we enter unto His Presence is the capstone of the temple, the ultimate bestowal of His Glorious Love upon us. Hence, the divine and glorious nature of “Re-Pent-ance” is the most fulfilling ultimate Ordainance that we could ever “Re-Ceive”. Now do you see why the scriptures say numerous times that Baptism (symbolic laying down of the Self in the grave, and immersion in His Name, and coming forth a whole NEW man in Christ) is UNTO Re-Pent-ance. (please see Mor. 8:11, Alma 5:33, Helaman 5:17-19, Alma 34:15-35, Mosiah 26:22, Alma 8:10, Helaman 15:7, Mark 1:4, John 3:3, Act 13:24, Acts 19:4, Alma 42:31 to verify that baptism leads UNTO Re-Pent-ance, the capstone Ordain-ance)
If it is UNTO – it means that Baptism leads UNTO the ultimate bestowal of “Re-Pent-ance”, which is a Gift from God, not something we “DO”, but something glorious (and Pent-ultimate) which He does for us. If you will Re-turn to Him, with an eye single to His GLORY, and give your heart completely to Him, then He will “Re-5”, or bestow this greatest of all Gifts upon you. After all, He is your Only Bridegroom, your "Lord".
And you will never see “Re-Pent-ance” again without seeing the awesome, unsurpassing Power of your Bridegroom’s Love for you.
Consider the inspired words that issued from a heart full of love for our Savior and that likewise could issue from your heart when you come to understand that “Re-Pent-ance” is probably the greatest Gift you can Re-Ceive from Him:
Come unto Jesus, ye heavy laden,
Care-worn and fainting, by sin oppressed.
He’ll safely guide you unto that haven
Where all who trust him may rest. …
Come unto Jesus; He’ll ever heed you,
Though in the darkness you’ve gone astray.
His Love will find you and gently lead you
From darkest night into day. (Hymns, 1985, no. 117.)
More Scriptural RESOURCES
D&C 19:21 And I commend you that you preach naught but Re-Pent-ance, and show NOT these things unto the world until it is wisdom in Me.
D&C 18:14 Wherefore, you are called to cry “Re-Pent-ance” unto this people.
15 And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying “Re-Pent-ance” unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul UNTO me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!
Helaman 5:11 And he hath power given unto Him (Jesus) from the Father to Re-deem them FROM their sins because of “Re-Pent-ance”; therefore he hath sent his angels to declare the tidings of the conditions of “Re-Pent-ance”, which bringeth unto THE POWER OF THE REDEEMER (His saving, redeeming Love), unto the salvation of their souls.
Alma 34: 15 And thus he shall bring salvation to all those who shall believe ON His “NAME”; this being the intent of this last sacrifice, to bring about the bowels of mercy, which overpowereth justice, and bringeth about means unto men that they may have faith UNTO “Re-Pent-ance”.
16 And thus Mercy can satisfy the demands of justice, and encircles them in “THE ARMS OF SAFETY”, while he that exercises no faith UNTO “Re-Pent-ance” is exposed to the whole law of the demands of justice; therefore only unto him that has faith UNTO “Re-pent-ance” is brought about the great and eternal plan of redemption.
30……come forth and Bring forth fruit UNTO “Re-Pent-ance”. 31 Yea, I would that ye would come forth and harden not your hearts any longer; for behold, NOW is THE time and THE day of your salvation; and therefore, if ye will Re-pent and harden not your hearts, IMMEDIATELY shall the great plan of redemption be brought about unto you.
Hel. 7:17 O repent ye (Re-turn), repent ye! Why will ye die? Turn ye (Re-Pent), turn ye unto the Lord your God. Why has he forsaken you?(Because we Re-ject His Perfecting, Re-deeming