When I was baptized. I was excited because I would be totally clean from every mistake I had made but I knew there was a chance I would make another one. Then what would I do? Throughout my life I have made more mistakes but I have learned that we get to recommit every Sunday when we take the Sacrament and have Jesus' wonderful gift called repentance.
I got a little feel for what life would be like without repentance when I was in 2nd grade. We lived on Castle Drive in Boise. Idaho across the street from a building site where my father was working on a new LDS Church. Sometimes my friend and I would play in the partly finished building. One day there were some classroom blackboards delivered and we discovered we could write our names in the dust on them. That night my father called me to him and explained that he had to admit to the foreman that his little girl was named Connie and listened to the foreman tell him that possibly the names were permanent and could not be removed. My father asked me if I had written my name on the blackboard. I admitted that I had. I will never forget the awful feeling that I had made a mistake that could never be fixed.
I have not been back to that meetinghouse to see if my name is still on the blackboard but I have been grateful for the principle of repentance every time I use it.
Display baby pictures of each family member. Have children guess which is each family member. Explain that all were pure and innocent when they first came from Heavenly Father to your family. Heavenly Father knew that we would all make some mistakes while we were growing up and learning to do right. He also knew that we couldn't return to live with Him if we were burdened down by sin. (See 2 Neph 9:23 ).
Show pictures of Jesus on the cross and at Gethsemane. Have a family member read D & C 19:16. Remind children that if Jesus had not atoned for our sins, we could not be forgiven and would continue to suffer for them. We should be grateful for repentance and the atonement of Jesus Christ.
As a family, take the following true/false Quiz.
1. The suffering and death of Jesus 2,000 years ago does not affect our lives today. (False. If Jesus had not atoned for our sins, we could not repent and grow. We could never return to live with our Heavenly Father again.
2. When we make a mistake or sin, Jesus stops loving us. (False. Jesus never stops loving us. It is because of this love that we have the gift of repentance.)
3. Because Jesus suffered and died for our sins, they ar automatically forgiven. (False. Jesus can only forgive those who are sorry for their sins and who repent of them. )
4. When we repent of a sin,we are completely forgiven and we do not need to worry about it any more. (True. When we have repented of a sin the Lord not only forgives us, but our sin is also also forgotten [see Isaiah 1;16-18, D&C 58:42)
5. When we repent of our sins, we can learn through correcting our mistakes and continue to grow and progress spiritually. (True. When we repent of our sins, we are free to go on and not be held back because of them. Our weaknesses can even become our strengths.[See Ether 12:27.])
Suggested Songs: "I Stand All Amazed" (Hymns, No. 80) or "I Want to Live The Gospel" (Sing With Me, B-65).
Person of the Week: Emily Manwaring who made a delicious chocolate/raspberry cobbler for everyone at the cabin.