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Walking in newness of life

Generally, I don’t believe in coincidences. I like to think that we can learn from all experiences, good and bad.

And just between you and me, I also believe in library angels that can guide us in the stacks.

For example, recently when I placed a hold on one book, due to an error in the online catalog, I received a completely different book.

The book that I received in error was Motor Mouse by Cynthia Rylant. It had nothing to do with my research, but it had a powerful message nonetheless.

In one of the stories, “The Friday Cake Day,” Motor Mouse and his friend Telly enjoyed eating cake every Friday until one day when the cake shop was closed. After exhausting all options, they were forced to eat pie instead, which they found that they loved.

Yet even though they learned that they loved pie, the story ended with the two friends returning right back to cake the very next week.

Motor Mouse and Telly failed to experience real change in their lives, quickly resorting to their old ways.

Like them, we sometimes think about changing, but fail to do so.

Every one of us needs to repent because we are all imperfect, and all “come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

To truly repent requires faith in Jesus Christ, Godly sorrow for sin, confession, and restitution. On an ongoing basis, we must forsake our sins and strive to fill our lives with righteous thoughts and actions.

Paul called on converted Christians to “walk in newness of life” after repenting and being baptized (Romans 6:3-4).

Forgiveness can be found only through sincere repentance, relying on the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

Perhaps you have heard the story of the turkeys who walked to church one Sunday. The visiting minister was an eagle who inspired them with thoughts of flying high in the sky, taking them through the technical steps as well as the spiritual benefits.

The turkeys shouted “Amen!”–and then proceeded to walk back home, immediately forgetting what they had learned about flying.

Russell M. Nelson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has taught that rather than being a punishment, repentance is a way for us to connect with our Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ, gaining forgiveness and strength.

President Nelson stated, “Nothing is more liberating, more ennobling, or more crucial to our individual progression than is a regular, daily focus on repentance. Repentance is not an event; it is a process. It is the key to happiness and peace of mind. When coupled with faith, repentance opens our access to the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.”

May we each experience the cleansing joy that comes through heartfelt repentance.

To learn more about repentance and other doctrines of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, visit http://www.ComeUntoChrist.org.

DR. BRENT ROBERTS is the Elders Quorum President in the Sandy River Branch, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and also Dean of Greenwood Library at Longwood University. He can be reached at brentsroberts@hotmail.com.