We all need to rely on the Atonement in order to make it back to our Heavenly Father, but what if we are getting one vital part of repentance painfully wrong?
Having had a spiritual awakening to the truths of repentance, I noticed that far too often repentance is taught incorrectly, or is at least portrayed as a process that is slightly different than what is taught in the scriptures. We all know that Jesus Christ atoned for our sins in the garden of Gethsemane and on the cross. Christians all over the world could recite for you, almost verbatim, the story of the final days of the Savior’s life.
I taught countless people about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the process of repenting while on my mission in Florida. I understood that the only way we could be forgiven of our sins was if we accepted the Atonement of Christ and repented of our sins.
I understood the process: First, you feel guilt and pain for your sins. Secondly, you confess your sins to the Lord and you priesthood leaders (where necessary). Thirdly, you ask for forgiveness from the Lord and anyone you may have harmed through your actions. Finally, you receive forgiveness of your sins, forgive yourself, and are relieved of the guilt and pain you felt from your transgressions.
I was wrong.