7 Things We Fear About Repentance—And Why We Shouldn’t

Many of these fears are ones we might not have realized within ourselves.

We all know that every person needs repentance (see Romans 3:23). We know we need to repent in order to find true joy through the power of Jesus Christ’s atoning sacrifice (see Alma 36:24). We also know that putting off repentance is a bad idea (see Alma 34:32–34). Yet so many of us do just that. Why? We know better, right?

One possible answer is fear. Whether we’ve committed a serious sin that we need to confess to our bishop or we have some little habits, attitudes, or behaviors that keep us from being fully committed to the Lord’s gospel and its standards, fear can keep us from doing what we need to do to change our lives.

Here are seven fears that can cause us to put off repentance, as well as some ideas and teachings that can help us take courage and do what we know will bring us peace and happiness.

Fear of Losing Your Personality

If I conform to the Church’s standards, I’ll be giving up some of the things that make me me, like my favorite movies, TV shows, music, and ways of expressing myself. I’ll just be another cookie-cutter Mormon. I’d rather just be me.

Through repentance, you can have the Holy Spirit in your life. And through the Spirit, you can discover a deeper, truer, and better individual identity. It will be based on who you can become in God’s eyes rather than anything constructed on the sandy foundation of tastes, preferences, habits, and quirks.

“Satan would rather that you define yourself by your sins instead of your divine potential. … Don’t listen to him.”

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Four Titles,” Liahona, May 2013, 58.

“There is more individuality in those who are more holy.

“Sin, on the other hand, brings sameness; it shrinks us to addictive appetites and insubordinate impulses.”

Elder Neal A. Maxwell (1926–2004) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Repentance,” Ensign, Nov. 1991, 30.

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