Monday, May 24, 2010

Why we should not repent daily

Jeanne and i have been reading through the B.H. Roberts-edited History of the Church together. (It’s taking us a long time.) Recently, we ran across an interesting line from Joseph Smith (on 27 June 1839):

Repentance is a thing that cannot be trifled with every day. Daily transgression and daily repentance is not that which is pleasing in the sight of God.

This goes against what i think is a fairly common Mormon meme, namely that we sin every day, and therefore we have to repent every day. According to Brother Joseph, though, God thinks—or at least hopes—otherwise.

Anyway, just throwing this out there as an interesting item. I don’t have much to say about it in depth right now, though, ’cause i’m still mulling it over.


Michelle said...

Maybe the words "trifled with" is the key. Maybe instead of referring to daily repentance for various sins, he is referring to daily repentance of the same sin, meaning repenting every day of the same thing because you did the same thing wrong every day. If you're doing the same thing wrong every day, then you obviously didn't truly repent of it the previous day (i.e. leaving out the step of not returning to the same sin).

This is interesting. I had not heard that quote before. The meaning is so different if he is referring to general heart-felt daily repentance or flippant "trifled with" daily repentance. I have to think about this one for a while...

Michelle said...

Just had another thought-

If someone is repenting daily and not returning to that sin that he/she repented of, that means there are a lot of possible sins to commit out there!

Heather the Mama Duk said...

Agree with those thoughts. Plus I think a lot of people say in their prayers "Sorry for all the sins I committed today" and don't mean it at all. Vain repetitions.

Honestly, though, I've heard people giving lessons say how they must repent daily for all the wrongs they commit and I sit there a little confused. I mean, either I have a REALLY boring life or I'm so sinful I don't even notice because I don't feel the need to repent daily.