When is it enough? Repentance Resources

a mustard seed

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A little background before I start asking questions. Starting in late 2014 until the spring of this year, I wrote a 50 Shades of Grey type erotic novel with a friend I met online and we even published it through Amazon. I didn't start coming back to church until this September and I felt promptings/a deep longing to return to the temple after the talks I heard at this past stake conference. I immediately scheduled something with and sat down with my Branch President(we're a small community here, so, that's why not a bishop) and I worked something out with my friend so that we could completely take the book off the market. I've been working with my Branch President for the past 2 months going through the repentance process. I've recently become aware of my own behavior and the ways that I might have been muddying the spiritual waters so that answers to prayer and guidance was not clear, just through simply watching media that does not invite the spirit with a "one foot in and one foot out" mentality. So, maybe answers will become clearer to me as I ponder and pray now as I strive to more consistently keep the spirit with me but I felt prompted(as a part of this cleaning up where I hang out and what I consume process) to seek an lds themed forum and it occurred to me that I could also ask for a bit of help here.

So, for the longest time, I've been struggling with godly sorrow and feeling ashamed of what I have done but since it was something I put creative effort and work into, I found myself struggling with residual pride in the completion of this book. I've just recently come to a better, deeper understanding of the eternal perspective and I am going to follow this trail to hopefully understand more about the nature of what I have done. I'm not trying to rush Heavenly Father but moreso I'd like to be an active participant in this process, as I feel like I've been sitting back and waiting for forgiveness to come and checking in occasionally, "Am I ready?" A lot of my personal revelations thus far have come from perspective shifts and hearing things in certain ways that helped a concept or doctrine "click" for me, so, I am looking for that. To read some scripture or some talk or ensign article that will make the light click on for me to realize the true nature of sin, in particular mine, and how I can truly be sorry for it. I want to let it go, to know that it is truly forgotten, to move on and move forward but I want my efforts to be genuine. I'm the type of person that if I can't come to this proper perspective shift and feeling, then this will continue to haunt me as something unfinished. I will wonder, "Did I actually get forgiven or did I just give myself a check mark because I wanted to move onto the next thing?"

So, I have the gospel library on my tablet and I would like to know are there any scriptures or talks that helped you gain a new perspective on repentance? Are there any good talks that struck you as insightful/helpful in understanding this process? Have you been through this process before? Are there any words you could offer?

I'm still working with my BP on this and as I mentioned, cleaning up the things I occupy my mind with so as to better hear the HG if/when it comes to me. But I also don't mind the extra reminders.

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There's a set of steps commonly used to describe process through repentance:

  • Recognize the sin
  • Feel sorrow for the sin
  • Forsake the sin
  • Confess the sin
  • Make restitution*
  • Forgive others
  • Keep the commandments

In younger years, that "make restitution" one seemed like a conditional one - a step that's only required if you stole, or broke something, lied about or to someone, etc.  Something where there was an obvious thing which could be restored.  Now I know that in all sin, something is taken, broken, damaged, and we must figure out what that was, do all in our power to restore it back to its proper condition, and allow the Savior to finish what we cannot.

Question for your own pondering, not to answer here: What was taken, broken, damaged by your sin?  How to you make restitution for that?  To whom do you need to make restitution?  What can you not do, and must therefore rely on the Savior to do?  How do you receive restoration (e.g. of virtue) from him of what was taken, broken, damaged?

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To add a different angle...

Repentance is not complete until we have become like Christ.  That whole point of repentance.  While there are big issues that we can and should address right now... we should never think we are done.  Best case is we tackle one aspect and then move on to the next

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