Traveler Posted February 16, 2019 Report Share Posted February 16, 2019 (edited) I would preface my remarks about language and repentance by making a vague reference to a recent discussion. The person I was speaking to is bilingual in German and English. He was born here in the US but was called to a mission in Germany and Austria. Since his mission he has fulfilled many callings and worked extensively in Germany and eastern Europe. I will share some of what I learned from him. In the German language there are two words that we translate into English as “Repentance”. I can speak some German but I am not fluent so I do not remember either of the two words – just how I understand them when translated into English. Both words have tradition in Germany. The first comes from the Catholic tradition. In essence it means to suffer or pay a price. This word is much like our English word of “Repentance” that has root in penance or being inflicted with punishment as restitution for evil deeds. This idea of penance or punishment is deeply rooted into our justice and penal system of inflicting punishment. Indeed many see the consequence of sin as a consequence of inflicted punishment – some self-inflicted and some as forced infliction from some superior or universal karma (including G-d). The second word comes from the tradition of Martin Luther in Germany. This word means to “Turn Around”. This is indeed a different way to look at repentance and as I think about it there are elements of this concept in our Latter-day revelations and doctrines. It is the idea of a change of heart and mind. What is interesting, according to my friend and expert in German and English, that within the society of Latter-day Saints in Germany there seem to be division based mainly in the previous religious traditions someone came from to become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Both words are used in the Book of Mormon but it seem the word used has more to do with the tradition of the person influencing the German translation than any other factor. And so my friend tells me that the tradition or background (Catholic or Lutheran) heavily influences how German Saints interpret the doctrine of repentance. As I discussed this I can see the benefits and limitations of both concepts. I have thought this and have concluded that there is still something missing in these two concepts of repentance. The third concept is the idea of becoming better. In the idea of repentance – I believe we must turn away from our sins – and in many cases suffer and make effort at restitution for the damage or loss we have caused ourselves and others. But I am of the mind that we have not repented and made covenant for remission, payment or whatever to overcome sin – until we become (by covenant) a better, committed and disciplined person. The Traveler Edited February 22, 2019 by Traveler wenglund 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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