“Choosing repentance is choosing change.”

art by Breanna Klamm Whitlock

I was cutting multiple onions yesterday with a blunt knife and pretty much immediately started crying on onion number one.

I tried to blink through it—but it was stinging so bad that I briefly contemplated how much the recipe actually needed onions. In a moment of desperation, inspiration hit: I moved the cutting board to the stove top and turned on the stove vent.

Surprisingly, it immediately worked—sucking away the onion fumes and allowing me to carry on with my dinner prep.

Cue a gospel analogy, since “all things are created and made to bear record of [God],” right? 🙌 (Moses 6:63)

In Moses 6, repentance is mentioned nine times. God tells Adam multiple times, “Teach it unto your children, that all men, everywhere, must repent.”

Why? “Inasmuch as thy children are conceived in sin, even so when they begin to grow up, sin conceiveth in their hearts, and they taste the bitter, that they may know to prize the good” (Moses 6:55).

Because we live in a fallen world, we will experience weakness, sins, heartache, and sickness that makes us feel like we can’t move forward. We can’t get away from it; you could say it is as inevitable as crying while cutting the onion.

I thought of repentance like that vent. It provides a pathway to continual relief through Jesus Christ, despite the effects of our fallen state.

I learned from President Nelson’s recent talk that the word for repentance in the Greek New Testament is metanoeo. The prefix meta- means “change.” The suffix -noeo is related to Greek words that mean “mind,” “knowledge,” “spirit,” and “breath.”5

President Nelson then states, 

“Thus, when Jesus asks you and me to “repent,” He is inviting us to change our mind, our knowledge, our spirit—even the way we breathe. […]

“Nothing is more liberating, more ennobling, or more crucial […] than is a regular, daily focus on repentance. Repentance is not an event; it is a process. […] When coupled with faith, repentance opens our access to the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.”

It allows the sting of living in a fallen world to be sucked up by of the Atoning power of our Savior.

Keep that vent on today, friends. 

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