- The Savior Jesus Christ worked out a perfect Atonement and gave us the gift of repentance—our path back to a perfect brightness of hope and a winning life.
We are reminded that the atonement is about so much more than repentance. Yes, repentance is a key factor but the atonement is for more than sinners. The atonement is our path to true happiness in life.
- Too often we think of repentance as something miserable and depressing. But God’s plan is the plan of happiness, not the plan of misery! Repentance is uplifting and ennobling. It’s sin that brings unhappiness. Repentance is our escape route!
Changing our lives without the atonement is not repentance. We can make improvements but without the joy of repentance, changing is just making a decent life.
- We can try to change our behavior on our own, but only the Savior can remove our stains and lift our burdens, enabling us to pursue the path of obedience with confidence and strength. The joy of repentance is more than the joy of living a decent life. It’s the joy of forgiveness, of being clean again, and of drawing closer to God. Once you’ve experienced that joy, no lesser substitute will do.
Brother Owen talks about the Prodigal Son and how important it is for each of us to recognize that we all have to return to our Father in Heaven and seek His acceptance.
- Brothers and sisters, we are all prodigals. We all have to “come to ourselves”—usually more than once—and choose the path that leads back home. It’s a choice we make daily, throughout our lives.
Brother Owen notes that the atonement is for everyone. Not just the sinner, but also for the saint.
- We often associate repentance with grievous sins that require “a mighty change.” But repentance is for everyone—those who are wandering in “forbidden paths and [are] lost” as well as those who “have gotten into [the] strait and narrow path” and now need to “press forward.” Repentance both puts us on the right path and keeps us on the right path. It is for those who are just beginning to believe, those who have believed all along, and those who need to begin again to believe.
We are encouraged to maintain our testimony through constant nourishment. Taking time away from strengthening our testimony daily can have long-term effects on our discipleship. The same is true with repentance, we need to constantly be repenting and relying on the atonement in our lives to build our discipleship.
- It is not enough just to gain a testimony; you have to maintain it and strengthen it. As every missionary knows, if you stop pedaling a bicycle, it will fall, and if you stop feeding your testimony, it will weaken. This same principle applies to repentance—it is a lifelong pursuit, not a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Brother Owen concludes with his testimony of the Savior's power in our lives. The Savior's power will help us move forward when times are difficult and encourage us to never give up.
- I testify that the moment we set foot on the path of repentance, we invite the Savior’s redeeming power into our lives. That power will steady our feet, expand our vision, and deepen our resolve to keep moving forward, step by step, until that glorious day when we finally return to our heavenly home and hear our Father in Heaven say to us, “Well done.”
We discussed this talk in church of Sunday. What was so clear to me was the message that the atonement is for both sinners and saints. We need the power of the Savior's atonement in our lives wherever we are on our path of discipleship. Brother Owen's toughing message about the Prodigal Son is great and reminds us that we all are Prodigals in our own way. We all need to return to our Father and seek his acceptance. When we do, we will discover that God is there with arms open to accept us, no matter how far away we have been.