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Membership in God’s earthly kingdom, designed to prepare us for His more

Repenting is different from paying for our sins

It helps to remember that repenting of our sins is different from paying for them. To repent means to change, not just to suffer—even though repentance often involves the real suffering of godly sorrow. Jesus has the infinite capacity to restore and repay, and He accepts the full burden of paying justice and restoring our spiritual losses. He will do this if and as we accept the personal responsibility to repent by changing our own attitudes, our habits, our minds, perhaps our friends, and certainly our hearts—to the fullest extent of our ability. As we do so, His grace helps to complete our change of heart.

In terms that apply to all of the Atonement’s conditional blessings, Nephi said, “It is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do” (2 Nephi 25:23). Some people, perhaps because of an overdeveloped sense of self-reliance, think this means the Lord waits to help us until we have totally spent ourselves. However, placing Nephi’s meaning within the Atonement’s larger doctrinal context makes clear that after in this verse means “along with”—His grace is with us before, during, and after we do all we can.

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