In conference, Sister Reeves offered one of most powerful explanations of the power of repentance that I have read. This talk didn’t catch my eye when I first heard it, but it is truly remarkable on reread.
I love how she begins by speaking about the experience of an Apostle and then turns to telling lots of stories of ordinary members who experienced a similar promise of healing and forgiveness. That is a very smart way to convey her theme, namely that the gifts of repentance are available to absolutely all of us:
A few months before President Boyd K. Packer passed away, general priesthood and auxiliary leaders had the precious opportunity of having him speak to us. I have not been able to quit thinking about what he said. He shared that he had searched backward throughout his lifetime, looking for evidence of the sins that he had committed and sincerely repented of, and he could find no trace of them. Because of the atoning sacrifice of our beloved Savior, Jesus Christ, and through sincere repentance, his sins were completely gone, as if they had never happened. President Packer then charged us as leaders that day to testify that this is true for each one of us who sincerely repents.
I know, as President Packer experienced and testified, that when we sincerely repent of our sins, they are truly gone–without a trace! I have personally felt the love, the joy, the relief, and the confidence before the Lord as I have sincerely repented.
Sister Reeves even cited a source we don’t usually hear in conference: the innocent voice of small children. I especially loved this one:
How do you feel when you repent? “You can feel Him; you can feel His warmness, and the bad feeling goes away.”
Sister Reeves message is inclusive in similitude of the atonement of Christ. His atonement embraces all and can heal us and bless us no matter how battered and broken we might be.
I’m so grateful for Christ’s atonement and his infinite love and compassion for a sinner like me.