2 Corinthians 7:9-10
9 Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.
10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
Paul taught the Corinthians about repentance. He taught them that through the atonement of Jesus Christ, we can be reconciled to God. To be reconciled means to settle differences, or restore harmony with someone. When we repent, Heavenly Father forgives us.
Paul also taught that “godly sorrow” is an important step in repentance. Having godly sorrow helps us to recognize that what we did was wrong, and makes us want to make it right.
When we repent and try to live the gospel of Jesus Christ, we can become new creatures. (See 2 Corinthians 5:17)
“The evil influence of Satan would destroy any hope we have in overcoming our mistakes. He would have us feel that we are lost and that there is no hope. In contrast, Jesus reaches down to us to lift us up. Through our repentance and the gift of the Atonement, we can prepare to be worthy to stand in His presence.” James E Faust
Can breaking the commandments bring us happiness? (Discuss ideas. Give examples of how sin can bring temporary happiness.)
What happens after the temporary happiness of sin is gone? (Discuss ideas.)
What is the difference between “godly sorrow” and “worldy sorrow”? (Discuss ideas. Emphasize that godly sorrow leads us to change, while worldy sorrow just makes us feel bad about ourselves.)
Is it a commandment to repent? (Yes.)
How do we repent? (Discuss ideas. Use the activity to further explain the steps of repentance.)
“Watch this,” eight-year-old Derek whispered to Ben. Derek tore a corner off the piece of paper Ben was coloring and shoved it in his mouth. When Sister Call wasn’t looking, he blew the spit wad into Madison’s thick black curls. Ben started to laugh, but quickly stopped when Sister Call looked up and placed her finger to her lips.
Derek tore two more corners off Ben’s paper, chewed them up, and spit them into Madison’s hair. Ben held his breath to keep from giggling at the three wads, dangling from Madison’s hair. Derek tore the last corner from Ben’s paper and handed it to him.
“It’s your turn,” he whispered.
Ben slowly chewed the piece of paper, but he didn’t spit it. A feeling inside of him told him it wasn’t right.
“What’s wrong? Afraid you’ll miss? or is it because she’s your girlfriend?” Derek quietly taunted.
Ben’s face turned red. “She is not,” he protested. “and I won’t miss.”
After he spit the wad and hit Madison right on the cheek, Ben quickly returned to coloring his paper.
“Ooo, yuck!” Madison said as she wiped the gooey wad from her cheek.
Madison glanced at the boys sitting behind her. Ben was busy coloring his paper, but his red face gave him away. Hurt and embarrassed, Madison fought back the tears.
When Madison’s back was turned, Sister Call, noticed the three spit wads, still dangling in her hair. She knelt down next to Madison’s chair and inconspicuously fished the wads from the little girl’s hair.
“Are you okay, Madison?” she asked.
Madison quickly lowered her eyes. Even though she nodded, yes, a tear rolled down her cheek, onto the paper she was coloring. Sister Call looked at Derek and Ben. She noticed, Ben’s cornerless paper, but she was prompted to leave it in the Lord’s hands.
Derek smiled, “Good thinking, Derek, using Ben’s paper instead of your own,” he thought to himself. “Sister Call and Madison will never know you started it.”
Ben felt terrible. He prayed silently for Heavenly Father to forgive him and to give him the courage to make it right. Ben raised his hand.
“Yes, Ben?” Sister Call asked.
“Sister Call, I need to apologize to Madison for hitting her with a spit wad and the only way I can think of to right the wrong is to apologize in front of the class.”
Sister Call gave Ben a warm smile. “I think Heavenly Father would approve, Ben. Go ahead.”
Derek couldn’t believe his ears. “What if he tells on me?” he worried.
Ben then turned to Madison. “I’m really sorry, Madison. It was a stupid thing to do. I’m sorry I hurt you and I’ll never do it again,” he apologized.
After class, Derek whispered to Ben, “You might be a dope, but at least you’re not a squealer.”
Ben smiled. He knew he had done what was right and even Derek’s teasing couldn’t change the good feeling he had inside.
“I’m pretty sure Sister Call knew what I did, but she left it up to me to make the right choice. I figured I’d do the same for you.”
“Yeah, but Sister Call doesn’t know what I did, so I guess I’m in the clear. Right?”
But Derek wasn’t in the clear. He knew what he had done and Heavenly Father knew what he had done. He tried hard to shrug off the bad feelings he was having, but they continued to bug him. When Derek tried to pray about it, Satan filled his head with lies like, “You can’t ask Heavenly Father for help. You’re not good enough,” “You should have apologized when Ben did. It’s too late now,” and “It was just a few spit wads. It’s not that big of a deal.”
Then one night, during FHE, Derek’s family talked about the steps of repentance and how Satan uses his lies to keep us from repenting. That night Derek knelt down and pleaded with Heavenly Father for forgiveness, not only for what he had done to Madison and Ben, but for neglecting his prayers. For the first time in two weeks, Derek felt good inside. The next day, Derek apologized to Madison and Ben. On Sunday Derek followed Ben’s example and apologized to his entire primary class.
by Margie Nauta Lee
These lessons are perfect for Family Home Evening at the beginning of the week, or to recap the following Sunday. Or use portions of the lesson throughout the week to enhance your family scripture study.
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