The Joy of Repentance

When a certain mental state has shown its fruit in sorrow, despair, or other ill conditions, there should be comfort in knowing that one can change the mental attitude and by this repentance, or change of mind, gain healthier and happier consequences as the outcome of right thinking. Appreciating the benefit of such changes, the apostle James goes so far as to say: "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing."

The theory of consistency stands in the way of the joy of repentance quite often. That is, a man will declare, Thus have I spoken and I must stand by it, without questioning whether it may not be a mere fallible, human view to which he is adhering. Said Pilate, "What I have written I have written;" and of a feud one party will say, We have always hated such and such a family and always will; or a labor leader will say, I have always hated employers and always will, or the employer will make the same kind of remark about the labor agitator. Now consistency is a jewel, but the man who rightly wears it must see that his ideals are consistent with Principle. In fact, the only true standard is regular and joyful obedience to God.

Spiritual Instruction
March 22, 1919

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