Testimonies of Repentance and Conversion
When I went to see the bishop, he immediately welcomed me into his office. With difficulty, I tried to articulate why I was there. After hiding my sins so long, I hardly knew where to start. He lovingly encouraged me to come clean. I explained the general nature of my sins and asked for time to provide the full inventory of my misdeeds. He readily agreed.
I still had yet to fully confess, but I felt the weight of the world lifting from my shoulders. I also felt a renewed hope of freedom, finally, from this burden.
I spent the next weeks praying, reading the scriptures, and creating my inventory to present to both my bishop and my Heavenly Father. First I took my list to Heavenly Father, with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, to let Him know I was sorry and sincerely desired to change. I set another appointment with the bishop and shared my list in its entirety. He didn’t frown, yell, or chastise me; instead, he gave me a big hug. He let me know of his love and the Lord’s love, informing me that I was now on the path of true repentance. I knew it was true.
Confessing my sins, formerly my biggest fear, became one of the most beautiful experiences of my life. It was the first step for me to truly understand the gift and the healing power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
Little by little, mistakes and decisions made me deaf to the whisperings of the Spirit. My scriptures ended up in the deepest part of my trunk and I even stopped praying.
My life was not turning out—too many tears and disappointments. It was hard to understand why my family had to undergo so many trials. Right before my last year of high school, my parents had to leave Poland. The prospect of relocating again caused me anguish. Finally, I again knelt in prayer, truly meaning my words: “Heavenly Father, Thy will be done, not mine.”
That prayer marked the beginning of my return to the Church, which I knew would require repentance. That Sunday, for the first time in nearly a year, I attended sacrament meeting. The next day I again decided to be baptized.
The Lord helped me through my difficult process of returning to what I had once known to be true. I now define those difficult circumstances as some of the sweetest blessings from God. He did not forget me. He listened to my prayers and waited for me to recognize His answer. He helped me through all the suffering I endured, strengthening and protecting me. In the process I gained greater clarity on the meaning of Christ’s divine mission and His Atonement.
I was baptized in April 2011. My plane has taken off since—I now reside in France, which means more changes. However, I am now grateful to Him for my life and for the circumstances that He had me live through. Because of my testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, I now understand that I am not alone, no matter what destinations life brings next.
One night the anguish in my soul was too much to bear for one more minute. I knew I needed to pray to at least try to get some sense of peace. I didn’t know what to say in my prayer other than the truth. I told Heavenly Father about my insecurities, my sorrows, my sins, and my desire to change. The experience that followed was the most sacred and important event of my life. I was lifted and loved and felt with absolute conviction that the Lord was on my side, anxious for me to return. I knew that He and a crowd of very real angels would help me through the important and holy process of repentance.
…I wouldn’t wish the dark years of my life upon anyone, and I would never say I am grateful for my sins. But I am profoundly grateful to have had such a sacred and meaningful experience with the gift of repentance and to know of the very real love and concern my Father in Heaven and Savior Jesus Christ have for me. Through the power of the Holy Ghost, the Lord taught me as He forgave me. His love, mercy, and blessings I never want to forsake again. I also felt the darkness of Satan during this transition in my life, and I know he will always try to thwart our attempts to be closer to Christ.
David Dollahite, God’s Tender Mercies:
And not only was there great power in what I experienced but the depth of love I felt was beyond description. I felt loved at the deepest levels of my soul. I felt that, although I did not know God, God knew me perfectly. And although God knew me perfectly — all my sinfulness, pride, vanity, selfishness — He still loved me in a way that I had never felt loved. And although I knew I did not know much about God — yet, somehow, I knew God in a way and at a depth that I cannot express.
I felt my heart and mind changed in a profound way. I no longer wanted to be what I was and do what I was doing. I only wanted to do what God wanted me to do. I did not know what that was but I was filled with a joy and excitement that is beyond my ability to express. I never wanted to do anything but love and serve as many people as possible. I wanted to tell as many people as possible about Jesus Christ and about the Book of Mormon.