Repentance: A Change of Heart

by Aubrey Barzee

The time that we spend partaking of the sacrament is one of the most important moments of the week. Taking the sacrament is a crucial step in renewing our baptismal and temple covenants, bringing an offering of ourselves, our wills, and our weaknesses and leaving it at the Savior’s feet. 

I like to use this time to create a “start/stop” list, an idea I came across in general conference a few years ago. Every Sunday I pray and ask God for one small thing I should start doing and one thing I should stop doing to be more like my Savior and more aligned with God’s will for me. It is a peaceful and revelatory opportunity to learn from the Spirit what I can improve on. Focusing on simple, little changes at a time helps me recognize specific ways I can repent. 

A dramatic example of a person changed by repentance is Alma the Younger. He recounted his experience of being born again, saying, “My soul hath been redeemed from the gall of bitterness and bonds of iniquity. I was in the darkest abyss; but now I behold the marvelous light of God. My soul was racked with eternal torment; but I am snatched, and my soul is pained no more” (Mosiah 27:29). 

When we repent, we feel light, joy, and freedom from guilt and pain as Alma described. A similar message was taught by President Brigham Young, as recorded by Wilford Woodruff on November 10, 1856. Wilford wrote in his journal, “[Brigham Young] promised the people in the name of Jesus Christ if they would repent and turn from their sins from that hour, all their sins should be forgiven them and not remembered against them. . . . O what joy this should give the people, for [we] have all sinned more or less.” 

I’m grateful for the gift of repentance that our Savior has given us. We all sin, and despite falling short we can experience joy, peace of mind, and a real and lasting change of heart because of Jesus Christ and His Atonement. I’m especially grateful that we can take the sacrament each week to remember His sacrifice, and I invite you to prayerfully consider what you can do to make that time a more prayerful and meaningful experience. 

Aubrey Barzee is a Public Relations Intern for the Wilford Woodruff Papers Foundation. She is from Kansas City, Missouri, and currently studies at Brigham Young University. Aubrey is majoring in Exercise and Wellness and studying in the Seminary and Institute teaching program. She had the opportunity as a missionary to come to know Jesus Christ better and serve the people in the Oregon Portland Mission, which she recently returned from. She has loved being a part of this Project, where she can share her love of the Savior and His restored gospel. She loves learning about the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is inspired by the journals and life of the prophet Wilford Woodruff.


1. Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, November 10, 1856, p. 170, The Wilford Woodruff Papers,