Christ voluntarily gave gift of repentance

As Alma and Amulek preached repentance to the people of Ammonihah and taught them the plan of redemption, they met a cunning lawyer, Zeezrom. Initially, Zeezrom tried to bribe Amulek to deny God. (See Alma 11:22.)

Zeezrom grew silent, however, when Amulek caught him in his lying. (See Alma 12:1-6.) Zeezrom became convinced of the power of God, and asked Alma and Amulek to teach him concerning the kingdom of God. (See Alma 12:7-8.) When Zeezrom became sick with fever, he asked Alma and Amulek to heal him. After he was healed, he was baptized, and "began from that time forth to preach unto the people." (See Alma 15:1-12.)Elder Marion G. Romney, while serving as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, said in his October 1955 general conference address: "Among the many things for which I am thankful is the sanctifying process of repentance. I am grateful to the Lord Jesus Christ who, through the atonement He wrought, gave us the gift of repentance. I am grateful that He was willing voluntarily to give His life for us. That is literally what He did. He did not have to give it; He did not have to die. Because He was the Son of God, He was not subject to the fall, as were men. Within him was power to live forever. . . .

"I am grateful for my Redeemer, grateful that He paid the debt and brought about the means of repentance so that by repenting of my transgressions I can bring my soul within the reach of His atoning blood and thereby be cleansed of sin; for, after all, it is by the grace of Christ that men are saved, after all they can do. The thing they can and must do is repent. I love the doctrine of repentance. . . . I have seen the need of it - oh, how I have seen the need of it. I have seen missionaries, saints, and non-members of the Church, in far-off lands sorrowing with a godly sorrow for sin. I have heard them say, `Oh, Brother Romney, do you think there is any hope for me, any chance for me to get on even the bottom rung of the gospel ladder?'

"And as I have witnessed their sorrowing, I have remembered the sorrowing of repentant men in days of old; Zeezrom, for example, whose soul,' after he realized what he had done in opposing the ministry of Alma and Amulek, . . . began to be harrowed up under a consciousness of his own guilt; yea, he began to be encircled about by the pains of hell.' So severe were his sufferings that he ` . . . lay sick at Sidom, with a burning fever, which was caused by the great tribulations of his mind on account of his wickedness.' " (See Alma 14 and 15.)

Elder Romney expressed gratitude for "godly sorrow" that leads people to repentance. "For today," he said, "as well as in days of old, there is hope, there is peace, there is rest in Christ for all whose godly sorrow brings them to that repentance which worketh salvation. Forgiveness is as wide as repentance. Every person will be forgiven for all the transgression of which he truly repents. If he repents of all his sins, he shall stand spotless before God because of the atonement of our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ; while he that exercises no faith unto repentance remains " . . . as though there had been no redemption made, except it be the loosing of the bands of death.' (Alma 11:41.) Such is the gist of God's merciful plan of redemption."

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