Fernando Castro, Foundations department chair, was BYU-Idaho’s devotional speaker on June 26. The title of his talk was, “Repentance: A Disciple’s Pattern for Eternal Progression.”
Castro said when he was asked to speak and could choose any topic, repentance came to his mind right away.
“It is an important principle in the gospel of Jesus Christ,” Castro said. “It is something that normally we leave up to priesthood leaders to talk about, and yet it is a topic filled with hope, with love, it is a gift from the atonement of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and I thought there was a positive side to repentance.”
Castro talked about how through repentance, we can become Disciples of Christ and focused his talk on two aspects: A disciple repents and follows Christ daily, and a disciple invites others to repent as guided by the Spirit and with love.
“Becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ is a lifetime pursuit and requires much,” Castro said. ”A disciple’s ultimate desire is to become like his or her Master.”
Castro said for some people the road to repentance may require a complete change while for others it may only take making small changes in their lives.
“In our spiritual progression, it’s not uncommon to experience cyclical ups and downs,” Castro said. “There are days when it’s easier to be faithful and there are days when it’s hard. At one point or another, we all stumble upon temptations, transgressions, trials and tribulations."
Castro said although there will be battles which we may lose throughout our lives there is a way we can correct those mistakes through the divine gifts of repentance, forgiveness and the chance to renew baptismal covenants.
“In our desire to improve we should not underestimate the importance of being faithful in the small things,” Castro said. “We do not always see in advance all the potential ramifications of the small and simple choices we make in life.”
He said one characteristic of someone who truly repents is having the desire to invite others to enjoy the same blessings that comes with repentance.
“We can invite others to come unto Christ in multiple ways, such as sharing the gospel with those not of our faith, strengthening the faith of the believers, caring for the spiritually wounded, and reclaiming the lost and adrift,” Castro said.
While preparing this talk, Castro said this was a learning experience for him also.
“It’s helped me and taught me this valuable principle in the gospel, and to achieve and reach a greater appreciation for the atonement of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” Castro said.
He said one thing in specific he was able to learn was repentance is one way that we can make mistakes and have the opportunity to come back.
"That gift of repentance is what allows us to grow into the attributes and personality that the savior embodies," Castro said.