You can’t really discuss commandments without also discussing repentance. What is repentance? Why do we need to do it? What does it accomplish? Why is it important to your salvation?
First, let’s describe what sin is.
Sin is “knowing the will of God and choosing not to follow it.” Some people sin in ignorance–meaning they sin without ever knowing that they were breaking a commandment.
We cannot be saved in ignorance though. You cannot be saved in ignorance. God wants us to know his commandments–and follow them. When we follow them, we become more like Him.
When you sin, you can repent. When you repent, you are forgiven. When we are forgiven, you qualify to have the Light of Christ with you (or the Holy Ghost if you have been baptized) which will help guide you.
Repentance is a 4 step process:
- Don’t repeat (the sin).
- Ask God for forgiveness.
Recognition is the first step. If you don’t realize that you’ve done something wrong, you won’t recognize a need to repent. If you sin in ignorance of God’s commandments (meaning: You broke a commandment because you didn’t know it was a commandment), God will be merciful unto you. However, God cannot save us in ignorance. If you want to be saved, if you want to return an live with God, then you need to learn his commandments and seek to follow them.
The next step is “To be remorseful”. If you don’t feel bad that you did something wrong, you’ll likely to continue doing it. You should feel sorrow about what you have done. You should also feel sorrow that the Savior suffered for your misdeed. You should feel enough sorrow to want to change and be better.
Restitution is next. You need to try to fix what you did wrong. Ex. If you stole something, return it.
You can’t always “fix” what you’ve done wrong though. In those moments, you just need to pray and ask the Lord what you can do (if anything).
If you are truly sorrow about what you have done, you won’t repeat it. That’s step #4.
Lastly, you need to ask God for forgiveness. Commandments are God’s laws. If you want to live in heaven, you need to learn how to obey the laws of heaven.