Nephi caught the attention of a group of people by praying on a tower in his garden beside a busy highway. They not only stopped to hear his prayer. They ran and gathered other people. When Nephi completed his prayer, a large crowd had gathered (Helaman 7:10-12). So he spoke to them, sharing his sorrow about their behavior and where it was leading them.
“O repent ye, repent ye!” he said. “Why will ye die? Turn ye, turn ye unto the Lord your God” (Helaman 7:17). As Elder Neil L. Andersen explained, “When we sin, we turn away from God. When we repent, we turn back toward God” (“Repent…That I May Heal You,” General Conference, October 2009).
To turn away from God is to forget about Him, to focus on worldly things instead of on eternal things. Nephi said, “How could you have forgotten your God in the very day that he has delivered you?” (Helaman 7:20). To turn back toward God is to remember Him.
To turn away from God is to think too highly of ourselves and our own abilities. Nephi said, “Wo shall come unto you because of that pride which ye have suffered to enter your hearts, which has lifted you up beyond that which is good” (Helaman 7:26). To turn back toward God is to acknowledge His infinite power and our own limitations.
To turn away from God is to break His commandments—to intentionally behave in a way that will bring us sorrow. Nephi said, “Wo be unto you because of your wickedness and abominations! And except ye repent ye shall perish” (Helaman 7:27-28). To turn back toward God is to begin behaving in a way that will bring us lasting happiness.
Elder Andersen said:
The invitation to repent is…a loving appeal to turn around and to “re-turn” toward God. It is the beckoning of a loving Father and His Only Begotten Son to be more than we are, to reach up to a higher way of life, to change, and to feel the happiness of keeping the commandments.“Repent…That I May Heal You,” General Conference, October 2009
Today, I will turn toward God. I will remember Him, humble myself before Him, and obey His commandments. I will remember that He wants me to be happy and that He can help me to live in a way that will bring me happiness.