July 23, 2022

David Durfey’s 39-year career with Seminaries and Institute has included serving as a teacher for 12 years, as a region and area director, and director of the Institute at Utah Valley University. In the Church he has served as branch president of the Missionary Training Center in Provo, bishop, counselor in multiple stake presidencies, and as a patriarch.


02:00 Introduction to David Durfey

06:00 David designed an institute course on repentance and forgiveness. He tells the story of working with Elder Andersen to write the book, The Divine Gift of Forgiveness.

11:50 Repentance is NOT punishment, penalty, or payment for sin. David talks about how the meaning and translation of the word repent got misinterpreted.

13:50 While there can be pain in repentance, that pain is not repentance. The cause of the pain is the sin not the repentance. Repentance is not the suffering; it relieves the suffering.

15:50 Jesus Christ has already suffered for the sin but you will suffer because of the sin.

16:30 Repentance is not a checklist or a change of behavior. An atheist can change their behavior but that’s not repentance. Repentance has to be through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

18:30 Repentance and forgiveness is not through the Church. The Church can guide us through the process but repentance and forgiveness come solely through Jesus Christ.

19:15 Confession is not repentance.

20:10 David explains why repentance is not through the Church.

21:40 Repentance is a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Repentance is not turning from sin but turning to Jesus Christ and beginning to live a Christlike life.

22:45 Sin hurts, not repentance. How do we shift the shame of repentance to a more hopeful outlook? It all starts with understanding the power of the Atonement.

25:00 Stopping the behavior is not going to heal the past. It has to be through Jesus Christ.

25:55 The key to repentance is first understanding the fall of Adam and Eve and that we are all sinners.

28:10 David paraphrases the words of Boyd K. Packer. The root of Christian doctrine is the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Any other doctrine or teaching in the Church that does not touch that root is dead. We deal a lot with the leaves and branches in the Church but we aren’t getting down to the root.

29:30 Any time we see the word “doctrines” in the scriptures it’s always negative. For example, the doctrines of men. There is only ONE doctrine. That is the doctrine of Jesus Christ.

30:15 David tells about one of the most impactful experiences of his life. He was a young father serving as branch president at the missionary training center and President Packer came to speak. The main points of the talk were:

  • You won’t be judged on how many baptisms you get. Your success will be determined by what kind of parents and grandparents you are.
  • Focus less on teaching commandments and more on teaching the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Every teaching has to be focused on Jesus Christ.

33:00 The story of Mary and Martha. The one needful thing is to know Jesus Christ.

36:30 How can we be better at focusing on Christ in our Sunday meetings and in our daily lives? David Shares D&C 6:34-37 and explains how.

43:20 Learning to forgive ourselves. If Jesus isn’t going to condemn me then who am I to condemn me? We can’t condemn anyone, even ourselves.

45:30 D&C 19. This scripture says that we will suffer but not for our sins. We are not capable of suffering for our own sins.

47:30 Quoting Elder Andersen’s book, “If we worry whether we have paid back or suffered enough for our sins it will impede our ability to repent and feel forgiven, bringing painful discouragement with it.”

48:00 Advice to a bishop helping someone through repentance. A bishop’s number one priority should be helping that individual come unto Christ and accessing the Atonement.

52:20 Not being able to participate in ordinances, such as the Sacrament, is not a punishment. It’s a protection to that individual.

54:45 The role of the priesthood leader is to help individuals access the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, not just for the past but for the future.

55:50 Why do certain individuals need to be withdrawn from the Church if they have repented and been forgiven?

58:20 The Lord wants us to repent speedily. It doesn’t have to be long and drawn out in most situations.

59:00 Q: How can I know when I’m forgiven?
A: “When you feel the Holy Ghost in your life, you know the Atonement is doing its work.”—President Henry B. Eyring.
“The Holy Ghost is the messenger and the administrator of the Atonement of Jesus Christ in our lives.”—D. Todd Christofferson

1:02:00 A step that a lot of individuals and bishops miss is faith in Jesus Christ and what that really means.

1:05:30 To the person seeking more faith in Jesus Christ. Study Lectures on Faith.

  1. Know the basic things about Jesus, such as his life, teachings, and Atonement.
  2. Know the character, perfections, and attributes of Jesus Christ.
  3. Know that the course of life that you are leading is pleasing to God and is His will.

1:10:00 The key to being a better leader is being a better follower of Christ.


The Divine Gift of Forgiveness, by Neil L. Andersen
Considering the Cross: How Calvary Connects Us with Christ, by John Hilton III
Teacher Material: The Divine Gift of Forgiveness
Video collection: The Divine Gift of Forgiveness
Podcast: Redeemed Through His Blood
Art: Jesus and the Woman Taken, by Kathleen Peterson
TRANSCRIPT coming soon
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