FHE: Change of Heart

Conference Talk: For more information on this topic read "Preserving the Heart's Mighty Change," by Dale G. Renlund, Ensign, Nov 2009, 97-99.

Thought: A heart transplant can prolong life for years for people who would otherwise die from heart failure. But it is not "the ultimate operation," as Time magazine called it in 1967. The ultimate operation is not a physical but a spiritual "mighty change" of heart.

(Dale G. Renlund, "Preserving the Heart's Mighty Change," Ensign, Nov 2009, 97-99.)

Song: "Thy Spirit, Lord, Has Stirred Our Souls," Hymns. #157 (especially 2nd verse).

Scripture: And they all cried with one voice, saying: Yea, we believe all the words which thou hast spoken unto us; and also, we know of their surety and truth, because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually. (Mosiah 5:2)

Lesson: Show a picture of each family member from several years before. Ask in what ways they think they have changed the most. Ask them what kinds of changes they have experienced that are not so visible? Have them share their thoughts about the following questions:

  • What does it mean to say a person has changed for the better?
  • What might cause a person to change?
  • How can you tell if a person has really changed?
  • Do you think it would be easier to notice a change in another person or in yourself? Why?
Read Mosiah 5:1-2 together and look for the "mighty change" that came upon King Benjamin's people.

Ask your family if they would like to be so converted that they have no desire to sin. How much easier would it be to live the commandments if you had "no more disposition to do evil but to do good continually"?

Ask your family if they remember what the people of King Benjamin did so that the Spirit could make this "mighty change" in their hearts. (See Mosiah 4:2-3; they asked to be forgiven and purified, and they had faith in Christ.) What did Benjamin say they must do to "retain a remission of their sins"? (See Mosiah 4:11-16.)

Bear your testimony of the power of the Lord to change us so that the things we are commanded to do are also the things we love to do.

(Dennis H. Leavitt and Richard O. Christensen, Scripture Study for Latter-day Saint Families: The Book of Mormon, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2003], p. 120.)

Story: I am convinced that before the mighty change can occur within us, each of us will obtain a broken heart and a contrite spirit through experiences we receive in life.

I remember grasping this concept, in a very limited way, in my early high school years. I love sports. In grade school and junior high school, I dreamed of completing a pass in a football game with time running out, and thereby winning the state championship. I had similar fantasies regarding a lastsecond shot in basketball, and a home run in the bottom of the ninth inning in a baseball game.

As a sophomore in high school, because I had a small frame, I decided basketball was my game. I was quick and had a good two-handed set shot. (If you don't know what that is, ask someone over forty to tell you about it.) Tryouts were held in October. I played hard, stole the ball on several occasions, and made a few long, outside set shots; however, when the coach posted the names of the team members, my name was not on the list. I was crushed. My dream of having the cheerleaders swarm all over me after my game-winning shot was lost forever.

By the next summer I regrouped and decided maybe football was my game after all. At tryouts I put on a helmet, shoulder pads, and other gear. On my way out to the practice field, I remember looking in the mirror and saying to myself, "Hey, you look taller! And when you turn sideways, you don't disappear!" But then I noticed that the big guys looked bigger too.

In the first few drills, I felt fine. My speed allowed me to come in near the first in the sprints, and my confidence soared. Then came scrimmage. I was given the ball and told to run straight up the middle. As I got to the line, I was met by the biggest defensive lineman on the team. He planted his helmet in the pit of my stomach, wrapped his arms around my thighs, picked me up, threw me on the ground, and jumped on top of me. The only reason I didn't fumble was that the ball was implanted in my rib cage. As my friends carried my limp, breathless body off the field, I heard the coach say to the tackle, "Ooh! Wow! Nice hit, Kimber!"

Once again my dreams were shattered--not to mention my ribs and my ego. In the weeks that followed, I began to look around to see what else life had to offer. It took a while, but I made a marvelous discovery: there is a lot more to life than sports. I looked at my classmates in a different light. In addition to the respect I already had for good athletes, I began to appreciate the individual talents of each person. I marveled at those gifted with artistic ability. I looked at their paintings and thrilled at their talent. Others had developed their talents in music. I watched in amazement as a pianist played classical music. A dancer fascinated me with her grace and creativity. I read things written by a gifted poet. I laughed and cried as I watched some thespians perform. They actually made me forget who they were and convinced me they had become the characters on the stage. Some of my friends excelled in academics. And perhaps the most important talents are those we are likely to take for granted, such as compassion, benevolence, and integrity.

(Glenn L. Pace, Spiritual Plateaus, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1991], 79.)

Activity: Have all the family members sit side-by-side on the floor with their legs extended. The first person rises and hops over the extended legs of the other family members to the end of the line. After hopping over the last player, he returns to the original place by running around behind the line, touching the Number 2 person, and then sits down. Number 2 then hops over Number 3 and down to the end of the line, runs to the head of the line and hops over Number 1, touches Number 3 and sits down. Play proceeds, each player in turn hopping, running, touching, and sitting.

Application: We must overcome each obstacle in life as it comes, before going on to the next.

Refreshment Monticello Sopapillas

  • 1 package (1 tablespoon) active dry yeast
  • 3 cups warm water
  • 6 tablespoons shortening
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 6 tablespoons nonfat dry milk
  • 6 1/2 cups flour
  • Oil for frying
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add shortening, sugar, salt, and dry milk. Stir in flour to make a soft dough. Mix well. Knead dough 15 to 20 times; set aside to rest for 10 minutes. Roll dough to 1/4-inch in thickness; cut in squares or triangles. Fry, turning once, in hot fat until lightly browned on each side. Makes 20 to 24 sopaipillas.

(Paula Julander and Joanne Milner, Utah State Fare, [Salt Lake City: Shadow Mountain, 1995], p. 39.)

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