So yesterday I decided that I wanted to study a mighty change of heart because I have felt in the last couple weeks that the missionaries in this area (myself included) may not have their hearts in quite the right place right now and with transfers coming up next week I wanted to find a way to make a difference here with these missionaries before they leave. but then I realized that I don’t even really know what the word "heart" means or refers to in the scriptures, and I can’t give a training on something that I don’t know like the back of my hand. So i decided to go to the index and ask the Book of Mormon what the word means. Once i started to see different prophets using the word in different contexts I began to see a little bit of what my heart truly is and what I need to go through to change it. In the very first scripture that the index ties to the word heart, which is 1 nephi 17:44 it tells us (in my own words) that what’s in our hearts matters a whole lot more than our mindset or our actions, so we have got to keep our hearts clean. We have got to make sure that those deep desires and appetites within us are clean and pure. And then in the next chapter, chapter 18 verses 19 and 20 we can learn that only God can soften or change our hearts. Not even Nephi's wife with all her tears and anguish and her kids with all their tears and begging could soften or change the hearts of Laman and Lemuel, but the power of God could, and it was the only thing that could! God is so loving and kind that if we will even turn to Him just a little then He will help us to have a mighty change of heart. 2 Nephi 4:16 tells us that we should be pondering in our hearts the words of scriptures and modern-day prophets so that we can grow closer to Christ. And in 1 Nephi 22:26 we learn that if we can become righteous enough then satan won’t have any power over our hearts! He can’t touch us and persuade us to do evil!! I think that’s one of the coolest promises. If we will do all we can to further our spirituality and grow in our faith then satan can’t touch us. What more motivation do we need to "do good continually"? but if we do need more motivation then God’s got us covered because in Mosiah 2 verse 41 we learn that if we keep God’s commandments then we will be blessed in ALL things, not just with a better knowledge of the scriptures or a better job, but in ALL things. God is the God of everything so if we want to be blessed with anything (or everything) then we ought to turn to Him a little more and obey His wise counsel found in the words of His prophets.
I love this gospel and I love the things we can find in the scriptures. I stink at remembering where i find things and what’s taking place in that time but i never fail to remember the lessons i have learned and the joy that fills my soul in such a way that i cannot deny the divinity of Christ’s Church and Christ’s Gospel. There are many missionaries who are able to read the Book of Mormon, The Bible, and The Living Christ multiple times on their mission which does increase their knowledge immensely. But I am definitely not one of those missionaries. I can’t sit down and read for more than 5 minutes without being lost and not remembering what i just read and so I have found myself on many occasions studying one or two verses for 30 or 40 minutes and it completely satisfies my want/need for more spiritual knowledge. The reason I wanted to share this with you was because too many people get caught up in how much others are studying the scriptures when all we really need to worry about is coming away from those studies with the feeling that we have accomplished what we sat down to do which should always be to grow in our own spirituality, to feel of God’s love for us, and to become aware of something we can do better. Repentance is the biggest message that we carry with us as Christ’s disciples and so we must always remain strong in our own repentance and in changing our own lives to become more aligned with Christ’s life.
I love you all!
Love, Elder Cluff