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A mighty change of heart necessary to be 'born again'

When Alma, speaking to the people of Zarahemla, asked if they had "spiritually been born of God" (Alma 5:14) and admonished the people in Gideon to be born again (Alma 7:14), he repeated a theme taught generations earlier by his father, Alma, and by King Benjamin.

Preaching from the tower in Zarahemla, King Benjamin told the people they would be called the children of Christ because He had "spiritually begotten" them (See Mosiah 5:7), that He had wrought a "mighty change" in them so that they had "no more disposition to do evil but to do good continually."Similarly, at the waters of Mormon, Alma the elder preached the word of God to the people who had fled from King Noah into the wilderness, with the result that "a mighty change was also wrought in their hearts."(Alma 5:13.)

The same concept was taught by the Lord Jesus Christ to Nicodemus, that "except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." (John 3:3.)

"Can human hearts be changed?" asked Elder Ezra Taft Benson in one of his writings. "Why, of course! It happens every day in the great missionary work of the Church. It is one of the most widespread of Christ's modern miracles. If it hasn't happened to you - it should. . . .

"Would not the progress of the Church increase dramatically today with an increasing number of those who are spiritually reborn? Can you imagine what would happen in our homes? Can you imagine what would happen with an increasing number of copies of the Book of Mormon in the hands of an increasing number of missionaries who know how to use it and who have been born of God? When this happens, we will get the bounteous harvest of souls that the Lord has promised. It was the `born of God' Alma who as a missionary was so able to impart the word that many others were also born of God. (See Alma 36:23-26.)

"The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of the people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature." (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, pp. 77-78.)

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