A change of heart

      The commercial airliner, flying some 30,000-35,000 feet above the ground, met some turbulence. A nearby thunderstorm had made the air a little rough. Dusk was settling upon the earth below and, as the passengers looked out the small windows, a breathtaking display unfolded before them.

      As the sun set beyond the passengers' view, the increasing darkness exaggerated the drama of the storm's lightning. From above the fray, rather than below it as usual, passengers watched in awe as the lightning bolted toward the earth.The display of power was, well, awesome.

      Those who observed were awestruck.

      Few had seen such a marvelous display from this unique vantage point high above the storm.

      The words of the hymn, "How Great Thou Art," came to mind: "I hear the rolling thunder, Thy power throughout the universe displayed." (Hymns, No. 86.)

      Yes, how truly great thou art.

      Now, for a minute, envision a different scene.

      The dedicated and loving visiting teacher rises to her feet after a fervent prayer in behalf of a wonderful sweet sister who has not yet fully felt the influence of the Savior in her life.

      The less-active sister is a fine person. She deserves the testimony of the Savior, the blessings of making eternal covenants and the constant companionship of the Holy Spirit.

      During each association with this less-active sister, the visiting teacher discerns a gradual, but real, change. Her spiritual awareness seems to be heightened. The many, many months of visiting, teaching, praying, loving and befriending seem to be having an effect.

      The less-active sister's heart is changing.

      In that magnificent hymn of the greatness of God, we sing how the Savior died for us and, upon conditions of our repentance, took away our sins: "He bled and died to take away my sin."

      Yes, how great thou art.

      And of all the miracles the Savior has and continues to work, perhaps none is greater than the literal and actual change of a human heart.

      The people who listened to, and believed on, the words of King Benjamin certainly understood that change - and the profound and eternal effect it has on the lives of those who are changed.

      ". . . 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.)

      In short, the change of heart could be considered a main goal while here upon the earth. For when our hearts are changed, we, in fact, become like the Savior - with "no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually."

      Earlier in his address, King Benjamin helped us understand some of the things we can do to effect that change.

      "Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend.

      "And again, believe that ye must repent of your sins and forsake them, and humble yourselves before God; and ask in sincerity of heart that he would forgive you; and now, if you believe all these things see that ye do them." (Mosiah 4:9-10.)

      By applying these, and other, eternal principles, we can allow the Lord to work literal miracles in our lives - and hearts. That miracle, a literal change of heart, opens the doors of blessings unmeasured in this life and throughout eternity.

      This is particularly comforting in light of what the Lord said to the Old Testament Prophet Samuel:

      ". . . For the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart." (1 Sam. 16:7.)

      The joy we experience fills, coincidently, our hearts - and causes us to sing, "How great thou art!"

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