This week’s study through the Book of Mormon is 3 Nephi Chapters 27 – 30 and 4 Nephi where we learn about the meaning of the Gospel and the significance of the Church.
Ted L. Gibbons starts off with a quote from a General Conference Talk given by Dale G. Renlund, “Preserving the Heart’s Mighty Change”:
In each heart transplant recipient, the patient’s own body recognizes the new, lifesaving heart as “foreign” and begins to attack it. Left unchecked, the body’s natural response will reject the new heart, and the recipient will die. Medicines can suppress this natural response, but the medications must be taken daily and with exactness. Furthermore, the condition of the new heart must be monitored. Occasional heart biopsies are performed wherein small pieces of heart tissue are removed and then examined under a microscope. When signs of rejection are found, medications are adjusted. If the rejection process is detected early enough, death can be averted.
Surprisingly, some patients become casual with their transplanted hearts. They skip their medicines here and there and obtain the needed follow-up less frequently than they should. They think that because they feel good, all is well. Too often this shortsighted attitude puts the patients at risk and shortens their lives.
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.
Through the Atonement of Christ and by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel, we undergo this ultimate operation, this spiritual change of heart. As a result of our transgressions, our spiritual hearts have become diseased and hardened, making us subject to spiritual death and separation from our Heavenly Father. The Lord explained the operation that we all need: “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.”
The Gospel of Jesus Christ ought to cause a mighty change of heart in the person where they move from the old desires to instilling a newness of life. It is because of this important understanding, the Book of Mormon includes the description of the Resurrected Savior teaching the Nephites what His Gospel is about and the meaning of His Church.
What is even more interesting is that as we close out this year’s study of the Book of Mormon, and the results of the election of 2012, there are some significant and important principles that are coming to light for those who have a sincere desire to draw unto God, and unto Christ. These key principles are revealed in understanding the political conditions that one finds throughout the people of the Book of Mormon and how soon they withdraw from accepting the Gospel and persecute the Church. Today, we are on the dawning of where there is going to be unparalleled persecution of any person claiming to follow Jesus Christ. We have received sufficient warning in these latter-days and it is up to us if we are going to heed those warnings, and to live out the Gospel without fear in our lives, or if we dwindle in unbelief and wickedness with the rest of society.