Monday, October 26, 2009

Week 3: Preserving the Heart's Mighty Change

Thanks for coming back, dear sisters! I've already gained so much from you, and I hope you are feeling the Spirit as much as I am!

This weeks talk comes from Elder Dale G. Renlund Of the Seventy. It is entitled, "Preserving the Heart's Might Change." I thought, in addition to some background on Elder Renlund, I would add a few scripture references. I plan to use these in a FHE soon, and thought you may be able to use them too.
So, Elder Dale Gunnar Renlund learned early that nothing is more important than following the Lord. His parents, Mats and Mariana Renlund, taught him this principle by example. They met in Stockholm, Sweden, shortly after the end of World War II, and they wanted to marry, but only in the temple. They left their homes in Finland and Sweden, immigrated to Utah, and were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple.
Born on November 13, 1952, in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, Elder Renlund was raised in a home where the blessings received from following the Lord’s counsel were cherished. He was also blessed to live in his parents’ homeland twice: once as a teenager when his carpenter father was called to Sweden on a Church-construction mission and several years later as a full-time missionary for the Church in Sweden.
Elder Renlund met his wife, Ruth Lybbert, in their home ward. In June 1977 they were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple. Together with their daughter they have built a tightly knit family that works, plays, and serves together.
“We love doing things as a family,” Elder Renlund explains. “Everything we do is geared that way. If we play golf, we play as a threesome and share the same score.”
Elder Renlund earned a bachelor’s degree and doctor of medicine from the University of Utah and completed his training in internal medicine and cardiology at Johns Hopkins University. He dedicated his medical career to the subspecialty of heart failure and transplantation medicine as a teacher, researcher, and clinician.
Before his call to serve in the First Quorum of the Seventy, Elder Renlund served as a bishop, stake president, high councilor, and for nine years as an Area Seventy in the Fifth Quorum of the Seventy. He and his family currently reside in Salt Lake City, Utah.

I suggest looking at Alma 5, which deals with this subject as well. An Institute instructor of mine once referred to this chapter as "An Interview With a Prophet."

Happy reading!


  1. I really appreciated this weeks talk. I have spent the last couple of weeks thinking about and studying what it means to have a change of heart and become sons and daughters of God.

    I really appreciated the connection that Elder Renlund made between perserving a change of heart and enduring to the end. I have never made that connection before but it helps me understand both the principles of a change of heart and endurning to the end. He said, "Just as with heart transplant patients, however, this mighty change of our spiritual hearts is just the beginning...Indeed, equal, if not greater, care must be taken with a spiritually changed heart than with a physically transplanted heart if we are to endure to the end." I have often thought that a change of heart was a one-time process where you make the change and you are good to go, but like all gospel priciples it is a change that has to be nurtured and constantly developled.
    "Enduring to the end can be challenging because the tendency of the natural man is to reject the spiritually changed heart and allow it to harden." I know that as I have struggled to overcome the natural man, I have often rejected the spiritually changed heart and had to start the process over again. Elder Renlund provides us with great hope and instuction on how to preserve a change of heart as he shares the symptoms of a hardened heart.

    "We all know of individuals who had this mighty change of heart but subsequently yielded to the natural man. They became casual in their worship and devotion to God, their hearts became hardened, and they thereby jeopardized their eternal salvation."

    I often understimate the power of constant and consistant scripture reading, prayer and worthy worship. This talk has helped me realize that I need to recommit myself to the simple basics of the gospel and be constant and faithful in them.

  2. I loved this talk when I heard it during conference. I think Elder Renlund's heart transplant analogy is perfect! I have a nephew that was born with a heart defect. He has undergone many surgeries and numerous hospitalizations. He is 6 years old and doing well, but the doctors have told his parents that a heart transplant will eventually be in his future. When I think about that taking place, and him not diligently maintaining that new heart, I think "what would be the point". HA! Isn't that funny that I never think that about the condition of my own spiritual heart! I am also a cancer survivor. I have to have routine check-ups to make sure I am healthy and that the cancer has not returned. I will be having these check-ups for the rest of my life and the thought of possibly missing one, even when I'm sure everything is ok, seem just plain stupid! Why would I put my health in jepoardy like that. Elder Renlund's talk definitely helped me realize how much my spiritual health needs to be checked, and re-checked. Even when I think things are probably ok, I need to make sure I am most definitely strong and healthy in that area.
    "we need to frequently biopsy our mightily changed hearts and reverse any signs of early rejection."
    I will definitely be "biospying" my spiritual heart more regularly and hopefully never miss any more "check-ups" in the future!

  3. I love this talk so much... i think 1st and 2nd nephi go good with this talk because, nephi is constantly praying that his heart and his brothers hearts will be softened. i think that's an important example to follow. I know their has been times in my life when my heart hasn't been soft and or one with the spirit at time's.i know through trying it myself if you pray for your heart to not be hardened and to be able to stay one in heart and spirit everything goes better. I think it helps keep me have a better understanding of what my testimony needs and helps me know how to say or do things when prompted.
    This talk just is such a good reminder it really makes me think "in what ways am i lacking in spirit and heart"

  4. I appreciate Gwen's comments about getting regular check ups and expanding the medical imagery Elder Renlund uses.
    I wondered while I read and meditated on the analogy of the heart transplant about the patient that DOESN'T get regular check ups. The one who eats two inch steaks every night and doesn't exercise and tops his butter with lard. How ungrateful is that guy? Someone saved his life--did for him what he could not do for himself. Ultimately, someone died so he could have a new life. For him to waste it is awful, and to treat it lightly, a travesty.
    Similarly, when we experience this mighty change of heart and don't get checkups (by taking the sacrament, reading our scriptures, and sincere daily prayer), or worse, waste it by overindulgence and lazyness (sin) we are suprememly ungrateful to the One who gave us life. I hope that I can be more careful with the new heart I've been given, and show my gratitude for it by taking good care of it!


Enlighten us!