Our Stake (Arlington Texas) studies one scripture per month. To help families to integrate the scripture into their homes in meaningful ways, for each scripture we share the following:
- the accompanying challenge
- free printables of the scripture or related challenge for display in the home
- family home evening lessons for all types of families
- ideas for using the scripture in a talk or lesson
You can find all of the resources at A Year in the Scriptures.
The scripture for July 2017 is Doctrine & Covenants 64:34.
Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind; and the willing and obedient shall eat the good of the land of Zion in these last days.
Study the talk given by Elder Hallstrom in June 2011 Ensign entitled The Heart and a Willing Mind.
Ideas for accomplishing the challenge:
See the FHE idea for adults below.
Family Home Evening Ideas
We created an FHE lesson to go along with the verse.
- Prepare heart-shaped cookies for the FHE treat. Either make them or purchase them.
- Print out the desired hat template for each family member. Read over the directions.
- Print out this heart picture (one for either the family or each person).
- Print out this picture of Heber C. Kimball and Brigham Young leaving Nauvoo.
- Share with the family that you are going to watch a short movie about a missionary who had a willing heart to serve the Lord, even when it was hard. Ask them to watch for the way his family supported him.
- Watch the [old] Church movie about Heber C. Kimball, The Heart and a Willing Mind. It’s only seven and a half minutes long, so it is very do-able for most children.
- Show the picture of Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball. Ask: What did you notice about his children? What were they doing? Even if our family isn’t asked to be apart for long periods of time, how can we help each other serve in the gospel?
- Make the hats from the templates you printed out.
- Have the family divide in two on opposite sides of the room. Take turns waving your hats and shouting (in living room-level shouts!), “Hurrah for Israel!”
- Color in the “We have a heart and a willing mind” printable. [Consider sending a picture of it to info_at_ldsteach.org for sharing on our Facebook page!]
Closing Song: Nephi’s Courage
Treat: Eat your heart-shaped cookies
Compare the videos and pictures. What is similar? What is different? How is having a heart and a willing mind different now than it was in the 1830s?
In the first video, Elder Kimball says, “I felt that the cause of truth and the gospel of Jesus Christ outweighed every other consideration.” How can you tell if someone feels that way? What will they do or not do? Do we feel this way? What are “other considerations” we face today?
Keep in mind that this is not a General Conference talk; it is a BYU Devotional, and is a little longer than the typical Conference talk (31 minutes), so plan accordingly.
Discuss the talk (pausing, if desired) using any or all of the following questions:
- How has Elder Hallstrom’s background influenced his Church service and his attitude towards it? (in video only)
- What are three key points in the lives of Brother and Sister Suzuki where they demonstrated their willingness to serve with their hearts and willing minds?
- Elder Hallstrom says that, “the heart is symbolic of love and commitment…if love does not exist, our commitment wanes.” What happens if people have only an academic attachment to the Gospel, but it doesn’t claim their hearts? How can we tell if we have the kind of love that will sustain us?
- Look at Elder Neal A Maxwell’s quote about the submission of our will being the only truly personal thing we have to lay on the altar. In what ways is this true? Does this resonate with you? When someone comes to Church with this attitude, how do they behave there?
- Giving our “finest thinking” and “seeking God’s wisdom” are connected to actually obeying what we hear. What are three ways we can give the Lord our finest thinking and seek His wisdom?
- The five ways Elder Hallstrom suggests for seeking to give our hearts and minds to the Lord are:
- Gain and constantly nurture your own testimony.
- Honor priesthood ordinances and covenants.
- Root out duplicity.
- Continually study the doctrine.
- Establish a life of service.
- After reading and thinking about each of these five ways, select the one you think could have the greatest positive effect on your life and resolve to strengthen that area. Decide on two achievable actions you can take right now to improve in that area. Record them in your journal.
- Elder Hallstrom said, “When we live by covenant rather than by convenience, we direct our lives toward our heavenly home.” What does it really mean to live by convenience as opposed to covenant?
- Think of two words to describe the tone of this talk and one word you would use to describe the emotion it builds inside of you. Do you feel encouraged? Challenged? Repentant?
For Lessons and Talks
- Read the historical background of Section 64.
- The doctrine in this verse is called submission. It is submitting our will to that of the Lord. The etymology of the word is from the Old French or directly from the Latin meaning “a lowering, letting down, or sinking…to put down, lower, or yield.” It has the sense of “humble obedience.” At the time of Joseph Smith, one who submitted was called a “submissionist.” Are we submissionists?
- Why must our hearts be willing as well as obedient? Is there a difference? If I do what is commanded but not with a willing heart, am I genuinely obedient? (Source)
- What is the difference between a willing heart and a willing mind? Which is more important?
- You may wish to use these related quotes:
- Chieko N. Okazaki
It doesn’t say that the Lord requires competence, or a Ph.D. or immaculate housekeeping, or professional success. But it doesn’t say that he’ll be satisfied with a half-hearted you, either. He wants your whole heart, and for good reason. Real power does not lie in external forces, but in the heart. (Lighten Up! [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1993], 69.)
- Marvin J. Ashton
A willing heart describes one who desires to please the Lord and to serve His cause first. He serves the Lord on the Lord’s terms, not his own. There are no restrictions to where or how he will serve.As one who has tendered calls to serve to many, I am always pleased to see members willing to give their time, energy, and effort to the upbuilding of the Church. They do so for one primary reason-to serve the Lord with all their heart, might, mind, and strength. (“The Measure of Our Hearts,” Ensign, Nov. 1988, 16)
- Richard G. Scott
That is a priceless promise. As you continue to center your mind and heart in Him, He will help you have a rich and full life no matter what happens in the world around you. (“How to Live Well Amid Increasing Evil,” Ensign, April 2004)
- Chieko N. Okazaki
- You may also wish to use ideas from the talk (see the FHE for adults above).