On Friday, October 28, 1588, having lost its rudder to being governed solely by oar, the ship La Girona, belonging to the great Spanish Armada, collided with the rocks of Lacada Point in Northern Ireland.1
The ship capsized. One of the castaways struggling to survive wore a gold ring given to him a few months earlier by his wife with the inscription, “I have nothing more to give you.”2
“I have nothing more to give you”—a phrase and a ring with the design of a hand holding a heart, an expression of love from a wife to her husband.
When I read this story, it made a deep impression on me, and I thought of the request made by the Savior: “And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit.”3
I also thought of the people’s reaction to King Benjamin’s words: “Yea, we believe all the words which thou hast spoken unto us … , 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.”4
Let me share with you an experience I had when I was 12 years old, the effect of which lasts to this day.
My mother said, “Eduardo, hurry up. We are late for the Church meetings.”
“Mom, I’m going to stay with Dad today,” I replied.
“Are you sure? You have to attend your priesthood quorum meeting,” she said.
I replied, “Poor Dad! He is going to be left alone. I’m going to stay with him today.”
Dad was not a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
My mother and sisters went to Sunday meetings. So I went to meet Dad in his workshop, where he liked to be on Sundays, and as I had told my mother, I spent a while, that is, a few minutes with him, and then I asked, “Dad, is everything all right?”
He kept up his hobby of repairing radios and clocks, and he just smiled at me.
Then I told him, “I’m going to go play with my friends.”
Dad, without looking up, said to me, “Today is Sunday. Aren’t you supposed to go to church?”
“Yes, but today I told Mom I wouldn’t go,” I replied. Dad went on about his business, and for me, that was permission to leave.
That morning there was an important soccer game, and my friends had told me that I couldn’t miss it because we had to win that game.
My challenge was that I had to pass in front of the chapel to get to the soccer field.
Determined, I dashed towards the soccer field and stopped before the great stumbling block, the chapel. I ran to the opposite sidewalk, where there were some big trees, and I decided to run between them so that no one would see me since it was the time the members were arriving at the meetings.
I arrived just in time for the start of the game. I was able to play and go home before my mother got home.
Everything had gone well; our team had won, and I was thrilled. But that well-executed run onto the field did not go unnoticed by the deacons quorum adviser.
Brother Félix Espinoza had seen me running quickly from tree to tree, trying not to be discovered.
At the beginning of the week, Brother Espinoza came to my house and asked to speak with me. He didn’t say anything about what he had seen on Sunday, nor did he ask me why I had missed my meeting.
He just handed me a manual and said, “I would like you to teach the priesthood class on Sunday. I have marked the lesson for you. It is not so difficult. I want you to read it, and I will come by in two days to help you with the preparation for the lesson.” Having said this, he handed me the manual and left.
I didn’t want to teach the class, but I couldn’t bring myself to tell him no. I had planned that Sunday to stay with my father again—meaning, there was another important soccer game.
Brother Espinoza was a person whom young people admired.5 He had found the restored gospel and changed his life or, in other words, his heart.
When Saturday afternoon arrived, I thought, “Well, maybe tomorrow I’ll wake up sick, and I won’t have to go to church.” It wasn’t the soccer game that worried me anymore; it was the class I had to teach, especially a lesson about the Sabbath day.
Sunday came, and I woke up healthier than ever. I had no excuse—no escape.
It was the first time I would teach a lesson, but Brother Espinoza was there by my side, and that was the day of a mighty change of heart for me.
From that moment on, I began to keep the Sabbath day holy, and over time, in the words of President Russell M. Nelson, the Sabbath day has become a delight.6
“Lord, I give You everything; I have nothing more to give You.”
How do we obtain that mighty change of heart? It is initiated and eventually occurs
when we study the scriptures to obtain the knowledge that will strengthen our faith in Jesus Christ, which will create a desire to change;7
when we cultivate that desire through prayer and fasting;8
when we act, according to the word studied or received, and we make a covenant to surrender our hearts to Him, just as with King Benjamin’s people.9
How do we know that our heart is changing?10
When we want to please God in all things.11
When we treat others with love, respect, and consideration.12
When we see that the attributes of Christ are becoming part of our character.13
When we feel the guidance of the Holy Spirit more constantly.14
When we keep a commandment that has been difficult for us to obey and then continue to live it.15
When we listen carefully to our leaders’ advice and cheerfully decide to follow it, have we not experienced a mighty change of heart?
“Lord, I give You everything; I have nothing more to give You.”
How do we maintain the mighty change?
When we partake of the sacrament weekly and renew the covenant to take upon us the name of Christ, always remember Him, and keep His commandments.16
When we turn our lives toward the temple.17 Regular temple attendance will help us maintain a new and renewed heart as we participate in the ordinances.
When we love and serve our neighbors by ministering activities and missionary work.18
Then for our great joy, that inner change is strengthened and spreads until it abounds in good works.19
This mighty change of heart brings us a feeling of freedom, trust, and peace.20
This change of heart is not an event; it takes faith, repentance, and constant spiritual work to happen. It begins when we desire to submit our will to the Lord, and it materializes when we enter into and keep covenants with Him.
That individual action has a positive effect both on us and on the people around us.
In the words of President Russell M. Nelson, “Imagine how quickly the devastating conflicts throughout the world—and those in our individual lives—would be resolved if we all chose to follow Jesus Christ and heed His teachings.”21 This action of following the Savior’s teachings leads to a mighty change of heart.
Dear brothers and sisters, young people, and children, as we participate in the conference this weekend, let the words of our prophets, which will come from the Lord, enter our hearts to experience a mighty change.
For those who have not yet joined the Lord’s restored Church, I invite you to listen to the missionaries with a sincere desire to know what God expects of you and experience that inner transformation.22
Today is the day to decide to follow the Lord Jesus Christ. “Lord, I give You my heart; I have nothing more to give You.”
Just as the ring was recovered from that shipwreck, when we give our hearts to God, we are rescued from the raging seas of this life, and in the process we are refined and purified through the Atonement of Christ and become “children of Christ,” being spiritually “born of Him.”23 Of this I testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.