“The Lord Requireth the Heart and a Willing Mind”

Doctrine and Covenants 64:34

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.

President Dallin H. Oaks said:

“We are familiar with the proverb which states that as a man ‘thinketh in his heart, so is he’ (Prov. 23:7). We also read in Proverbs: ‘All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the Lord weigheth the spirits’ (Prov. 16:2).

“Latter-day revelation declares that the Lord requires not only the acts of the children of men, but ‘the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind’ (D&C 64:34).

“Numerous scriptures teach that our Heavenly Father knows our thoughts and the intents of our heart. (See D&C 6:16; Mosiah 24:12; Alma 18:32.) The prophet Moroni taught that if our works are to be credited for good, they must be done for the right reasons. If a man ‘offereth a gift, or prayeth unto God, except he shall do it with real intent it profiteth him nothing.

“‘For behold, it is not counted unto him for righteousness’ (Moro. 7:6–7).

“Similarly, the prophet Alma taught that if we have hardened our hearts against the word of God, we will ‘not dare to look up to our God’ at the Final Judgment because ‘all our works will condemn us; . . . and our thoughts will also condemn us’ (Alma 12:14).

“These scriptures make clear that in order to purify our service in the Church and to our fellowmen, it is necessary to consider not only how we serve, but also why we serve.”

(“Why Do We Serve?” Ensign, Nov. 1984, 12–13.)