Someone had gotten into, and spilled a box of odds and ends. I was six-perhaps seven years old and in that mess I noticed a small box of Chinese matches. Very tiny and cute, they were different from regular matches. Concerned that my younger brother would find and play with them I hid them under my mattress.

I completely forgot to mention this to my parents. Weeks later, my father discovered them. Immediately, we children were summoned. Dad demanded a confession from the guilty, along with the promise of a whipping.

Exactly what is an open and honest heart? We know that the condition of our heart is important because there are many references in the scriptures.

“Seek the Lord your God …with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deuteronomy 4:29) “Love the Lord your God with all your heart” (Deuteronomy 6:5).  “The Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7)

Righteous people are identified:

“…heard these things, our hearts did melt” (Joshua 2:11)

“…he who has clean hands and a pure heart” (Psalm 24:4)

And rebellious people are recognized:

“…hardened their heart” (John 12:40)

“…their heart is far from Me (Matthew 15:8)

This past weekend, I met a beautiful woman.  I was enthralled as we shared our beliefs and explored our feelings regarding the gospel. Not ever had I spoken with someone who enquired as openly of our Latter-Day Saint beliefs with pure intentions, open to truth and without prejudice.  Incomparable joy filled our hearts as we connected for a few hours.

What is an open heart? In “Whisperings of the Spirit”, Nancy Murphy describes it very clearly.

“A person who has an open heart is full of faith and free from pride and unrighteous judgment. An open heart demonstrates complete trust in and devotion to the Lord as well as a willingness to accept any answer, which is itself an indication that the person who asks has the faith necessary to obey the promptings given. Having an open heart is a condition that invites the Holy Ghost to speak unabated and operate unrestrained.

Why must we have an open heart? To hear the will of the Lord, we must open ourselves up to any possibility, be ready to accept any answer, for then our spirits, through humility, are willing to conform to the Lord’s desires for our lives. If our heart is closed in any way or to any degree, the Lord cannot freely bless us with answers we seek.”

Whenever, I think of an honest heart, I am reminded of my sad experience so many years ago. I chose to tell the truth fully knowing the consequences. My father did not believe me and the promised beating left its bruises. Years later, he acknowledged that I must have been honest, but his fears of children playing with matches had persuaded him otherwise.

How do you know if you have an open heart? Again, taken from “Whisperings of the Spirit”, answering a few questions will help you see clearly whether you do possess an open heart.

  1. Am I prepared to accept the Lord’s will?
  2. Am I willing to act on the answer the Lord may give-despite disappointments I feel or any disagreement I might have with the promptings that come?
  3. Have I turned my life over to Him with complete submissiveness and surrender?
  4. Are my personal desires the true issue or is the will of the Lord my greatest desire?




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