Tomorrow is Valentine’s day (in case it had escaped your notice). And I wish all of you a very HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY. I’m sharing this a day early because this morning Leanne and I are leaving the RED ZONE (a very bad air quality day….) and search for better. So today I do wish you a very HAPPY day.
It’s about the HEART, isn’t it. Almost all Valentine messages have a heart on the card and/or in the message. And of course putting love into action starts in the heart. Proverbs 23:7 – For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he. And Matthew 12:34 – …. for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
I think my background in nursing is a large part of what has given me a life-long fascination with the heart. It’s such an extraordinary miracle. And it’s part of so many important things for us to learn and think about. A soft heart. A broken heart. A clean heart. A kind heart. A heart which is full of good cheer, trust, music, hope, and charity. A heart that is not full of fear, but is full of faith. And sometimes, yes … a heart that is TIRED. A heart filled with grief, loneliness, longing and all….
I’m so thankful for my heart! Imagine how amazing this pump is — beating away, over 2½ billion times in a person of 75! (I’m getting personal here). It’s driving 5 quarts of blood to every cell in my body, constantly cleansing and nourishing me. This blood travels through about 70,000 MILES of blood vessels — and back — each minute! I wish I were as dependable! And I wish I didn’t burden my heart so often with so much stress, anxiety, rushing around and impatience.
I SAMUEL 16:7 – …. for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. (I want to increase my ability and desire to do that!) PSALM 51:10 – Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. PSALM 139:23 – Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts MOSIAH 5:13 – For how knoweth a man the master whom he has not served, and who is a stranger unto him, and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart? MORMON (In a talk which his son Moroni included in The Book of Mormon): MOSIAH 7:48 – Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love . . . . [CHARITY]
What are we like if/when our hearts are FILLED with charity? With PURE LOVE? And what are we like if we’re “a quart low” of love in our hearts…. This has become a topic of great interest to me as I’ve been reading in The Book of Mormon and other scriptures and books and talks and articles… and as I’ve been doing a LOT of thinking about my heart.
In the 6th chapter of Helaman, there’s a period of time when everyone’s happy and good. Lamanites and Nephites can go wherever they want, and there’s peace everywhere … an incredible time. But it didn’t last (you knew that). Listen to what the HEART has to do with what happened. HELAMAN 6:17 – For behold, the Lord had blessed them so long with the riches of the world that they had not been stirred up to anger, to wars, nor to bloodshed; therefore they began to set their hearts upon their riches; yea, they began to seek to get gain that they might be lifted up one above another; therefore they began to commit secret murders, and to rob and to plunder, that they might get gain. The Lamanites did all they could to destroy Gadianton’s robbers and murderers (we’re still in Helaman 6) 21 – But behold, Satan did stir up the hearts of the more part of the Nephites, insomuch that they did unite with those bands of robbers, and did enter into their covenants and their oaths, that they would protect and preserve one another in whatsoever difficult circumstances they should be placed, that they should not suffer for their murders, and their plunderings, and their stealings…. 27 – Yea, that same being who did plot with Cain, that if he would murder his brother Abel it should not be known unto the world. And he did plot with Cain and his followers from that time forth. 28 – And also it is that same being who put it into the hearts of the people to build a tower sufficiently high that they might get to heaven. And it was that same being who led on the people who came from that tower into this land; who spread the works of darkness and abominations over all the face of the land, until he dragged the people down to an entire destruction, and to an everlasting hell. 29 – Yea, it is that same being who put it into the heart of Gadianton to still carry on the work of darkness, and of secret murder; and he has brought it forth from the beginning of man even down to this time. 30 – And behold, it is he who is the author of all sin. And behold, he doth carry on his works of darkness and secret murder, and doth hand down their plots, and their oaths, and their covenants, and their plans of awful wickedness, from generation to generation according as he can get hold upon the hearts of the children of men. 31 – And now behold, he had got great hold upon the hearts of the Nephites; yea, insomuch that they had become exceedingly wicked; yea, the more part of them had turned out of the way of righteousness, and did trample under their feet the commandments of God, and did turn unto their own ways, and did build up unto themselves idols of their gold and their silver. 35 – And thus we see that the Spirit of the Lord began to withdraw from the Nephites, because of the wickedness and the hardness of their hearts.
It seems like there is an increasing battle for our hearts – a mighty “tug” between good and evil, between what is holy and what is dark and heartless… there is a mighty force trying to harden our hearts and fill them with pride (and all the “deadly sins”).
In Helaman chapter 7, the Prophet Nephi, son of Helaman, prays in his garden. A crowd gathered to listen to him: 15 – And because of my mourning and lamentation ye have gathered yourselves together, and do marvel; yea, and ye have great need to marvel; yea, ye ought to marvel because ye are given away that the devil has got so great hold upon your hearts. 16 – Yea, how could you have given way to the enticing of him who is seeking to hurl away your souls down to everlasting misery and endless wo? 17 – O repent ye, repent ye! Why will ye die? Turn ye, turn ye unto the Lord your God. Why has he forsaken you? 18 – It is because you have hardened your hearts; yea, ye will not hearken unto the voice of the good shepherd; yea, ye have provoked him to anger against you. 20 – O, how could you have forgotten your God in the very day that he has delivered you? 21 – But behold, it is to get gain, to be praised of men, yea, and that ye might get gold and silver. And ye have set your hearts upon the riches and the vain things of this world, for the which ye do murder, and plunder, and steal, and bear false witness against your neighbor, and do all manner of iniquity. 26 – Yea, wo shall come unto you because of that pride which ye have suffered to enter your hearts, which has lifted you up beyond that which is good because of your exceedingly great riches!
I know perhaps it’s hard to know just what I’m trying to share (and this is a message to wish us a Happy Valentine’s Day???), but I feel like I want to say “GUARD YOUR HEART!” Keep it safe and soft, gentle and kind, contrite, responsive to the Spirit and each other.
Doctrine and Covenants 64:34 – Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind…. MOSES 7:18 – And the Lord called his people ZION, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.
Have an especially beautiful day, especially tomorrow, the Sabbath. Love, MEE