Today's post was written by the amazing friend who typed my book for me. We had such delightful Gospel discussions while she typed.
The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Psalms 34:18
You have probably read that you must have a broken heart and a contrite spirit. Well, the contrite spirit sounded fine to me – but a broken heart (?!?) – no thank you! This always brought up mental images of my heart being made of glass and being thrown to the ground where it would shatter into a million pieces. Did coming unto Christ mean that I had to be left in excruciatingly painful little fragments? It seemed so cruel and made no sense to me whatsoever.
I would like to share an insight on that word which came to me as I discussed this very thing with a friend. She said that having a “broken” heart was really the opposite of being hard-hearted, and that it was more like it had to have cracks in it (“cracks” still sounded repulsive and failed to comfort me) to let the things of the Lord in – kind of like the way a person has to break hard ground. As soon as she said the word “ground,” instantly a “light bulb” went off and I was given to understand that that was exactly what this term meant – and it made perfect sense! Of course we need to have our hearts softened, turned, and broken – like the soil in a garden – because that is precisely where Alma and Amulek taught that the seed of faith is to be planted – in our hearts! “Broken,” then, simply meant “prepared for a specific intent.” I loved that! Better still – it was something I could do.
One last side benefit of another insight I got at the same time – I now also understood why the Church always has, what had seemed to me as a weird little ceremony when I was a child, a ground-breaking for every building to be constructed by the Church. That ceremony symbolizes that that land is being prepared and set apart for a sacred purpose (just like us). Further, it is a sign of faith, signifying that although it will take a long time to see the “full grown” finished product, nevertheless, the ground is now prepared to receive the “seed.” The Lord is always beautifully consistent. (From a talk by Lisa Phan)