Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Golden Heart

After I got my mission call I met someone through facebook who had recently returned from the mission where I will be going to. Through her blog, she shared with me a story that I've thought about a lot since I got my mission call. So I want to share that story now:

There once was a young man with a heart of gold. All were able to see his heart, and it appeared to be very pure and golden. The young man treasured his heart deeply and eventually arrived to become very prideful of this most beautiful possession. To his advantage, the young man would travel, flaunting it at every opportunity.

“Look at my heart,” he would say, “It is the most beautiful heart in all the land. Wouldn’t you agree?” Many did agree. Upon inspecting it, one would not be able to find a single flaw on the surface. For many years the young man went about showing his heart off to anyone that would pass, becoming more boastful and narcissistic as time went on.

One day, an older man happened to pass by him. The young man leaped at yet another opportunity to show his heart to someone else. Like the other passersby’s, the old man inspects this heart of gold.

“This is very impressive,” he says, “You appear to have a very beautiful heart. I’m sure others have told you that many times.” Handing the heart back to the young man, the old man stops and ponders. He then asks, “Has anyone ever shown you their heart?”

“No, they haven’t,” replied the younger man. In fact, it had never crossed his mind to ask to see someone else’s heart. He had always assumed that there was no heart better than his own.

“Would you care to see mine? I would like to show you,” offered the old man.

A little taken back from this unique offer and also thinking that this poor old man will not have a heart better than his own, the young man agreed.

The old man carefully took out his fragile heart. Upon seeing his heart, the young man is taken back in disgust and fright. In his hands there was something that did not resemble even the littlest bit of the heart of the younger. Was this old man sure this could be a heart at all?

It was a distorted mess of pieces smashed together. Certain places were shriveled. Pieces were missing. It appeared that it was made of different parts that didn’t fit quite right. Many different colors, bright, pastel, grey, and dark shimmered and dulled around it. But nevertheless, it was in perfectly working order. It might have even worked better than the boy’s flawless heart.

The young man finally worked up the courage to comment.“This cannot be any heart at all. It does not look or feel like one. You must have no heart old man. For this reason you have shown me this thing. You want mine.”

The old man started to smile, “My dear lad. It is indeed a heart. You are correct that it is not like the others.” While he observes his own tender heart tears of memory start to form in his eyes. “While I have lived my life I have come to know a lot of people, a lot more people than you have. They have been dear friends, acquaintances, family, and even enemies. Every time I have met someone I have given them a piece of my heart. Many have given me pieces of their own in return. But also, many have not given me some of theirs and I am left without. I live my life to give of myself. I am left with this in return. It is the most precious thing that I have. There are memories of those I love and those that have helped me in my most desperate times. My heart, I believe, is the most valuable of all.”

Finally understanding, the young man is moved to tears. He breaks a piece of his precious, golden heart and caringly gives it to the wise old man. The old man removes a piece of his fragile heart and gives it to the young man in return.

For the next year and a half, that is going to be my main goal. I am going to give a piece of my heart to others as I try to serve them. My heart will probably become broken. There will be a lot of pieces missing. I will receive pieces that will be dear to me.

It is a commandment for us to offer God a sacrifice of a broken heart. (3 Nephi 9:20)

Sometimes I think that our heart doesn’t have to only be broken by sin. I think that in many ways God wants to intentionally break our hearts as we are continually giving pieces of it to others. Christ never sinned, yet he died of a ‘broken heart’. No matter how it is broken, I know that Christ was sent to ‘bind up the broken hearted.’ (Isaiah 61:1)”

~(mostly quoted from


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  2. Looking back, do you think you have discovered of your heart as you set out to?
    -Michael Apers