Share With Us Your “Open Heart” Experience
By Catherine K. Arveseth
Editor’s note: Read Catherine Arveseth’s review of A Heart Like His by clicking here. You can also read the first chapter of the book through Meridian Magazine by clicking here. If you have opened your heart to love for others, please write and tell your experiences by Friday, June 23. Email your experience to [email protected].
Join the Experiment
A few months ago, I reviewed Virginia H. Pearce’s book, A Heart Like His. Gushingly, I reported to our readers that her book changed my life – a claim I did not make lightly. In conversing with Mary Ann Jones,
Deseret Book publicist, who shared similar feelings about Pearce’s book, we decided we couldn’t be alone in the refreshing “cracking open” of our hearts, as Sister Pearce calls it. According to Jones, Pearce’s book has been “flying off the shelves” and was in the top ten bestsellers. So we want to know if you’ve read the book and were willing to try the experiment. If so, we’d like to hear about it.
We want to thank Sister Pearce for collaborating with us in this special forum. The specifics on the experiment are below, summarized by Sister Pearce herself.
A Word from Sister Pearce
You and I read talks, we read scriptures, we read self-help books, looking for ways to make life better. We listen to church leaders, friends and family members who share endless explanations of doctrine and truth. We give advice and prepare lessons and talks for our own friends and fellow church members. There are so many opportunities to hear and speak words of explanation. But explanation and information are limited in their capacity to change us. We are changed as we allow ourselves to experience truth. Alma knew this when he invited us to “experiment upon the word.”
We know that the Lord loves us. We are commanded to love others. We read in the scriptures about open, enlarged and softened hearts. We all want to live in this world of pure charity. We want to do more than read and speak about it. We want to experience charity in all of its forms. So what about doing a bit of personal experimenting? It may be easier than you think.
If you are game, we’ll set up the rules of our Awareness Experiment:
- Be more aware of the condition of your heart. Is it tight and hard, or is it soft, enlarged and open toward others? As you become aware, can you change it sometimes – can you simply choose to be open toward others, freer of irritation and criticism and judgment – full of love, concern and respect?
- Do this in the normal course of your life. Don’t clear the morning to make extra visits and telephone calls. Just attend to those people who are in your space, those opportunities that present themselves during the course of the day.
- Notice the confirmations of the Spirit and be willing to report to someone about what happened or didn’t happen in your experiment.
We think you will find that small and simple changes in your heart will bring about great things. There will probably be some happy surprises. You might find that living the gospel is more delightful than you have sometimes imagined. If that is the case, then you will know – again -that the seed is good. And delicious. And sweet. Please share your experiences with us. I can’t wait to hear about them.
Virginia H. Pearce
Return and Report
That’s what we’d like you to do. Notice that part of the third step in Pearce’s experiment is to “report to someone about what happened or didn’t happen in your experiment.” We’d like Meridian to be a venue at which you can report. Please email your responses to [email protected], subject “Open Heart Experiment.” We will publish selected responses in June. Please respond by June 15 th. It should be exciting and enriching to share with each other.
To read a more in-depth review of Pearce’s book, click here. Pearce is exceptionally successful in explaining the blessings, emotions, potential distractions, and purpose behind working to have a heart like His. To change or refine our hearts to become more like Christ – isn’t that what it’s all about?