A Wise Heart

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(This is an excerpt from the book Becoming His by Emily Freeman.)

One day when I was studying my scriptures I came across the phrase “wise hearted” (Exodus 36:1). I was immediately intrigued. I prayed that the Lord would teach my heart that principle—I really wanted to understand.

The Lord has this way of teaching us that I am slowly coming to recognize. It requires prayer. It requires scripture study. It requires each of us to act on promptings in behalf of another.

The Lord has often taught my heart through everyday experiences. One such lesson was contained in a pound of butter.

One night I had the opportunity to discuss sacred topics with a group of women. We spoke of hope, trust, faith, optimism, and prosperity. As the topic turned to prosperity, one of the women asked, “What is prosperity? What does it mean in your life?” I said the first thing that came to mind, “Prosperity is when you go to the grocery store and you don’t have to spend time looking at the price of every brand of butter to find the cheapest one.”

That might have been a trivial description, but each of us could relate to having financial burdens. We spoke of all the things we would focus on if money and professions and expenses didn’t have to occupy so much of our minds.

The next morning, I felt like having warm bread and butter for breakfast. I pulled out the bread and then opened the fridge only to realize I was completely out of butter. I couldn’t help but be reminded of our conversation the night before.

I put pick up butter on my list of things to do.

Within the hour, someone knocked on my front door. It was one of the friends I had been with the night before. She stood there on my porch with a pound of butter tied up with white tulle. “I just felt prompted to bring this over this morning,” she said simply, “and to say the Lord wants you to have prosperity.”

I was momentarily speechless. And then I said, “How did you know I needed butter?” Which was as ridiculously trivial as the definition of prosperity I had given the night before.

“I didn’t know,” she said. “I just woke up at four o’clock this morning and felt a prompting that you needed butter. This morning. Before I did anything else with my day.”

The funny thing is, I could have totally made it through the day without the butter. I would have picked some up that afternoon. As I tried to figure out the urgency of the four a.m. prompting, I realized . . . it wasn’t about the butter.

It was about the lesson.

Because just after the butter came, I sat down to study what it meant to have a wise heart. “And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his spirit made willing, and they brought the Lord’s offering” (Exodus 35:21). I followed the footnote for the word offering, and it said generosity. “And they brought the Lord’s generosity to the work.” “And they came, both men and women, as many as were willing hearted . . . Them hath he filled with wisdom of heart . . . and every wise hearted man, in whose heart the Lord had put wisdom, even every one whose heart stirred him up to come unto the work to do it” (Exodus 35:22, 35; 36:2).

I finished reading and remembered my friend. The one whose heart had been stirred up. The one whose spirit was willing. The one who brought the Lord’s generosity. The one whom the Lord had filled with wisdom of heart.

She who had a willing heart.

She who didn’t think it might be odd to drop off a pound of butter to someone who was perfectly capable of obtaining her own, but took the wisdom of the Lord in her heart and then acted.

Through her willing and wise heart—and through a pound of butter—I learned an extremely powerful lesson about succoring. Her generous act took five minutes out of her day, but it made all the difference in mine. She became the answer to the prayer I had prayed before I went to bed. The Lord taught me, through her, about what it meant to have a wise heart.

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