Assessing our Spiritual Heart Rates


Sondra Heaston, associate teaching professor for the College of Nursing, shared a message of service this week at the first devotional of summer term.

Heaston spoke of the importance of service to our spiritual health, and how we can assess our spiritual heart rates, along with our physical heart rates.

“Just as there is a necessity for each of us to know that our physical heart is functioning properly, it is equally important to know that our spiritual heart is healthy and functioning properly,” Heaston said.

Using the acronym PULSE, Heaston shared five words that can help us monitor our spiritual heart health: pray, understand, lose, spirit, and emulate.

First, we must pray to have a serving heart.

“As we pray, become closer to Him, and seek His direction, He will help us know who, where, and how best to serve,” Heaston said. “President Thomas S. Monson has taught many times that Heavenly Father answers another person’s prayers through us.”

Second, we must understand and recognize the needs of others. Heaston shared Sister Linda K. Burton’s four-word catchphrase: first observe, then serve.

Heaston has had many opportunities to serve because she followed this advice. She shared examples from her recent trip to Ecuador, accompanying nursing students on their Global Health experience. The students had the chance to observe, discuss, and help meet the most vital needs of the people of Ecuador.

Third, we must lose ourselves in the service of others. Heaston explained that it is difficult to communicate and serve others when we are only concerned with ourselves.

“True service is possible when we focus on others,” she said.

She shared how remarkable it is that those in the nursing profession are performing acts of service each day.

“Everyone who comes to a medical facility is in need of being served in some way,” she said.

Fourth, we must listen to the spirit. Heaston shared a personal example of when the spirit prompted her to serve a mission. The experience and knowledge she gained on her mission allow her to serve now by going to Ecuador.

Fifth, we must emulate the Savior.

“He is the perfect example, as his was a life of service,” Heaston said.

Heaston has shared this message with her students as they work to master the Healer’s art, and serve in other countries. She shared a quote from nursing student Stephanie Squire about the opportunity to emulate the Savior while in Ecuador.

“He is able to lift up the heads that hang down, heal broken hearts, and wounded souls,” Stephanie said. “This type of healing was what I felt we were able to participate in while in Ecuador.”

Heaston concluded with the message that service is truly the key to having a healthy spiritual heart, and that as we examine our spiritual health, we should take time to treat others with more patience, kindness and tolerance.

Click here to watch the full devotional.

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