Everaldo Ewerton Melo, born in São Luís, 37, was formed in the Executive Secretariat. He has been a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since he was 13 years old. He has served as ward executive secretary, young men’s president, primary teacher and member of the stake high council in his hometown. He served as a missionary in the Porto Alegre South Mission from 1998 to 2000. He’s worked in hospital administration area for 10 years. He currently holds a position in a large hospital in the city of São Paulo, in the philanthropic area.
“The greatest learning that I’ve had in the church and in life, beyond all blessings I’ve obtained from Heavenly Father is a simple concept, captured in a small phrase that goes: ‘It is good to be important, but more important to be good!’”
“The Lord looks at the heart”
In Brazil, whenever there is a birthday or even an exchange gifts, as at the end of year, it is customary to ask what the person wants to receive. This kind of question makes me think at some point: Is the gift really a gift, or was it my unconditional choice? What does this gift mean? In receiving this gift, did the person who gave it to me give from the heart?
I have with me a gift, as simple as it is, that comes from the heart and turns out to be very special.
If it gives us joy to do something from the heart, imagine how it is for our Heavenly Father. Our God is a Father who loves us unconditionally, who has given us a little formula for how we can please him.
Before we talk about heart, we must understand the definition of the word. The dictionary defines the heart as “the symbol of the mind and will of man and figuratively, the source of all emotions and feelings.” In the Book of Mormon, the Lord gives us the true formula of how our hearts should be to approach Him: “And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost…” (3 Nephi 9:20).
Thus, Heavenly Father teaches us how we can really approach Him as we present our sacrifices. Lest there be any doubt, the attributes of a broken heart and a contrite spirit are:
These are some attributes receptive to the will of God.
My gratitude to Heavenly Father is immense. All the things I tried to do in the course of my life, I’ve done from the heart, that is, I’ve always tried to do the will of God.
Gay and Mormon from the age of 13, I’ve always had some barriers. My biggest hurdle was my mother, whom I love more than anything in this world. When I started to show signs that I would be what I am, it was a difficult period. In my prayers, I hoped that God would help me, but even more I always hoped that my mother would not suffer. Then came an opportune time. When I spoke the truth, parenthetically, something she already knew, that which I feared happened, something I can briefly describe as a “dark period.” At the same time, I felt relief at the end of the lies and deceptions. It was not easy, but over the course of time, it became evident that being gay I was no less my mother’s son and especially did not stop being a son of God.
Today, my mother loves me unconditionally and loves the one who is by my side. Now I have no doubt about that. I know God loves me, that He is a loving Father, and when I presented my fears, He knew that in my prayers I had a true heart. For this, I have comfort in my heart, because I know that he always guards us.