28th Ask Josh – Broken China/Hearts

In Uncategorized on October 10, 2008 at 5:05 pm

huss said:

Oh Josh Josh,

Please help me! How much is shattered china worth? And who would want shattered china? And so then, how much is a shattered heart worth? And who would want a shattered heart?


Oh huss huss,

What is shattered china worth on the open market?  I looked it up on ebay and there was nothing for sale.  Nobody wants to buy shattered china, or at least there are not sufficient demanders to give potential suppliers incentive enough to put shattered china on the market. 

I found a broken china vase that came with free shipping. As of this writing, nobody bid on it at all.  I am afraid that imperfect china is not worth much these days. Not even a dollar

To the world, shattered china has no worth.  But the world is rarely right. The world looks at shattered china and what does it see? Well, it sees shattered china, right? “[F]or their hearts have waxed hard, …  and their eyes cannot see afar off” (Moses 6:27).  

Over 30 years ago, The Friend published a story by Iris Syndergaard about the early Mormon pioneer women who gave up their china dishes and porcelain to help make the stucco for the Kirtland temple.  The broken china was needed for holding the plaster together. The poor saints had no wealth, yet they gave it. They took their china and shattered it, made it worthless, and gave it away. When the construction was completed, the temple shimmered whenever the sun rose or set on the edifice.

The pioneers who made that sacrifice have long since passed on.  Yet the temple remains to this day, a monument to Mormon sacrifice. It still shimmers when the sun hits it.  No man can put a price on its worth, it is the only known building on the face of the earth yet standing that has housed Moses, Elias, Elijah, and Jesus Christ “standing upon the breastwork of the pulpit” (D&C 110:2).

How much does that shattered china contribute to the whole of that building? I can’t say.  But I would venture to guess that no saint who participated in the construction of that temple would ever count that china as worthless in its shattered state, or even would consider it to be worth more were it still intact.

Anyone with a mind to think and a heart to feel will tell you that a heart is worth infinitely more than mere china.  And if shattered china can be worth so much, how much more can a shattered heart be?

May I quote a poem?  Read this:

“God uses broken things.  It takes broken soil to produce a crop, broken clouds to give rain, broken grain to give bread, broken bread to give strength.” [“Broken Things,” an excerpt from Vance Havner, The Still Water (Old Tappan, NJ: Flemming H. Revell, 1934). Quoted in Guideposts, October 1981, p. 5, also qtd. by Patricia Holland, BYU Devotionals 27 February 1982, “The Inconvenient Messiah”]

If you think about what was said by the resurrected Lord Himself in 3 Nephi 9:19-20, you may realize that no thing is so valuable as a broken heart.

Whitney, I have to go now.  I have to eat dinner.  

Have a wonderful day.

  1. thanks josh 🙂 i loved it as much as i needed it.

  2. I really liked this blog. :)Some people put broken china back together like a puzzle, and then it’s art.

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