First, we need to know that our hearts are honest and broken. How do we know that? We begin by engaging in sincere self-reflection. The heart is the center of our feelings. As we look into our hearts, we screen ourselves. What no one around us knows, we surely know. We know our motives and desires. When we engage in sincere, honest reflection, we do not rationalize or deceive ourselves.
There is also a way to judge if our hearts are broken. A broken heart is a soft, an open, and a receptive heart. When I hear the Savior say, 'Behold, I stand at the door, and knock,' I hear Him knocking at the door of my heart. If I open this door to Him, I am more responsive to the invitations of the Spirit, and I am more accepting of God’s will.
As we sincerely and prayerfully ponder the extent to which our hearts are honest and broken, we will be taught by the Holy Ghost. We will receive a sweet confirmation or gentle correction, inviting us to act.
Second, we have to know that our spirit is contrite. The word contrite in the Oxford dictionary is defined as 'feeling or expressing remorse at the recognition that one has done wrong'. If we have a contrite spirit, we acknowledge our sins and shortcomings. We are teachable 'concerning [all] things pertaining to righteousness'. We feel godly sorrow and are willing to repent. A contrite spirit is willing to listen 'to the enticings of the Holy Spirit'.
A contrite spirit is manifest by our willingness and determination to act. We are willing to humble ourselves before God, willing to repent, willing to learn, and willing to change. We are willing to pray, 'Not my will, but thine, be done'.
If you approach the sacrament with the reverence and solemnity it deserves, it becomes a weekly opportunity for introspection, repentance, and rededication—a source of strength and a constant reminder of the Savior’s Atonement.