I believe blending your examples and the Joseph Smith quote I posted, I believe God cares less about our actions
the first part of your statement is empty, I have no idea what you believe or what you think is the result of your belief since you didn't say. This last part is very born-again Christian and has no part in our theology. We believe that God very much cares about our actions. I have no idea where you would get the idea that he doesn't. Don't you recall where God, in tears, explained the cause of those tears were over this children's actions? Are you honestly trying to tell me that he knows every sparrow that falls from the sky but he could care less about our actions? There are 800k children trafficked every year. Do you really think he doesn't care? A sparrow falls and he cares, but a child is murdered and he doesn't. Okay. Sorry, but that just doesn't make any sense.
and more about our hearts.
That's really odd. Isn't our hearts that determines our actions? Our critics seem to believe that the only good works that count are the works of the saved, but I don't agree. I think our actions are an indication of where our hearts are and there are a lot of people who are not born-again Christians whose hearts are in the right place. I would dare say that these are the elect that our critics believe belongs only to them. These are the ones who will not bend the knee to Baal and they don't even know it. It is in their DNA, so to speak. And the worse part is, our critics say this on bended knees, IMO.
So, it is clear to me, that you don't understand what it means to be saved any better than our critics do.
A gift given grudgingly is essentially worthless.
We also need to take into account the factor of knowledge. Where much is given, much is required.
What does this have to do with being saved?
Thus, the conceptual intersection of heart and knowledge leads to understand the role of the Holy Ghost.
I disagree. Only the Holy Ghost leads to understanding the role of the Holy Ghost. Knowledge, spiritual knowledge, the knowledge that matters in this case, comes through the Holy Ghost.
The Holy Ghost teaches us and changes our heart
So, you just contradicted your first statement. Logically, you proved yourself wrong.
Thus, he is our guide which we follow - and internally we know when we're sincerely striving to obey vs denying the Holy Ghost.
This is pretty much the same as saying, we guide ourselves and whatever we think is right, is right.
Thus, if our hearts are right, when we fall short we can rely on grace, and maintain hope, and better next time. And when the scriptures show us that our hearts are not right, then we have some repenting to do.
So, now the scriptures come into the picture. Where were they before when it was only our heart and knowledge that guided us? If the scriptures guide, then what happened to keeping the commandments from the scripture you quoted in your OP?
What you just wrote is born-again - faith-alone hogwash (because there is no such thing as faith alone). We need a guide. There are things that we know are wrong, innately. We really don't need scriptures to tell us that murder is wrong. I'm pretty sure that our neighbors will ensure we understand that taking their things without permission, is wrong. I believe that women will make it clear that adultery is wrong. But there are some things that we wouldn't know were wrong without the scriptures, like the 7th day, no graven images of God, honoring parents, coveting our neighbors' belongings (which leads to stealing or damaging or discrediting, which probably aids in bearing false witness). We can justify some of the things we do that we know are wrong or we know they aren't right. Like that politician in the audit. He knew it was unethical, but it wasn't illegal. We know a lot about what the right thing to do is, but we, too often, justify what we do in order to do it.
The scriptures are a guide. The prophets who wrote them were living guides at the time. The world has been without living guides for over a thousand years and we know have living guides again plus the scriptures. Follow the guides and you can't go wrong. I agree that once you have the gift of the Holy Ghost and you follow the guides then your knowledge will increase.
I was in church today and this fellow described how a person on the street used profanity and it offended him. He thought this person can't possibly have the spirit's guidance and be cursing like that. I don't know how he was cursing but two things came into my mind. This person was judging another person based on his language. He doesn't really know anything about the person who was cursing but he thought he was able to judge the person. That's wrong, IMO. I personally don't care if anyone cusses, but I do think there is a time and a place for it or that there are places where you don't do it. Funerals, church, and the White House are examples of places where cursing would be inappropriate, most of the time and, of course, it depends on the company that is present. I do believe that it is a sign of disrespect but it is not an indicator of the person's spiritual condition relative to our own.
Don't get me wrong, I don't believe perfect people cuss. By the same token, I don't believe that people who don't cuss are perfect. They may be a little closer to perfection than I am, but what I usually find is that they make a mountain of an issue out of this relatively benign wart while they ignore the weightier matters. How much more holy is a person that doesn't cuss but murders children? Which is the more weighty matter? Would that person be justified in killing someone because they cussed? Does he stand in a position to be a judge of another person based on what he can see that they just did?
So, back to the OP. Where do you draw the line between the saved and unsaved and how can a person know they are saved? I agree, we all have some repenting to do. I really don't think you can depend on your heart to tell you and I don't believe that anyone has the guidance of the Holy Ghost if they don't follow the counsel of the prophets.