Tag Archive for: differences


I love this picture of Isaac Greene and Gilbert Staepels. (Twins!😉)
Side by side.
Elbow to shoulder.
Toe to toe.
The tall and the short of it is, physically, they may be different in stature, hairstyle and shoe size, speak a different language and grew up in distant parts of the world, but spiritually, they have much in common.
In our mission conference last week, a diverse group of missionaries from around the globe gathered in Breda. From far flung northern Canada, to New Zealand’s South Island and everything in between.


Together, they share the same set of beliefs, a common gospel vocabulary, and a joint effort to care for, respect and love one another.
Regardless of outward appearances, or ethnicities, every Church member is united in the knowledge that we are all a child of God.
“For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.” 1 Corinthians 12:12


Being unified in Christ doesn’t mean we all must be the same, we embrace our differences.
Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught that “the diversity of persons and peoples all around the globe is a strength of this Church.”
By July this year, 72,000 + missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will serve in 450 missions worldwide.
Church publications are now printed in 188 languages.
Over 31,000 congregations meet each Sunday in North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and throughout the Pacific.


“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.” Ephesians 2:19
Our faith is becoming increasingly diverse, mirroring a wide range of cultures and experiences.
Singing one hymn in several languages together, is a unifying experience.
The message of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is for all people, everywhere around the world.
Our missionaries share an inclusive message of God’s love for all of His children, of a restored New Testament Christianity, of continuous revelation, and of additional scripture testifying of Jesus Christ, through the Book of Mormon.
Speak with Isaac today, he is currently serving in Den Haag – you can’t miss him! 😊

Don’t Compare!

Some years ago in the UK, there was a very popular tv advert, for a financial services company with a Welsh tenor Wynne Evans, who played a fictional Italian opera singer Gio Compario.
His dulcet tones and the catchphrase “Go compare” to this day reverberates through my head.
“GoCompare, GoCompare! We provide the know-how so you can get the price down. You’ll thank your stars that you went to GoCompare!”
It is my experience however, we do too much comparing ourselves with others.
It is a growing global obsession.
We can fall short when we are sucked into the idea of comparing our worst to others best, our weaknesses to their strengths.
“But they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.”— 2 Corinthians 10:12
“When we compare ourselves to others, there can be only two results. Either we will see ourselves as better than others and become judgmental and critical of them, or we will see ourselves as less than others and become anxious, self-critical, and discouraged. Comparing ourselves to others is rarely productive, not uplifting, and sometimes downright depressing. In fact, these comparisons can be spiritually destructive, preventing us from receiving the spiritual help we need.” – Vern P. Stanfill
Social media can especially be misleading.
A friend’s social media persona may look perfect, but guaranteed they’ll be struggling with things too.
Me included!
No-one is perfect.
When you compare your life to the life you think your friends on social media have, you will almost always come away feeling despondent and discouraged.
Mark Twain once said, “Comparison is the death of joy.”
And Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
Comparing ourselves never brings joy.
In short, by comparing yourself to others, you are holding yourself back.
Remember, each of us are uniquely different.
You’ll find yourself much happier when you – Don’t Compare!
Instead, start celebrating the differences that make you uniquely you!


We said farewell to six incredible missionaries this week.
As they depart, we gift them with a tartan tie, as a token of our appreciation and their service.
Tartan ties keep me grounded in my heritage.
There are some distinctive things about Scotland.
Its natural beauty, the highlands, castles, bagpipes, kilts, tartan, haggis, whisky, shortbread, thistles and the Loch Ness monster, Nessie!
I’m not quite certain what it is, but there is something about tartan, that so many people find interesting, the clan system and any potential ancestry connections.


It got me thinking about the many different cultures and traditions in the Belgium/Netherlands Mission.
We have a mix of missionaries from around the world, each with their own distinctive culture, language, customs, history, and practices.
Just like the many colours, lines, and patterns of a tartan tie, we are all different, all unique. Its fascinating to observe how each missionary accepts those differences about one another.
We must never forget that we live in a world of great diversity.
We just don’t accept these differences about one another, we love them, we embrace them, and they enhance our ability to work together in harmony.
As we learn more of one another, our appreciation grows.
Our mission is strengthened through 𝐞𝐪𝐮𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐲 and cultural 𝐝𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐢𝐭𝐲.
Culture, language, customs, history, and practices may make us all different. But how are we all the same?

Children of God

I may wear a tartan tie, and occasionally my kilt too, but setting aside those cultural differences, we are after all brothers and sisters, each of us a child of a loving Father in Heaven.
In his memorable speech on Mars Hill, Paul declared to the Athenians that we are the “offspring” of God. (Acts 17:28.)
The Lord Jesus Christ invites all to come unto Him, “black and white, bond and free, male and female” (2 Nephi 26:33). The Gospel of Jesus Christ unites us together as one.
Dieter F. Uchtdorf said “The Saviour loves all of God’s children regardless of their socioeconomic circumstance, race, religion, language, political orientation, nationality, or any other grouping. And so should we!”
Let’s embrace our differences!
I hope that we can gratefully acknowledge God as our creator and honour that unique heritage that unites each one of us.
What does it mean to be a child of God to you?

Don’t forget to laugh!

A fun experience from Belgium last week.
Departing our hotel room, on the second floor, fully loaded down with all our luggage, we arrived at the lift.
Our unspoken plan was to take the lift to the ground floor reception and checkout.
The visual indicator showed that the lift was on the ground floor “0.”
We both looked at the lift call buttons and independently of each other, we pushed the call buttons.
One button pointed upwards, the other button pointed downwards.
One of us pushed up, the other pushed down.
Quizzically, we looked at one another, thinking “Why did you do that?”
Do you remember the classic book on communication styles, “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” by John Gray?
The book highlights the key differences between how men and women think, act, and communicate.
I must admit – that was my first thought as we stood waiting on the lift to arrive.
We turned to one another again and laughed!
It was a silly moment, but one that highlighted the simple differences between our thinking.
Stepping into the lift, we did finally arrive at our destination, after a short detour upwards, to the third floor!
After 28 years of marriage, our conclusion is this…
No two people ever see all things precisely the same!
Understanding and appreciating one another’s differences is the key to healthy relationships.
And don’t forget to laugh – often!! 😅
𝐀𝐫𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐥𝐚𝐮𝐠𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐞𝐧𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡?