Tag Archive for: inspiration

Familiar Melody

A few weeks ago, Monic and I enjoyed a wonderful evening of music and dance with BYU Living Legends in Brussels.
Living Legends presents a vibrant spectacle of energy, music, costume, and dance that celebrates the cultural heritage of North and South America and the South Pacific.
As I was listening to the music that evening, there was one song that had a very familiar haunting melody.

The Words…

I listened intently to the peaceful, uplifting music and words…
“Go, my son, go and climb the ladder.
Go, my son, go and earn your feather.
Go, my son, make your people proud of you.
Work, my son, get an education.
Climb, my son. Go and take a lofty view.
From on the ladder of an education,
You can see to help your Indian Nation,
And reach, my son. Lift your people up with you.”
It had a calming, soothing influence on all of us gathered in the auditorium.
The words flowed with a warm feeling and enlightened my mind, as I considered all of our missionary sons and daughters who had gone, climbed and lifted so many others.
Yet, there was more.
From somewhere long ago, I had experienced this feeling of musical joy before.
I recalled the song from a touring BYU group entitled “Ancient America Speaks”.

Back Home…

Now back home, and tidying out my office this week, lo and behold, what did I discover in a box of paperwork, but the original flyer for the production of the show in January 1976!
I recall many members of our local congregation sang in the supporting choir.
A moment of pure serendipity for sure.
Similarly, my experience these last few years has helped me understand that when missionaries teach the gospel of Jesus Christ to someone who is sincere in their desire to learn more about Him, its as if a 𝒇𝒂𝒎𝒊𝒍𝒊𝒂𝒓 𝒎𝒆𝒍𝒐𝒅𝒚 begins to ring in their ears.
These moments of whispered inspiration are as if you are learning familiar things.
I know that the restored gospel of Jesus Christ echoes a 𝒇𝒂𝒎𝒊𝒍𝒊𝒂𝒓 𝒎𝒆𝒍𝒐𝒅𝒚 to all those who will take time to stop and listen.
How does the gospel feel like a 𝒇𝒂𝒎𝒊𝒍𝒊𝒂𝒓 𝒎𝒆𝒍𝒐𝒅𝒚 for you?

Letters – Heaven Sent

I’d like to share a short story about a treasured possession.
Days after being called as a young Bishop in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, my nana (dad’s mum) passed away. In jest years earlier she’d said that I should speak at her funeral service and now it had become a reality.
As the appointed time for the funeral service quickly approached, my thoughts on what to share hadn’t settled at all. I’d sought guidance and inspiration in prayer, but alas despite lots of nice stories and anecdotes, nothing really settled in my mind.
Then it happened.
Early, on the morning of the actual service, a very clear, strong impression penetrated my thoughts to look in my parents loft. Why the loft I thought? As I made my way to my parents home and climbed into the loft, it then became clear. I recalled that as a young missionary, nana had regularly sent me letters.
As I entered the loft, my three folders filled with hundreds of letters came to my attention. I was immediately drawn to one of the folders. On opening the folder, the very top letter was from my nana. It was as if it had been placed there for me to find.

Nana’s words

As I read through her words, there was the precise message that I was to give on her behalf that day. You see, in that letter she shared her feelings specifically about the Saviour Jesus Christ. Let me quote just this one part… “I always feel so very sorry for those who do not believe, they miss so very much, and in this world He is the only one we can hold on to…… I still love my Lord and know He is always with me, He is everything… may He bless and keep you safe until I see you again.” From the other side of the veil, it was if nana was making explicitly clear, that she wanted everyone to know how she felt about her Saviour Jesus Christ.
And so, I shared the letter with those in attendance that day.
I treasure her letter and keep it safe in my scriptures, as a constant reminder not only of nana’s love for Jesus Christ, but also that when we call upon our Heavenly Father in times of need, He always listens and answers too.
I know that you too can #HearHim, if you simply accept His invitation that he shared on so many occasions to “come follow me”

Study Time

On Friday evening, we started our online winter devotionals.
Our first guest this year, was Brad Wilcox, counsellor in the Young Men General Presidency.
His theme: “𝑺𝒕𝒖𝒅𝒚 𝑻𝒊𝒎𝒆”
One of his opening remarks was “Why do you keep a journal?”
Quickly he retorted “Its cheaper than a counsellor!”
I laughed.
Since the age of 12, I’ve been an ardent advocate of writing journals daily and have used that remark several times myself!
It is a truism!
“Use your journal as a tool to help make your life” Brad said.
Oftentimes journals can read like “the diary of a fish” going round and round again, as you repetitively record daily events, meals, travel, incidents etc.
He encouraged us all to go deeper, to record personal stories, share your testimony, insert uplifting quotes, pictures and take your journal everywhere as if it was your personal scripture.


Journals are a source of inspiration.
Quoting from memory Mosiah 3:19 in the Book of Mormon (the most oft referenced verse in General Conference), in an interactive way he encouraged us to “write about the lines, write between the lines and write beyond the lines.”
He passionately inspired us to write about this verse in our own words, our personal understanding, that will “wake you up during study time.”
“Writing is thinking made visible” he said.
Randomly, many on the call were invited to share parts of the verse in their own words.
The result?
We understood what the verse really meant, in a much more powerful and personal way.
His words: “For the prideful and unrepentant man makes himself an enemy to God, but God is not his enemy, God is his best friend.”
We slowed down and learned together.
A feeling of love permeated our virtual room, sinking deeply into our souls.
The whole evening was like manna from heaven.
This was real joy and real love in action, manifesting itself before our privileged eyes.
Please, consider your journals, your study time and Mosiah 3:19.
In your own words, what does that verse mean to you?

Information leads to Inspiration

“𝐆𝐨𝐨𝐝 𝐢𝐧𝐬𝐩𝐢𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐢𝐬 𝐛𝐚𝐬𝐞𝐝 𝐮𝐩𝐨𝐧 𝐠𝐨𝐨𝐝 𝐢𝐧𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧.”– Russell M. Nelson
Serving as mission leaders, our time is planned around a “transfer cycle” of 6 weeks or 42 days to be precise.
This last transfer cycle has been unquestionably the most active of our mission thus far.
With mission conferences, meetings, travel, tours and sadly a period of sickness this transfer, time was always, extremely precious.
During the transfer, every missionary has a 1-1 interview.
Each interview provides us with good information.
In preparation for the next transfer cycle, I’d normally sit down about 10 days in advance to pause, reflect and study things out in my mind, all of the necessary moves required to accommodate the arrival of new incoming missionaries.
This transfer was different.
New arriving missionaries weren’t confirmed until very late in the process, plus with only 5 days left in the transfer cycle, we were still completing the last of our interviews.
Subsequently, the information gathering process was hampered.
This last week, we met together to review the transfer moves and did our best to complete the exercise of new assignments and moves.
Admittedly, we felt a little discomfort, that stretched our spiritual capabilities.
Life has taught me that you cannot force or compel spiritual things, you just have to let things develop, nurture them, and allow them to grow in their own time.
A couple of days later (Friday, only 2 days ago) interviews were completed.


And then I stopped to really 𝒍𝒊𝒔𝒕𝒆𝒏.
As yet I still don’t fully comprehend the working or wonder of it all, but pausing once more and studying it out in my mind again, vivid impressions came.
I wrote out the thoughts, noted my feelings and followed through with the actions I was prompted to take.
Reassignments and moves for the next transfer cycle were completed and shared yesterday.
My experience is simply this…
I have complete confidence now, that good inspiration can only come from good information.
How does good information, help your inspiration?


“𝐀𝐫𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐲 𝐠𝐨𝐨𝐝 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐞𝐚𝐜𝐡 𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫?”
It’s a question I’ve asked myself a lot recently.
Transfers in the mission field come around every six weeks.
And they come ever so quickly!
They are always on my mind.
In our missionary service, this is already our 10th cycle, of 27.
Questions to consider include…
What area should they serve in?
Who should be their companion?
What do they need?
Will they bring out the best in each other?
You simply don’t know all the factors that determine who should serve with whom.
Preparing for and planning for transfers in the mission field is time consuming.
There are a lot of moving parts and factors to consider, but ultimately it is a spiritual process.
Prayer is a constant.
It is always the best solution.
Seeking the guidance of the Holy Ghost is critical.
Remembering that it is the Lord’s transfer of missionaries is vital.
I am comforted by a verse of scripture in Matthew 6:8 “ for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.”
Considering the needs of each missionary and thinking about each of them, one by one, is also key.
Information precedes revelation.
Regular interviews and weekly communication really help.
Hence the question “𝐀𝐫𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐲 𝐠𝐨𝐨𝐝 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐞𝐚𝐜𝐡 𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫?”
Life moves so swiftly.
In the lasting things of life, do we help each other to be at our best?

Agile Thinking!

“It’s okay” I said, “I’ll pop down to the car for it….”
Let me explain.
Recently whilst staying overnight in a hotel in Belgium, annoyingly, one of the elasticated ear straps broke free from my face mask. Walking to dinner later proved a little bothersome, with one strap fixed behind my right ear and the other side of my mask being propped into position with my left hand for a good wee while…
After dinner, it was time to resolve the matter!
We were sure that we had another face mask in the car. At that point I suggested that I’d go back to the car and look for it. Monic proceeded to give me some idea where it may be.

Then we hit another problem.

We had only been given one hotel entry card for the room and it was inserted into the light system to keep the power on. Removing the card would mean Monic would be in the dark for a few minutes whilst I walked back to the car to hunt for another face mask.
“Hmm, now what I thought?”
Hunting for a solution, I had a flash of inspiration…. “Aha” I thought, and duly inserted my name tag into the switch.
The lights remained on!
These first 3 months in the mission field have been filled with such moments – regularly!
This little experience, captures in a nutshell our initial period of service.
– A little challenge arises
– We consider solutions
– Something else usually happens to make things even more irksome and challenging
– Then somehow, from somewhere – we adapt, flex our thinking and with cheetah like agility we are able to move forward as the issue unravels itself with a little gentle coaxing.
Daily, each of us may face little challenges, irritations, problems that given time, can become even more difficult to resolve.
What do you need to do to adopt a more agile way of thinking?

My witness of The Book of Mormon

In my daily study of The Book of Mormon this year, I have arrived at Moroni Chapter 10 (again) – the final chapter, this morning, page 529, only 2 more pages.

Early Years

As a boy growing up in Scotland, I struggled to read the Book of Mormon and would start many times, then reach some of the Isaiah chapters, lose interest and would give up. I recall my parents encouraging me to read from its pages, but my heart wasn’t really in it.
Through my teenage years in daily seminary, I began to understand a little more. Serving as a missionary in London, I studied and taught from the Book of Mormon daily.

Later Years

Throughout my 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and now into my mid 50’s I have re-read, studied, prayed and considered many, many times the value and purpose of The Book of Mormon.

My Conclusion

It is the most significant witness of our Saviour Jesus Christ, written for our day by Prophets who lived long ago. It’s pages are filled with remarkable stories of many individuals and nations who have faced a multitude of struggles, yet through it all have known of and tasted of the goodness of God. It helps us to meet the daily challenges of living in the world today and will draw you closer to God.

You can know too

If you wonder whether the Book of Mormon is true, then read it. The test to know if it is true is in this very chapter – Moroni 10. Read it, pray about it and there will come into your heart, as it has mine, that it is true.
If you choose to embark upon this journey then a literal fulfillment of the words of Moroni, through his promise to all of us who read it “𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝒂 𝒔𝒊𝒏𝒄𝒆𝒓𝒆 𝒉𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒕, 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒍 𝒊𝒏𝒕𝒆𝒏𝒕, 𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒇𝒂𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝒊𝒏 𝑪𝒉𝒓𝒊𝒔𝒕” can and will happen for you, as it has for me – that it is true!
I have a testimony of the divinity of this book having read through from cover to cover once again, and so can you. Go on, give it a go!💕


Life constantly sends us challenges to test our positivity, and to be able to look towards the future with optimism, in spite of such difficulties isn’t always easy.
Recently I was reminded of the story of the two buckets that went down the well; as the one came up it said, “This is surely a cold and dreary world. No matter how many times I come up full, I always go down empty.” Then the other bucket laughed and said, “With me it is different. No matter how many times I go down empty, I always come up full.”
Much of life is dependent upon your attitude and how you respond to situations. Our attitude makes all the difference.
“Remember, a good attitude produces good results, a fair attitude fair results, a poor attitude poor results. We each shape our own life, and the shape of it is determined largely by our attitude.”
M. Russell Ballard
In the ups and downs of life – what attitude will you choose today?