Tag Archive for: Jesus Christ

People May Wonder

– Who is Jesus Christ? How can He help me and my family?
– What does it mean to have faith in Jesus Christ?
– How can having faith in Him bless my life?
– What does it mean to repent?
– How can I feel God’s peace and forgiveness after I’ve made bad choices?
– What is the purpose of baptism?
– What is the gift of the Holy Ghost?
– What does it mean to endure to the end?
๐‘ฏ๐’‚๐’—๐’† ๐’š๐’๐’– ๐’†๐’—๐’†๐’“ ๐’˜๐’๐’๐’…๐’†๐’“๐’†๐’…?
All of these questions and more are answered in the third lesson taught by our missionaries in “The Gospel of Jesus Christ”
Why not speak to one of the many missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, today.
Answers are only a conversation away.

Arm in Arm

Early on Friday, we said farewell to our departing missionaries at Schiphol airport.

An hour later, we welcomed 11 new missionaries to the Netherlands.

It was an emotional rollercoaster of a day.

Elder Ranse Cottam drove us back home.

For those who know Ranse, or have met him for even a moment, will know that he is filled with and serves with the โ€œpure love of Christโ€.

Pure Love

Love indeed, is the true sign of every true disciple of Jesus Christ.

His parents and little sister were coming to collect him, mid-afternoon.

What unfolded during their visit was beautiful.

โ€œBlessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see Godโ€ โ€“ Matthew 5:8

It was a sweet reunion.

After 2 years, a family together again, in pure love.

It was heavenly, as if โ€œangels above us are silent notes takingโ€ (Hymn 237 โ€“ Choose the Right)

The feeling of pure love permeated the room, filling our hearts and souls.

I beheld joy.

For a moment, Heaven’s doors were unlocked.

I beheld wonder.

In the stillness, God’s presence surrounded us.

I beheld pure love.


I witnessed the love of a mother for her son, and a son for his mother.

They sat, snuggled next to one another.

Time stood still.

With one another, they linked arms, held hands – tightly, yet gently, wrapped tenderly, in each otherโ€™s love.

Honouring sacred covenants, I observed the selfless love of a devoted mother and son.


It was beautiful.

In that moment, I was changed, by the pure love of Christ.

Tears came easily for all of us.

Motherhood is a divine role.

Motherhood is about loving and nurturing others.

Symbolically, Ranse was held by two mothers, arm in arm, side by side, shoulder to shoulder, surrounded with pure love.

I will treasure this hallowed sweet memory โ€“ forever.

I hope and pray that our hearts may be filled with charity, the pure love of Christ.


After breaking my collar bone last Wednesday, itโ€™s been an unusual few days for me.
Things have changed, dramatically.
I am unable to do even the simplest of things for myself.
Iโ€™ve felt a little wobbly at times and encountered a few stumbling blocks along the way.
Discomfort and pain are frequent visitors.
Some challenges include taking a shower, getting dressed/undressed, getting up off the couch, and even tying my shoelaces.
Things have been a little frustrating, as Iโ€™ve been forced to slow down.
Even typing this short message, takes a lot longer, one key stroke at a time, using only my right hand.
Monic and a few others have come to my rescue.
At times, I have literally had to lean on them.
They have been on hand to minister to me.
To minister means to love and care for others and to do the kinds of things the Saviour would do if He were living among us today.
Ministering is a way to help others feel Heavenly Fatherโ€™s love and meet their spiritual and temporal needs.
These last few days, I feel blessed as others have supported and helped me with this new challenge.
I have felt their love.
Jean B. Bingham said, โ€œSometimes we think we have to do something grand and heroic to โ€˜countโ€™ as serving our neighbours. Yet simple acts of service can have profound effects on othersโ€”as well as on ourselves.”
I am a witness that Christlike ministering takes place in the small, sincere acts, others do every day.
I am so grateful for all those who minister.
I love and appreciate each of you.
Look around at your family and friends, how can you minister to them as the Saviour would?

Change Your Life

Earlier this week at FSY, I used one of my favourite icebreaker activities; โ€œA conversation with a time travellerโ€.
It goes something like thisโ€ฆ
In pairs, one participant plays someone from the early 1600โ€™s and gets into character/mindset.
The other participant selects a modern-day object/something from our day and explains it to the individual posing as someone from the 1600โ€™s.
I suggest they try and explain any of the following:
– A carry out pizza
– A Smartphone
– The Cinema
– Disneyland
– Netflix
As participants get into character, the results are always fun and insightful.
Participants switch roles and repeat.
There were lot of smiles, laughter, and bewildered faces on show.
Followed by a realisation that times, things, and people have ๐’„๐’‰๐’‚๐’๐’ˆ๐’†๐’… โ€“ substantially!
There is nothing so unchanging, so inevitable as change itself.
Everything around us seems to be changing at an accelerated pace.
Most changes in the world seem beyond our control.
Yet, you can ๐œ๐ก๐š๐ง๐ ๐ž.

You can change your life…

Each of us have the power to change our lives.
โ€œEvery effort to change we makeโ€”no matter how tiny it seems to usโ€”just might make the biggest difference in our lives.โ€ โ€“ Michael A. Dunn
You can be a little better.
You can stand a little taller.
You can love a little deeper.
You can pick a different path.
You can walk a different walk.
You can find forgiveness.
And joy.
You can become your best you.
Because He gave His life, you can change yours.
I have experienced change first-hand through the actions Iโ€™ve taken.
As I have relied on Jesus Christ, He has helped bring true joy into my life.
He can and will for you too.

Nuts and Bolts

The phrase โ€œnuts and boltsโ€ means all the basic components, the fundamentals, no matter how big or small, that are part of the essentials to complete a task or activity.
In essence โ€“ nuts and bolts hold everything together.
The phrase has been running through my head for a while.
The nuts and bolts of missionary work are the basic components, the fundamentals, the essentials to complete our tasks.
A couple of weeks ago, at Zone Conferences (when upwards of 50 โ€“ 60 missionaries come together once a transfer for instruction) I spoke specifically on four of the fundamental principles of missionary work โ€“ the core nuts and bolts, if you will.
Each missionary was issued with a bolt and 4 nuts, to make the analogy feel real.
The bolt โ€“ represented themselves.
Each nut represented a core principle.

Core Principles

1 โ€“ ๐‘ท๐’“๐’†๐’‚๐’„๐’‰ ๐‘ด๐’š ๐‘ฎ๐’๐’”๐’‘๐’†๐’ โ€“ ๐‘บ๐’†๐’„๐’๐’๐’… ๐‘ฌ๐’…๐’Š๐’•๐’Š๐’๐’. Since its publication, like many of the missionaries I have enjoyed my daily study in Preach My Gospel. President Russell M. Nelson said โ€œโ€œOur charge is much more than just inviting people to join the Church. We want each one to become a fully truly converted disciple of Jesus Christ and to follow Him, now and foreverโ€.
2 โ€“ ๐‘ผ๐’”๐’† ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’”๐’„๐’“๐’Š๐’‘๐’•๐’–๐’“๐’†๐’”, ๐’†๐’”๐’‘๐’†๐’„๐’Š๐’‚๐’๐’๐’š ๐‘ป๐’‰๐’† ๐‘ฉ๐’๐’๐’Œ ๐’๐’‡ ๐‘ด๐’๐’“๐’Ž๐’๐’. Marcus B. Nash said โ€œThe mandate for each missionary to search the scriptures is clear and unequivocal, for searching the scriptures brings to them the power of God. It does the same for anyone regardless of their age and experience.โ€
3 โ€“ ๐‘ญ๐’๐’๐’๐’๐’˜ ๐‘ณ๐’Š๐’—๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐‘ท๐’“๐’๐’‘๐’‰๐’†๐’•๐’”. Itโ€™s important that we follow the right voice in a world full of wrong voices. That right voice is Godโ€™s voice, and He speaks to us through His living prophets and apostles.
4 โ€“ ๐‘ป๐’‰๐’† ๐‘ฎ๐’Š๐’‡๐’• ๐’๐’‡ ๐‘ป๐’‰๐’† ๐‘ฏ๐’๐’๐’š ๐‘ฎ๐’‰๐’๐’”๐’•. The gift of the Holy Ghost is the privilege – given to people who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ, been baptized, and been confirmed as members of the Church. He will guide, teach and comfort us.


After explaining each principle and the ensuing discussion, each missionary tightly fastened their nuts and bolt together.
As the nuts tightened, thread by thread, symbolically each missionary was strengthening and securing themselves to Jesus Christ, as each core principle was riveted into their mind through their actions.
I know that true joy comes through our daily actions of study, pondering, reflection and prayer, as we fasten ourselves, thread by thread to Jesus Christ.
The world is changing whether you like it or not.ย  Are you?
How can you fasten yourself to Jesus Christ?


Double of one; 2

It is the naturalย numberย following 1 and preceding 3.

Last Sunday morning, I shared some thoughts about โ€œonesโ€.

All week long, Monic and I have met with many โ€œonesโ€ in our interviews.

Iโ€™ve realised however, there is great power in two.

From one-by-one, to two-by-two.

Daily, just as the disciples of old, more than 68,000 missionaries go forthย two-by-two into all the world to invite others to Come unto Christ.

Each companionship (two) is the basic organisation of the 408 missions of the Church, speaking 60 languages and serving in 150 countries.

Scriptural Foundation

The scriptures teach; โ€œIn the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.โ€ (2 Corinthians 13:1)

โ€œYe shall go forth in the power of my Spirit, preaching my gospel, two by two, in my name, lifting up your voices as with the sound of a trump, declaring my word like unto angels of Godโ€ (D&C 42:6)

โ€œTwo are better than oneย because they have a good reward for their labour. ย For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellowโ€ฆโ€ (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)

Two are better than one, if they act as one.

This week Camille N Johnson shared; โ€œThere are many famous statements out there about the โ€œpower of one.โ€ Culturally, societally, we have celebrated the accomplishments of the individual. I testify of the power of two! Bound to the Saviour, through the covenants we have made with God, we stay aligned with Him and โ€œcan do all things through Christ [who strengthens us].โ€ (Philippians 4:13)

Two become three in โ€œThe Lord, My Companion, and Meโ€.

The Lord, my companion and me,
Are a great combination, we three:
For where He would lead us, we go willingly,
The Lord, my companion and me,

The Lord, my companion and me,
Have a work that is endless, you see.
For the good, honest souls must be gathered, we’re told
By the Lord, my companion and Me.

The Lord, my companion and me,
Must pull as a team, constantly,
If we would have power, we will remember each hour
It’s the Lord first, then my companion, then me.
(Lula Anderson)

Why not reach out today, to one of our twos throughout Belgium, the Netherlands or around the world.

Good, Better, Best.

This week, we joined with other European Mission Leaders at a 4-day Seminar in Den Haag, here in the Netherlands.
We counselled collectively together and received inspiring instruction from the Central Europe Area Presidency.
It was wonderful to share many experiences together, including the obligatory visit to Keukenhof!
Personally, it gave me the opportunity to reflect upon all that I have learned as Monic and I have served concertedly in Belgium and the Netherlands for nearly two years.
Through the course of the 4 days, many principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ were discussed.
For a few brief moments we spoke too about โ€œThe Chosenโ€.

The Chosen

For the uninitiated, itโ€™s an enjoyable multi-season television series about Jesus Christ that has been watched by tens of millions, throughout the entire world.
Monic and I have watched all the series and are sure that many reading this post will have done likewise.
However, reflecting upon all that I continue to learn about Jesus Christ, from my perspective I have come to conclude this truism.


Connecting to Jesus Christโ€ฆ
– Through the Chosen is ๐‘ฎ๐’๐’๐’….
– Through the Missionaries is ๐‘ฉ๐’†๐’•๐’•๐’†๐’“.
– Through the Scriptures is ๐‘ฉ๐’†๐’”๐’•.
I love The Chosen and I love our missionaries too.
Both play their part in helping many to understand the three most powerful behavioural words spoken by Jesus Christ, namely โ€œCome Follow Meโ€ โ€“ see Luke 18:22.
I know that as you personally study the scriptures, you will come to know the Saviour and His teachings.
Few things you do will bring greater dividends, as you absorb his words by pondering them, then letting them sink deeply into your heart and applying them into your life.
Spencer W. Kimball emphasized the need to continually read and study the scriptures. He said: ” I find that when I get casual in my relationships with divinity and when it seems that no divine ear is listening and no divine voice is speaking, that I am far, far away. If I immerse myself in the scriptures the distance narrows and the spirituality returns.”
Enjoy The Chosen!
Invite the missionaries to speak with you!
Theyโ€™ll guide you through the scriptures as you accept His personal admonition to โ€œCome Follow Me.โ€
How have the missionaries helped you?

He Lives!

Today is ๐‘ฌ๐’‚๐’”๐’•๐’†๐’“ ๐‘ด๐’๐’“๐’๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ.
On that first Easter Morning, the tomb was emptied and we find hope and great peace in the words of the angel “He is not here: for he is ๐’“๐’Š๐’”๐’†๐’, as he said.” (Matt. 28:6).
We commemorate the greatest of all events in the history of mankind — the breaking of the bonds of death by Him who is the eternal Son of the living God.
I cannot remember a time that I did not believe in Jesus Christ.
It seems that the reality of His life, His death, and His resurrection has always been a real part of me.
Raised in Scotland, I was brought up in a home by parents who followed Jesus Christ.
They believed in and regularly shared their testimonies of Him and strived to follow Him – always.
I have always been grateful for that.
In our Missionary Zone Conferences this week, I spoke about Jesus Christ, His Atonement and resurrection and the impact His life has for all mankind.
In the Conferences, I shared one story about my Nana.

Nana’s story

I told them about the funeral service of my Nana, who died at the age of 94, in 1998.
As a young newly called Bishop in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it was the first funeral service that I had ever conducted.
I recall that jokingly, Nana would often say, that when the time came, she wanted me to conduct her service – and so it was.
At her funeral service, I shared a letter she sent me whilst I served as a missionary in London in 1984.
In it, Nana refers to her own belief…
“God will bless you son, for taking his word to many. 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 to bless and guide me. To me He is everything and I know He is to you also. May He bless and keep you safe till I see you again.”

The Ultimate Question

Job asked the ultimate question โ€œIf a man die, shall he live again?โ€ (Job 14:14)
Like so many others, I believe the answer to Jobโ€™s question is a resounding YES!
Some in the Christian world doubt the reality of a universal resurrection, however Latter-day Saints believe and declare that Jesus was resurrected to a tangible, glorified body of flesh and bones (see Luke 24:3 and 3 Nephi 11:1-15). And because of Him, and his victory over the grave, all mankind have the promise of our own resurrection.
Because of what happened in the tomb that first Easter morning, one day all of us will arise from our graves. The we will set aside our own burial clothes, just as Christ did and be reunited with family and friends who have already passed through the gateway we call death. It will be a happy and glorious
I know that Jesus Christ is the living witness, that this is so and so can you too.

Side by Side

I enjoy my early morning studies.
Sleep is very important, but for me my desire to learn the gospel and to come to know my Saviour Jesus Christ has always been more important than lying in my bed for too long each morning.
Russell M. Nelson has said โ€œTo those who feel defeated and downtrodden, look to the early hours of the day for your rescue.โ€
In the wee small hours every morning, when all is quiet and peaceful, there is nothing I enjoy more than to sit on the living room sofa, wrap myself in a blanket and snuggle up with a good book to help me come to know my Saviour Jesus Christ, a little more.


The scriptures have always been a good friend and in them there are many examples of those who arose early in the morning:
โ€ข Genesis 19:27 โ€œAbraham gat up ๐’†๐’‚๐’“๐’๐’š ๐’Š๐’ ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’Ž๐’๐’“๐’๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ to the place where he stood before the Lordโ€
โ€ข Exodus 34:4 โ€œMoses rose up ๐’†๐’‚๐’“๐’๐’š ๐’Š๐’ ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’Ž๐’๐’“๐’๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ, and went up unto mount Sinai, as the Lord had commanded him, and took in his hand the two tables of stoneโ€
โ€ข Joshua 6:12 โ€œAnd Joshua rose ๐’†๐’‚๐’“๐’๐’š ๐’Š๐’ ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’Ž๐’๐’“๐’๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ, and the priests took up the ark of the Lordโ€
โ€ข In Mark 1:35 we read that the Saviour himself arose ๐’†๐’‚๐’“๐’๐’š โ€œ…๐’Š๐’ ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’Ž๐’๐’“๐’๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayedโ€.
I know that more flashes of inspiration and insight come in those early morning hours, than at any other time of the day.
In the early mornings of the last two weeks, my thoughts have turned to Palm Sunday and General Conference weekend of Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd April.
Why not join us online?
Iโ€™ve enjoyed the General Conference talks from six months ago.

Side by Side

Each morning, I pick up two copies of the Liahona and study them ๐ฌ๐ข๐๐ž ๐›๐ฒ ๐ฌ๐ข๐๐ž.
One in Dutch and one in English.
Firstly, I study a talk in Dutch and try to understand as much of the talk as I can.
Secondly, I study the same talk, but this time in English to gain further clarity.
Interestingly, the two-language approach, brings additional inspiration, insight and understanding.
In a letter of 2nd March, the First Presidency said, โ€œGeneral conference provides an opportunity to receive personal revelation as general Church leaders give counsel and directionโ€
I know personally, that one of the best ways to come to Christ is to listen and study the words of His special witnesses.
The best time for me to that, is ๐ฌ๐ข๐๐ž ๐›๐ฒ ๐ฌ๐ข๐๐ž in the early hours of the morning.
Our missionaries can help you learn of Jesus Christ.
They also like the early mornings too!
What is your favourite time to study?

Living Waters…

In the Netherlands, water is everywhere.
The Dutch are experts on living with water.
In fact, 17%, nearly a fifth of the surface area of the Netherlands consists of water.
Water is an essential part of life in the Netherlands.
It nourishes, sustains life, and quenches our thirst – it has a vital role for all of us.
Leaving the Randstad behind and driving north to Leeuwarden this week, I was reminded of the many waterways, coastline, canals, vast lakes, acres of flat grassland, windmills, hunchbacked dikes, dams and water defences everywhere.
A walk-through history shows that the Netherlands, its fertile soils, its culture, and its people have been shaped by water for generations.
Here, they must constantly manage the complicated balance of keeping water out and inviting it in.
Water flows through the life of the Dutch, yet like all of us, they’re still thirsty.
Iโ€™ve even heard it said โ€œthat God created the world, but the Dutch created the Netherlands.โ€
Talking of God, there is another type of water Iโ€™d like you to consider.

Living Waters

Two thousand years ago, Jesus of Nazareth sat by a well in Samaria and talked to a woman about living waters.
He taught that โ€œwhosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give… shall never thirst; for it shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.โ€ โ€“ John 4:13-14
The living water is the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Our missionaries invite people daily to drink from the living waters.
Just as water is essential to sustain physical life, the Saviour taught that drinking deeply of the living waters are essential for eternal life.
Joseph B. Wirthlin said; โ€œBy living the gospel of Jesus Christ, we develop within ourselves a living spring that will quench eternally our thirst for happiness, peace, and everlasting life.โ€
Spiritual thirst indicates a need for living water.
Are you ๐ฌ๐ฉ๐ข๐ซ๐ข๐ญ๐ฎ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ซ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ฒ?