Tag Archive for: love

Lost and Found

Meet Blue.
On returning home two weeks ago, our youngest daughter Cristi, moved into student accommodation in Edinburgh.
Unfortunately, no pets are allowed there.
Subsequently, we have become the caretakers of her cat, Blue.
Now, I am not a cat lover.
It’s not been the easiest of adjustments for sure.
Monic has done much better than me!
Daily, Blue is in and out of the house, all day long.
However, yesterday, we were a little concerned as neither of us had seen Blue for over 24 hours.
Going to bed last night, we reckoned it was nearing 30 hours.
Now that may be common for cats, but admittedly, we were both concerned.
Arising early this morning, what do we hear at the front door, but a meowing cat, hungry, cold, in need of some attention and love.
It is now sat purring on my knee, falling asleep.

Bible Scriptures

I am reminded of the stories of the lost shared by Jesus Christ, in Luke chapter 15.
The Lost Sheep
The Lost Coin
The Prodigal Son.
M. Russell Ballard taught “If for any reason you … have lost your way, then you need only apply the Saviour’s teachings from Luke, chapter 15, to correct your course. … Why did Jesus teach these parables? He wanted us to know that none of us will ever be so lost that we cannot find our way again through His Atonement and His teachings.”
I know in life, many can lose their way.
Yet, every soul is of equal worth to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
Indeed, the worth of each soul is so great that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ will go to every effort to seek out, find, and save each one—one by one.
Recently, President Russell M. Nelson said “At age 99, I have no need of physical gifts. But one spiritual offering that would brighten my life is for each of us to reach out to “the one” in our lives who may be feeling lost or alone.”
I’m actually feeling a little joyful this morning, that Blue is home – safe and well.
Similarly, I know that as you find your way home to Jesus Christ, you’ll feel joyful too.

Fleeting Visit

Yesterday, I had the briefest of opportunities to meet up with one of our returned missionaries Libby Wilcox, whilst she was visiting in Scotland for a couple of days with her mum and sisters.
It was the first of what I’m sure will be many visits from our missionaries who we served with in Belgium and the Netherlands.
We kept our visit simple. We only had 2 hours!
It was great fun to reminisce.
Visiting the Wallace Monument in Stirling and chatting over lunch, was special.


We shared a few life updates.
Sharing feelings about our stories together was memorable.
But just being able to be close and hold tightly to those who matter most, was best of all.
Life is one of those precious fleeting gifts, and everything can change in a heartbeat.
It really helps to slow things down.
Simplify things.
Enjoy the moment.
Take one step, one piece, one chunk, one bite at a time.
And remember, loving one another is so supremely important.
“𝑭𝒍𝒆𝒆𝒕𝒊𝒏𝒈” – something that happens really fast, or something that doesn’t last as long as you’d like.
Hans Christian Andersen, a great story writer, said this: “Time is so fleeting that if we do not remember God in our youth, age may find us incapable of thinking of him.”
And in the Book of Mormon, the Prophet Alma said: “… learn wisdom in thy youth; yea, learn in thy youth to keep the commandments of God. ” Alma: 37:35.
Working with 300+ youthful (18 – 26 year old) missionaries has taught me that we have to be present and always enjoy the moments we have together, as life is fleeting.
In hindsight, I can so relate to Jacob 7:26 “…the time passed away with us, and also our lives passed away like as it were unto us a dream…”
Jacob describes the fleeting moments and hours of our life so well.
Moments simply blend into hours, hours into days, days into years, years into decades.
Being with Libby yesterday, was real, I know it wasn’t a dream.
How can you slow down those fleeting moments today?

Mission Dad

Today, throughout much of the world, its 𝐅𝐚𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐃𝐚𝐲.
Serving as a Mission Leader is a very special privilege.
Not only do I get to be a father to our own three children – who are simply the best! But I also get to be 𝐝𝐚𝐝#𝟐 to 100’s of missionaries from throughout the world, when they’re called to serve and assigned to the Belgium Netherlands Mission.
It has been an absolute honour to listen to, counsel with, pray with, laugh with, cry with, teach with and watch in wonder as each of them grows closer to their Heavenly Father and His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.
There have been many pressures and frustrations along the way too, for sure.
But I am a witness to seeing all of them change, for good.
Father’s Day is when we honour, celebrate and appreciate our dads for their good deeds and support in our lives.
I am very grateful for the righteous example of my father.
Elder D. Todd Christofferson, stated, “As a Church, we believe in fathers. We believe in the ideal of the man who puts his family first. … We believe that far from being superfluous, fathers are unique and irreplaceable”
Father’s Day is an opportunity to let the men in our lives know how much they mean to us and how important their role is.
Regarding fathers, Elder M. Russell Ballard said, “You see, we’re all on a journey. Dads are a little further down the road, but none of us has yet arrived at our final destination. We are all in the process of becoming who we will one day be.”
This Father’s Day, as you honour your earthly father, don’t forget your Heavenly Father.
I invite you to talk with Him in prayer and start to make that a regular part of your life.
To all you Fathers at home, watching your sons and daughters from afar, may the blessings of heaven be poured out upon each of you on this special day as you continue to exercise your faith and hope in their success, here in Belgium and the Netherlands.
They are all well! We watch over them carefully, with lots of love and personal attention.
The photos are a selection from our final mission conference where they each received a special tartan gift!
As you think about your own father today, can I invite you to complete the following sentence…
“I love my dad because……..”

Assembled Ones

After our final mission conference on Friday, Monic and I excused ourselves for a short time, whilst everyone gathered outside for our last photographs together.
Minutes later, we emerged from the chapel, dressed in our national costumes, catching everyone by surprise!


We were greeted with smiles, laughter, whistles and a huge round of applause.
It was a very special moment.

Gathered around us were 138 of our dearest friends.

Individuals we love immensely.

Assembled Ones

The group comprised of one hundred and thirty-eight, unique, individual, 𝒂𝒔𝒔𝒆𝒎𝒃𝒍𝒆𝒅 𝒐𝒏𝒆𝒔.
After the initial gathering (see pictures below), a line was formed and individual pictures were taken 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐛𝐲 𝐨𝐧𝐞, with Monic and I.
It took 75 minutes to capture individual photographs together.
Earlier in the day, I’d shared the principle of 𝐨𝐧𝐞𝐬, as taught by Jesus Christ in 3 Nephi 11-28, in The Book of Mormon.
In chapter 11, our resurrected Saviour visits 2,500 assembled ones, gathered at the temple.

One by One

Verse 15 reads: “….the multitude went forth, and thrust their hands into his side, and did feel the prints of the nails in his hands and in his feet; and this they did do, going forth 𝒐𝒏𝒆 𝒃𝒚 𝒐𝒏𝒆 until they had all gone forth….”
Just 30 emotionally charged seconds, with 138 of our dearest friends had taken us around 75 minutes to meet with each of them individually, 𝒐𝒏𝒆 𝒃𝒚 𝒐𝒏𝒆.
Can you imagine if you had been one of those 2,500, “until they had all gone forth” seeing with your eyes, feeling with your hands and knowing of a surety, bearing record, “…that it was he, of whom it was written by the prophets, that should come.” (verse 15)
At 30 seconds each, without any breaks, that equates to around 21 hours to complete the process.
And yet He spent every precious second with His dearest friends.
Would 30 seconds be enough?
The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ.
It contains a powerful witness of His 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐛𝐲 𝐨𝐧𝐞 personal ministry.
Over the last three years, our ministry has been focused upon and directed to ones.
Every one of our missionaries, minister, individually, 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐛𝐲 𝐨𝐧𝐞, to help others find the peace and joy that only the gospel of Jesus Christ can bring them.
Hundreds of thousands of ones, find Him every year, and you can be 𝐨𝐧𝐞 too.
Speak with a missionary today…

Worn Out

After our missionary interviews in Apeldoorn on Thursday, we headed to our hotel room.
It was late afternoon, and I took my shoes off to settle down for a wee nap.
I was pretty tired that afternoon.
Whilst napping, Monic took this photo.
She captured my socks – perfectly!
Little did I know they were in such a threadbare way! ☹
Just like my socks, I admit, I’m starting to feel a little worn out.
My socks reminded me of my shoes from the last few weeks of my mission in the 1980’s.
Whilst serving in Cambridge, England in May of 1985, I remember cutting up cardboard from cereal boxes and putting it in my shoes.
Both shoes had a big, huge hole in them!
Let me the state the obvious, whilst serving a mission, things get 𝒘𝒐𝒓𝒏 𝒐𝒖𝒕!
Especially, socks and shoes!


Worn out; “showing signs of wear, drained of energy, extremely tired; completely exhausted.”
I love this quote from Spencer W. Kimball, “My life is like my shoes – to be worn out in service.”
During His ministry on the earth, Jesus Christ spent His time serving and helping others.
True disciples of Christ do likewise.
Every missionary knows about the importance and value of rendering service and lifting others.
Alma 37:34 states: “Teach them to never be weary of good works, but to be meek and lowly in heart; for such shall find rest to their souls.”
When I’m tired, I slow down, sit still, listen and pray.
Yet, growing old on a mission (or in life) is never easy.
There is so much more to endurance than just surviving to the end!
How we finish a mission, just like a marathon really matters.
Endurance is an important principle found within the doctrine of Jesus Christ.
Enduring to the end, can be one of life’s most difficult challenges, but it can also be one of life’s greatest triumphs.
Enduring signifies “patient continuance in well doing” – Romans 2:7.
I know that it is the joy of being with the missionaries and many others that refreshes me. I also know that never being weary of good works, ultimately brings rest to anyone who may feel a little worn out.
How do you endure when you are feeling a little worn out?

Mothers of Faith

Across a large part of the world today, it’s Mother’s Day.
To each of you dear mothers, we express our sincere gratitude and thanks.
Your precious sons and daughters are safe as they serve here in Belgium and the Netherlands.
We appreciate you for being the kind of mothers you are and doing the things you do.


Thank you for your faith and constant sacrifices.
We know you love, cherish, encourage, respect and inspire each of them.
Like you, we hope and pray for their success and happiness – daily.
We promise to love them, help them, watch over them and treat them as if they were our very own sons and daughters.
We feel as if they are!
We can’t send you your missionary today.


Nor is it likely that you’ll receive real flowers from your missionary son or daughter.
But take a look at our latest mission pictures below.
What we can send you are some pictures of a few of your sons and daughters surrounded by lots of flowers! 😊
We are pleased to report, that they are blooming, just like Keukenhof’s tulip gardens!
It is a sweet honour and privilege to serve side by side with each of them.
We truly work with the greatest young men and women on planet earth.
We know that, and feel that, every single day.
We know too that they love you, so very, very much.
We likewise know that your love is unconditional, unbreakable, and forever.
The love you have for your son or daughter is like nothing else in the world.
You will recall a recent statement by President Russell M. Nelson…
“Our Heavenly Father has reserved many of His most noble spirits—perhaps, I might say, His finest team—for this final phase. Those noble spirits—those finest players, those heroes—are you!”
It is our witness, that each of your sons and daughters are part of “His finest team” here in Belgium and the Netherlands.
Dear Mothers – may the blessings of heaven be poured out upon each of you on this special day as you continue to exercise your faith and watch from afar.


The Dutch love a good party, and yesterday, King’s Day, may very well have been the best party in the Netherlands, despite the rain!
It was a national holiday to celebrate King Willem-Alexander’s birthday with lots of music, dancing, street markets and fun fairs.
To me, it seemed like the entire country dressed in orange!
Our missionaries enjoyed the celebration too, by joining in the festive atmosphere and getting into the party spirit.
Throughout the Netherlands (and abroad), they all dressed up in as much orange as they possibly could!
You’ll find a few of my favourite images below.

Kingdom of the Netherlands

King Willem-Alexander became the reigning monarch of The Netherlands in 2013.
He represents the Kingdom of the Netherlands at home and abroad, holding a great deal of influence and earthly power.
In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honouring, and sustaining the law.” Article of Faith 12.

Kingdom of God

As the missionaries honoured the traditions of their mission culture, oftentimes they turn their thoughts to an unearthly reigning monarch, the 𝐊𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐨𝐟 𝐊𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐬.
Gordon B. Hinckley explained…
“Jesus Christ, He, the Son of God, who by His matchless and eternal power overcame death. He is the Redeemer of the world. He gave His life for each of us. He took it up again and became the firstfruits of them that slept. He, as King of Kings, stands triumphant above all other kings. He, as the Omnipotent One, stands above all rulers. He is our comfort, our only true comfort, when the dark shroud of earthly night closes about us as the spirit departs the human form. He is our King, our Lord, our Master, the living Christ, who stands on the right hand of His Father. He lives! He lives, resplendent and wonderful, the living Son of the living God.”
His influence and power continue to change hearts, minds, and lives in deep, meaningful and an everlasting way.
His name is Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.
We, too, can know in our hearts that Jesus is the Christ, and that He will come again to reign as 𝐊𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐨𝐟 𝐊𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐬.
Speak with a missionary to find out more…
Is Jesus Christ a King to you?


How is your appetite?
Appetite – “a natural desire to satisfy a bodily need, especially for food, or a strong desire or liking for something.”
If you have worked up an appetite, you usually have a desire to eat something!
This week, I had a feeling I hadn’t had in a while…
I lost my appetite for sweet foods!
Over 1 or 2 days, I overindulged a little too much.
I’d capitulated, and there had been a weakening of my will!
Then, something just really snapped in my brain.
I felt it!
This week I have been much more disciplined.
Like Aliyah, we may all lose our appetite at times too…

Your character…

Your reaction to your appetites can give you a good measure of your character.
Can you govern your appetites, or are you in bondage to something and forced to yield?
Jesus Christ referred to this duality as the spirit and the flesh.
“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” – Galatians 5:16
Simply stated, as we walk in the Spirit, we can and will overcome the temptations of the flesh.
The fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. See Galatians 5:22-23
Is there a gnawing emptiness in the pit of your stomach for the fruits of the spirit?
One way we can walk in the Spirit is to tune into the General Conference Sessions of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints this weekend.
Millions of people all around the world will be tuning in to hear from leaders of the church.
May I whet your appetite a little to tune in?
I know that General conference can help you find peace, hope, and joy through Jesus Christ.
You can learn how to strengthen your family by following Jesus Christ’s teachings, you’ll also gain a greater insight into temples and covenants.
In addition, you’ll discover how you can receive personal guidance and inspiration from God.
Simply click on the link below to follow along.
How would you describe your appetite to walk in the spirit?

New Arrivals

Last Friday, we welcomed 10 new missionaries to the Belgium Netherlands Mission.
Being with them was a real joy! 😍
Picture for a moment that you put your heart out in front of you, so that you can take a long look and carefully consider what is inside.
That is what each these young people will do for the next 18 or 24 months, exploring and sharing the feelings of their hearts.
They’ll consider…
– their hopes
– their dreams
– their feelings
– their faith
– their fears
– their desires
– their attitudes
– their opportunities
– their purpose in life
– their futures.
Along the way they will speak with thousands of people and help each of them to come to know Jesus Christ, better than they know Him now.
Look out for each one of them and ask them why they came to Belgium and the Netherlands – they’d love to speak with you!

Because of Him

Yesterday, I sat atop the stairwell.
Flooding my mind, were thoughts of days gone by.
Missionaries, family and dear friends, had all climbed these stairs.
Cradling our memory book, one by one, their names and faces flashed through my mind.


I was overwhelmed by feelings of love and gratitude.
Tears came easily…
It was a beautiful moment, I’ll cherish forever.
All of those missionaries in our book are home now.
“Will I meet them again?” I thought.
Rising to my feet, a swift and calming feeling came…
The answer was an emphatic and absolute “𝐲𝐞𝐬!”
I look forward to sweet reunions in the years ahead.


Today is 𝐄𝐚𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐒𝐮𝐧𝐝𝐚𝐲.
This morning, I’m mindful of other sweet reunions that I hope and long for…
My father, nana, gran, and many other family and friends who have already passed away.
Over the years, I have attended and spoken at many funerals.
Frequently, I witness tears of sadness over and over again.
Sometimes, I am asked about the whereabouts of their loved ones.


The scriptures clearly guide us to what the future holds.
Job asked the supreme question “If a man die, shall he live again?” – Job 14:14.
The answer is an emphatic and absolute “𝐲𝐞𝐬!”
Our Saviour Jesus Christ’s atonement and resurrection, enable us all to live again.
𝐁𝐞𝐜𝐚𝐮𝐬𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐇𝐢𝐦, each of us will overcome the ultimate obstacle of death.
𝐇𝐞 claimed the victory over death.
“But there is a resurrection, therefore the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ.” – Mosiah 16:7-8.
In times ahead, as we each pass through the veil of death, I look forward to many sweet reunions, as we continue our journey towards the glorious day of our resurrection.
Come to church this Easter.
Speak with a missionary about the resurrection of Jesus Christ and His plan of Happiness.