Thursday, October 7, 2010

Old Friends... Renewed Perspective

A missionary off the coast of northern Africa, on a little island that is still considered Portuguese territory called Madeira... once wrote:
"To register one's spiritual impressions and experiences in books and records, while 'Yet still in the spirit', is not to deny the reminding influence of the Holy Spirit, but to ENHANCE it."
He wrote that in the front cover of a book that he left with me, as he departed his mission, to go home. I have done just what he said and recorded my life in books and journals... My life has been blessed because of it, and now my kids are doing the same. Elder John P. McLay wrote that... He taught me so much, in such a short amount of time... I was 19 years old at the time... 16 years ago.
Today, I had the wonderful opportunity to see him once again and meet his sweet wife (Brooke), and feel closer to God simply by being in his presence. This is a man, that has remained constant in his course, and kept the faith. He is an example to us all of what it means to know and serve the Lord.
It's interesting to reflect on the times that he and I shared as we walked the streets of that little island town called Funchal... We read together, prayed together, and taught the gospel of Jesus together. A time when all there was to do is get lost in the service of others and forget all that was part of "the self". How easily I forget that wonderful promise that when we lose our lives in the service of other, it is there that we find true life and happiness. How easily I am beset with the pride of self, and give way to selfish desires. How much I get in my own way of really living happily as I seem to chaise the superficial.
When you are around someone that is so filled with love and the light of The Lord, it has such an undeniable impact. It's not a feeling of "I'm no good" or "Look how flawed I am"... NO!! People that have that light don't make us feel less of a person at all. They make us feel inspired and so loved, that we just want to be and do better. To reach higher and be stronger in every part of our lives. I have only met a few people that have that type of an impact. John McLay is one of them. When one walks with The Master every day, they begin to emulate the very love and spirit of their Master. Loved, accepted, and understood... Don't we all want to feel those feelings? When I feel that way, I seem to want to give that person everything that I have, and everything that I am. On the other hand... when people make me feel flawed, broken, and unforgivable..? I repel that person, and withhold my very soul from them.
Isn't that what the Atonement is all about? Acceptance... The acceptance of where someone is (flaws and all), never judging, but lifting them to higher ground.

Makes me think about how I want to make others feel when they are around me... Accepted and loved... no matter what. I want to be like John McLay... I really have been so blessed lately with such positive people that have come into my life lately. For this.. I am grateful!
Thank you John, for the reminding influence of your spirit, that make me want to reach higher! I mean it.


  1. Every day we are blessed,but some times we just dont see it.... Our soul is a great thing,some thing we have to look deep in side,but when it is found,the beauty is just amazing!

  2. Thank you, Matt. I am speechless. Though I fear you are far too generous in your praise, your sincerity and kindnesses touches me.

    I cannot thank you enough for your friendship and example, brother. It is so good to be reunited after so many years.




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