Time for Reflection
It’s not everyday that you receive an invitation to speak in your own nation’s parliament and to get the chance to offer the ‘Time For Reflection’ at the opening of Parliament on a Tuesday afternoon.
Such was my experience on Tuesday 20th Sept 2016.
I was pleased to have the opportunity to represent my faith community (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) and to lend our voice to the thousands of others of faith throughout our nation, who recognise that faith has a place in a modern Scotland just as it has it times of past. Indeed our collective faith has served us well!
I guess that when you are given a 400 word limit to express your religious view, you consider very carefully what you might say, or how you would structure your message for maximum effect. You wish to not offend any, but stay true to what you believe. You feel a sense of responsibility to your members; to speak as it were for them, to say what they would want said, and to do it in a manner that they would feel proud of. In short, you don’t want to let anyone down, as this opportunity, this 4 minutes, will only happen once – and maybe those watching, listening and reading your remarks, may judge ‘Mormons’ on my 400 words!
Well, after much deliberation and prayer, I decided the message, prepared my remarks, refined, tuned and timed my delivery, and hoped for the best.
To stand as a Witness
The day itself was exciting, I wasn’t nervous at all, indeed, I was very much looking forward to the task at hand. I had done all I could in my preparation, and now I just had to deliver. My wife accompanied me and we were warmly greeted, and received a short tour of the building before being introduced to the House Speaker – then before I knew it, I was standing in front of Parliament. The public gallery was full, and I could see my wife smiling down. The proceedings were screened live all over parliament and every word uttered recorded.
I thought to myself that this was my moment to stand as a witness for Christ.
Not quite like Paul in front of King Agrippa, or Abinidi before King Noah, but nonetheless it would be on record that I believe and bore witness of Christ. To me, and to my family, that was important.
I made one little mistake in my address, which annoyed me at the time, but on reflection, and having watched the video playback a few times, I am very proud that I got to stand up and represent our church and it’s members, to quote from the Book of Mormon, and to speak and close in the name of Jesus Christ.
Below is my message to the Scottish Parliament. I hope you like it. So far, 700+ people have, and I hope they felt the same sense of humble pride that I did whilst speaking for them.