This has been a very busy cruise. Lots and lots of beautiful and interesting things, but busy. The ports are fairly close together, so, even though the boat is steaming along at low speeds, they’ve come every day. And our shore excursions have been seven and eight hours long. Until today. We finally got a sea day, as we’ve been making our way from Greenock/Glasgow over the north of Scotland to Invergordon.
This means relaxation.
Well, sort of.
I “lectured” to our small group today on George Q. Cannon, B. H. Roberts, Charles W. Penrose, James E. Talmage, and Charles A. Callis – past leaders of the Church who were born in the British Isles. (I had already spoken about John Taylor.) A group of Canadian Latter-day Saints joined us for that discussion.
In the afternoon, we had a kind of sacrament meeting — minus the sacrament, because, as of the end of December, by decision of the First Presidency, traveling groups may no longer hold sacrament meetings apart from established units of the Church. Or something like that. (I haven’t read the actual statement.)
I was prepared to teach a gospel doctrine class drawing on two lessons (Alma 23-24, 26-29, and Alma 30-31). But, at the very last moment, a Catholic couple from the Canary Islands, having heard that we were meeting and evidently being hungry for some kind of religious service, joined us. So I switched to an hour-long discussion of the gospel resurrection narratives and of Paul’s testimony of the resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15. Then we closed with a thirty-minute testimony meeting.
The Catholic lady, a lawyer and judge, joined in the testimony meeting. Although her husband’s English is limited, hers is fairly good, and she expressed gratitude for being permitted to join with us. She had, she said, visited several churches so far on her tour, but had been turned off by their darkness and by the fact that things were being sold in them. She had never felt happy in her religion, really. But, with us, she felt that she was among family. Needless to say, members of our group got her address, and somebody gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon (unfortunately, in English).
We’ve been in sight of land ever since leaving Greenock. It’s precisely the sort of land I was expecting: green but treeless, beautiful in a weird and desolate way, and plainly windswept. We’re not too far from Orkney, I think.
Roughly forty hours from Greenock, Scotland.