I went to the Netherlands to present some of my scholarly findings on early Mormon enjoyment of popular culture in Nauvoo. In addition to the school conference in Middelburg, I had the thought to rededicate Europe and Ireland (I had a long layover in Dublin) for preaching the gospel as well as gathering in the good from any other sheep that have heard Christ’s voice over time and in the present.
I remembered Denver mentioning that when Moses took off his sandals, it was to make the ground holy and not necessarily the reverse. I found private spots and took my shoes and socks off and planted my feet down on soil in the Netherlands and Dublin and gave the prayers I received and wrote down prior to rededicating the lands. I wasn’t thinking I was holy enough to make the lands holy with my feet, but thought it was a fitting part of the ordinance in memorial of Moses’ and other’s acts. It also seemed an appropriate introductory bookend to get soil on my feet for a land opened to preaching if there is also a closing ordinance wiping the dust off of one’s feet when a land loses the blessing and the people are cut off from preaching (hopefully the latter is never necessary).
Here are the prayers:
11-18-18 Dedication of Europe at Middelburg, Netherlands:
It’s Sunday, November 18 at 3:50 P.M. in Middelburg, Netherlands, sitting in front of a statue called “de Ringrijder.” [the Ring Rider] in front of the main church which has a red royal crown at the top of a huge steeple by the third tree from the church that has concrete around it. I just put my bare feet on the soil here—planted down.
O Father, this is your servant Brian, answering your prompting to rededicate this land. There are other servants more worthy than I who would perform this work if given the chance, and perhaps someone already has. I recognize there is goodness in the peoples here to learn from. There are still many treasures of wisdom to appreciate and gather, while those of us who have consented to your covenant are still weak, unlearned, and sometimes less virtuous and less righteous than others. But you have said you would show forth your wisdom through the weak things of the earth in the Teachings and Commandments section 141 verse 1. Therefore, on this spot in Middelburg, Netherlands at the tree I described on November 18 at 3:53 P.M. in 2018, having authority given me of Jesus Christ, I dedicate and rededicate this land and continent of Europe for the preaching of the gospel of Christ and for learning from any other sheep who already hear his voice on this land, that all things may be gathered in one in Christ, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
I said this prayer while kneeling on my right knee.
11-20-18 Dedication of Ireland at Santry Demense on the path towards the Walled Garden, Dublin, Ireland:
[I put my bare feet on the soil here as well, next to the first bench in the park from the entrance across from the Holiday Inn Express where I stayed.]
I’m here in Dublin, Ireland at Santry Demense, a park near the Walled Garden.
O Father, this is your servant Brian, answering your prompting to rededicate this land in Ireland where my prominent ancestral homeland [is] that gave rise to my grandmother’s line who introduced us to the restored gospel of Jesus Christ revealed through your servant, Joseph Smith, Jr. I recognize there is goodness in these peoples as well to learn from and still many treasures of wisdom to appreciate and gather. Therefore, on this spot in Dublin, Ireland at 7:51 A.M. on Wednesday, November 20, 2018, having authority given me of Jesus Christ, I dedicate and rededicate this land of Ireland for the preaching of the gospel of Christ and for learning from any other sheep who already hear his voice on this land, that all things may be gathered in one in Christ, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
[I said this prayer while kneeling on my right knee as well.]