The lighthouse at Formentor, Mallorca

The background shows sidewalk tiles - "rajoles" - that pave the sidewalks throughout Barcelona. They were designed by architect Puig i Cadafalch for the entryway of a home. Since 1915, they have been used by the city to pave sidewalks, and have become emblematic of the city. One of the city's most famous chocolatiers, Enric Rovira, produces chocolate bars in the shape and design of these tiles.

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Fire that Burns Within Us

We held our first mission council of the year on Thursday and Friday, 13-14 January. Because this was the first council of the year, we started early and took a little field trip to help us appreciate the way in which God fulfills prophesy. At the Columbus statue (at the foot of Las Ramblas), we read the account of Nephi's vision:

“And I looked and beheld a man among the Gentiles, who was separated from the seed of my brethren by the many waters; and I beheld the Spirit of God, that it came down and wrought upon the man; and he went forth upon the many waters, even unto the seed of my brethren, who were in the promised land.” – 1 Nephi 13:12
We rehearsed the history of Columbus - how his proposal to sail west to reach the East was turned down as foolish nonsense by Portugal (twice), Genoa, Venice, and Spain. But how he persisted in lobbying the Spanish court for seven years until the monarchs finally granted him some funding. And how, after 30 days at sea he had already doubled the record for consecutive days sailing out of sight of land, and how finally after 70 long days at sea, a young lookout on the Pinta sighted a small strip of land on the far western horizon, changing the course of history and setting in motion a series of events that ultimately led to the restoration of the gospel.

And then we read Columbus' own description of why he pursued his vision with such tenacity against almost unsurmountable odds:

“The Lord opened my understanding with a hand that could be felt, so that I knew it was possible to sail from here to the Indies, and He opened my will to desire to accomplish the project. This was the fire that burned within me... Who can doubt that this fire was not merely mine, but also of the Holy Spirit who encouraged me...urging me to press forward ?”

We walked through the medieval city to the old royal palace, where in April of 1493 Columbus entered the royal plaza, Isabel and Ferdinand seated on their thrones at the top of steps to greet his entourage. We climbed the same steps that Columbus climbed to greet the monarchs.

The palace by night

The steps of the Royal Palace
The story of Columbus is a story of the fulfillment of prophecy: Nephi prophesied of a man "wrought upon" by the Spirit of God; Columbus testified that the Holy Ghost was like a fire that burned within him urging him to go forward.

We concluded with other, more recent prophecies about the work in which we are engaged:

“There are tens of thousands of people in Europe being prepared. The great days of the harvest are ahead of us, not behind us.”
And we noted, that like Nephi's prophecy of Columbus, these modern prophecies will also be fulfilled by men and women - young missionaries of the Spain Barcelona Mission - within whom that same fire burns.


  1. Wow, what a field trip! I wish I could have joined you!

  2. Wow, what an experience! Can we go to the Royal Palace in March?

  3. I enjoyed that little history lesson. I love Barcelona Mission