As a musician, I spend my days promoting my music and my videos, but nothing comes close to the feeling you get when you’re promoting your faith.
I was sitting in Sunday School of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints a few years ago when the ward mission leader walked into class with a stern look on his face. He had a box full of copies of the Book of Mormon and he gave one to each of us, challenging us to give it away this week and come back next week with a report of whom we gave it to.
My band was on tour that week doing a performance for a charity organization called “The Prince’s Trust.” Every year at this event, they celebrate the accomplishments of inner-city kids.
While on tour, there was a loud bang on my door with a patron yelling, “Quick, hurry! Prince Charles wants to meet everyone.”
We thought it was a joke because someone of his position wouldn't necessarily be expected to show up at this event. I looked out the window and saw a helicopter land in the field and Prince Charles got out with his entourage.
We all dressed and rushed to the reception area to meet Prince Charles. Everybody in England knows what the procedures are when you meet royalty. Women curtsy and men bow, you speak only when spoken to and you don’t extend your hand to royalty unless they extend their's first. We have been taught these things since we were young.
As I ran downstairs to stand “on ceremony,” a thought came to my mind that I should head back upstairs, but I didn’t know why. I told the band to go ahead and wait in line and I’d be back. I went to my room and stood there looking around and asking myself, “What now?” Then I saw my copy of the Book of Mormon my ward mission leader gave me. I grabbed it, stuck it in my back pocket and rushed back downstairs.
There was a long line of cooks, cleaners and celebrities standing on ceremony waiting to be greeted by Prince Charles. While standing in line, I tried to come up with something witty and clever that I could say to Prince Charles so he would never forget me. Finally, he made his way toward me and my mind went blank. My supposed unforgettable comment left my mind. He politely moved on to the next person and my opportunity was missed.
As he approached the helicopter to leave I had a strong impression that I needed to give Prince Charles the book in my back pocket. I thought to myself, “How could I accomplish this?" He had already moved on and you’re not allowed to step out of line until Prince Charles has exited. So I wondered how to grab his attention without being disrespectful.
I did the first thing that came naturally to me. I waved my hands in the air, screamed for Prince Charles, and stepped out of line. I did it. I had broken three rules. I realized what I had done and stepped back in line, putting my head down in embarrassment.
With my head still down in shame, two large feet appeared in front of me. I looked up and to my surprise I saw Prince Charles. Gathering my composure, I said, “On behalf of my church I would like to give you a gift.”
As I reached for the book in my back pocket, security went crazy, assuming I was reaching for something more dangerous. I managed to get the book from my pocket and extend my hand to give it to him, breaking a fourth rule. After looking at the book for what seemed like an eternity, he took it.
He looked at it, brought it close to his chest and said to me that he thought it would prove some interesting reading.
“Yes it will,” I responded. “Perhaps you could read it in the helicopter on your way home.”
He told me that he may just do that. And then he left.
Reporters bombarded me with questions wanting to know what I gave Prince Charles. I told them it was the Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ, and then began teaching the first discussion on national TV.
The following Sunday my LDS ward mission leader asked us to report on our Book of Mormon challenge. I told him I gave my copy to Prince Charles. Nobody believed me.
comments on this story
That night I turned on the TV and saw the footage of me talking about the Book of Mormon. No sooner did my phone start ringing — it was my frantic ward mission leader. I guess he believed me now.
Who would have thought that someone like me, trying to promote my music, would be standing at the feet of royalty in England promoting my faith? The Lord uses ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things. Thanks to the challenge of my ward mission leader, I had the courage to stand up for my faith and give a royal gift to royalty.
Alex Boye is an international recording artist and his email is firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, his music page is at www.facebook.com/alexboyemusic.