A rectangular concrete plinth which has lain bare for almost 44 years has once more been restored to its original purpose. In the garden of the Scotland/Ireland Mission home of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Edinburgh, it supported the actual stone which so inspired and uplifted former president of the Church, David O McKay, as a young missionary in 1898 with the inscription “What E’er Thou Art, Act Well Thy Part”. President McKay saw it on a building in Stirling at a time when he was feeling particularly homesick and discouraged and often referred to it during his lifetime. In 1965, a young missionary in the Stirling area, Elder Browning, informed President Jensen, then the mission president, that the building was being demolished. President Jensen negotiated to purchase the stone for £30 and it was taken to Edinburgh and set in a brick surround in the mission home grounds where it stood from 1965-1970.
Following President McKay’s death in 1970, Elder Mark E Petersen decided to ship the stone to the Church Museum of History and Art in Salt Lake City to be included with President McKay’s artefacts. Several fibre glass copies were made, one of which hangs in the Mission Home. The Scottish Saints felt somewhat deprived, perhaps in a similar way to when the ancient Stone of Destiny or Coronation Stone was forcibly removed to Westminster in 1296 by Edward 1. It was only returned after many hundreds of years to be lodged in Edinburgh Castle where it remains today.
When President Brown, the current mission president for the area and a native Scot, found that a mould of the original was available, it seemed appropriate to commission a replica to be made. A local stone-mason was engaged to build a casing to mount it on the original plinth. A small plaque explains the history of the monument.
It is very fitting that Elder Browning is now back serving in Scotland as a senior missionary. He related his early experiences at a short dedicatory service held on 11th February, 2014. All 36 senior missionaries serving in the Scotland/Ireland mission, along with many young missionaries were present.'