"Character is the one thing we make in this world and take with us into the next."
- - Ezra Taft Benson
July 30, 2012
A Melting Pot of Faith
by Kathryn H. Kidd

Fluffy and I planned to go out of town last weekend, but our plans changed at the last minute. There was a baptism in our ward that Saturday, and it was one we couldn’t miss.

Our friend Gregg joined the Church a year and a half ago, but his wife Tregel didn’t want to join with him just so they could do it together. She is a person who studies things out and does things on her own time, and nobody could talk her into joining the Church before she was good and ready.

Which was exactly the way it should have been.

Tregel is a private person, and the first time that Gregg learned she was going to be baptized was when the bishop announced it over the pulpit, the Sunday before the baptism. Gregg was as surprised as the rest of us.

Our friend Melanie took over the task of providing the refreshments, and we all had assignments to carry out. Because of Melanie’s organization, things couldn’t have been any better if we had planned the baptism for a year.

The thing that struck me most about this baptism was something I noticed as we were watching the program in the chapel. Tregel, a Jamaican, had been baptized by a Tongan. She was welcomed into the ward by our Japanese bishop, and she was welcomed into the Relief Society by our Korean Relief Society president. The closing prayer was given by a missionary who had so recently arrived from China that she struggled to find the English translation for what she wanted to say.

Among the people in the congregation were a Puerto Rican friend who had driven down from Pennsylvania for the occasion, as well as a half dozen or so members of our ward who come from different countries in South America.

Anybody who thinks of Mormonism as a white bread religion is not acquainted with the Latter-day Saints!

Tregel with her husband Gregg and the ward members who could pry themselves away from the refreshment table.

If you want to go back a couple of days, the cooking class that was held on our home three days before had been conducted by a lady from Singapore. She invited her best friend in the ward, who is Japanese, to come with her, and it was fun to watch them standing at the sink afterwards, washing the dishes and animatedly chatting in broken English because neither could speak the other’s language.

One of the most spiritual experiences I have had in the temple occurred many years ago, when I was assigned to spend an hour doing sealings.  At one point I looked down to see my fish-belly white hand holding a black hand over the altar.  A brown hand was resting on top of ours.  I had seen few things in my life that were as beautiful as the symbol of unity that was shown with the colors of those three clasped hands.

We human beings think of ourselves as being so unique.  We separate ourselves into tribes, divided by color or nationality or even allegiance to different sports teams.  But under the skin, we're all the same.  We all want good things for ourselves and for the people we love.  We all want to get through this life relatively unscathed, having accomplished something to make our lives worthwhile.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us that we are all brothers and sisters, children of the same God.  We may look different, or have different occupations, or speak with different accents, but we all have that one thing in common.  God loves every one of us, and as long as we're doing our best, He loves us just the way we are.

Bookmark and Share    
About Kathryn H. Kidd

Kathryn H. Kidd has been writing fiction, nonfiction, and "anything for money" longer than most of her readers have even been alive. She has something to say on every topic, and the possibility that her opinions may be dead wrong has never stopped her from expressing them at every opportunity.

A native of New Orleans, Kathy grew up in Mandeville, Louisiana. She attended Brigham Young University as a generic Protestant, having left the Episcopal Church when she was eight because that church didn't believe what she did. She joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a BYU junior, finally overcoming her natural stubbornness because she wanted a patriarchal blessing and couldn't get one unless she was a member of the Church. She was baptized on a Saturday and received her patriarchal blessing two days later.

She married Clark L. Kidd, who appears in her columns as "Fluffy," more than thirty-five years ago. They are the authors of numerous LDS-related books, the most popular of which is A Convert's Guide to Mormon Life.

A former managing editor for Meridian Magazine, Kathy moderated a weekly column ("Circle of Sisters") for Meridian until she was derailed by illness in December of 2012. However, her biggest claim to fame is that she co-authored Lovelock with Orson Scott Card. Lovelock has been translated into Spanish and Polish, which would be a little more gratifying than it actually is if Kathy had been referred to by her real name and not "Kathryn Kerr" on the cover of the Polish version.

Kathy has her own website, www.planetkathy.com, where she hopes to get back to writing a weekday blog once she recovers from being dysfunctional. Her entries recount her adventures and misadventures with Fluffy, who heroically allows himself to be used as fodder for her columns at every possible opportunity.

Kathy spent seven years as a teacher of the Young Women in her ward, until she was recently released. She has not yet gotten used to interacting with the adults, and suspects it may take another seven years. A long-time home teacher with her husband, Clark, they have home taught the same family since 1988. The two of them have been temple workers since 1995, serving in the Washington D.C. Temple.

Copyright © Hatrack River Enterprise Inc. All Rights Reserved. Web Site Hosted and Designed by WebBoulevard.com