"We are not measured by the trials we meet -- only by those we overcome."
- - Spencer W. Kimball
November 5, 2012
This Miracle Was for the Birds
by Kathryn H. Kidd

We had a great sacrament last weekend. One of our little Beehives gave her first talk, and the choir did a great job on one of my favorite hymns. But the highlight was the missionary report given by Chad Gravallese, who just returned from the England Leeds Mission.

Chad gave a great talk, with several things I want to think about later on. But the showstopper was a story he told about teaching a Chinese man the gospel, and an experience he and his companion had with him.

The Chinese man was a superstitious older gentleman. He was always looking for signs and wonders. This was a little bit frustrating for the missionaries, who did not think that God was going to come down from His throne and tell their investigator to join the Church.

One day when they met with the man, he informed them that if a pigeon was in front of his house when he got home, he’d take that as a sign that he was supposed to be baptized. As they walked the man home, they told him what a foolish thing this was. God doesn’t work that way, they told him.

They went inside the man’s house and had a good discussion with him, telling him how we need to study things out in our minds and then pray to know whether they are true. This is the way God answers prayers, the missionaries said.

This sounded reasonable to the older gentleman. Finally he conceded that the missionaries made sense. He agreed to be baptized. They set a date, and all was well. Then the new convert walked the missionaries to his front door.

There, parked directly in front of the man’s house, was a whole truck of pigeons. Not a pigeon, mind you — a whole truckload of them.

I’ve never even heard of a truckload of pigeons. Who would put pigeons in a truck, and why? But God knew there was a truck of pigeons in Northern England, and for reasons of His own he inspired the driver to park in front of that particular house at that particular time.

This reminds me of the scripture that says, “Ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith” (Ether 12:6). That’s exactly what happened in this case. The man wanted a sign, but the missionaries inspired him to take a leap of faith. After he took that leap of faith, he was given not just the pigeon he asked for, but a whole truckload of them.

Whoever says that God doesn’t have a sense of humor is not acquainted with God. Just look at nature. We have platypuses. We have giraffes. We have Kathy, Queen of the Universe. There are evidences of God’s playfulness everywhere you look.

A friend of mine, Wally Goddard, once wrote an article called, “The Cheeriest Person in the Universe.” When you read the article, you learned that the “cheeriest person” is God. (I’d link to the article, but Meridian Magazine is notorious for having a messed up archive. All I got when I tried to find it was Wally’s picture, which is cheery in its own right, and the title of the article.)

Even if his article is lost in the ether, Wally was right. God isn’t just a grumpy old dude sitting on a rock somewhere. He has joy, and he wants joy for us.

If you’re not happy, something is wrong. Happiness is a choice. Nobody knew it better than Marjorie Pay Hinckley, who had this to say about life:

The only way to get through life is to laugh your way through it. You either have to laugh or cry. I prefer to laugh. Crying gives me a headache.”

Don’t give yourself a headache. Go out and laugh. Make somebody else laugh too. If having a sense of humor is good enough for God, it’s certainly good enough for those of us who are trying to emulate Him. Find yourself a truckload of pigeons, and have yourself a field day.


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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.

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