"Character is the one thing we make in this world and take with us into the next."
- - Ezra Taft Benson
April 28, 2014
"All is Well with the World"
by Kathryn H. Kidd

I didn’t go to church on Easter Sunday last year. I was still only a month out of the hospital and our ward was still so full of contagion from the winter that our bishop said he did not want to see my face in church until May, and I complied.

Five months is a long time without church, when you’re a person who is used to going every week. It was especially odd to miss church on Easter, so I was glad to return to church for Easter services this year. Our religion does not have the hoopla at Easter that many churches do. We just have the one program on Easter Sunday. But it was a program I was glad to attend again.

The speakers were good this year, and I was glad to sing the Easter hymns. But what struck me most occurred when we were taking the sacrament. As we were waiting to take the bread and I was saying my own private prayer, I was overwhelmed with the most wonderful feeling. The words I heard to accompany that feeling were these: “All is well with the world.”

I felt awash in peace. The sense that all was right with the world was overwhelming. God had things firmly in hand. Everything was good.

I opened my eyes and looked around me. To my right was Fluffy. I thought of how kind he is, and how many good things he does for me every day.

To my left was Kev. Kev is a young artist who plays with color and light in fascinating ways. He hugged me when he came into the meeting, and it made me feel fuzzy and warm.

In the front of the room was Bishop Mark. He is young (in the sense that everyone in the ward is younger than I am) and lean and energetic. I like to watch him when people are giving their talks, because he is so animated. He likes people. He is a human Jack Russell terrier, except that he doesn’t jump up and down and yip. He is a human Jack Russell terrier in the most excellent sense of the word.

On the right aisle was our home teacher Mike, who had major heart surgery three weeks ago, and who almost had to be physically restrained from coming to church two days later and bearing his testimony. I was sorry he got talked out of going to church; I wanted to hear what he would have said.

In the front of the room was our other home teacher, John, who is a world traveler. John sent us selfies last week from Jerusalem and Petra and Frankfurt and Spain. We never know where he’s going to be next week, but he never misses a home teaching visit, and he usually visits several times during the course of the month.

Lorraine sat in front of us, in her corkscrew orange curls and a purple Easter hat. Other than wearing different jackets, she and her octogenarian mother Mary were dressed in identical Easter outfits. I would have taken a picture if I’d had a camera with me.

As I looked around the room, there were people I had loved for years, people I had just met and was just learning to love, and people whose names I keep mixing up but whom I love anyway.

Earlier in the meeting, we had sustained one of the Young Women to be our new ward chorister. I used to teach Katie, back when I still had a calling in that organization. From the first day she led the music as a twelve-year-old in our Young Women meeting, I’ve been waiting for her to lead the music for our sacrament meetings. She’s probably about fifteen now.

I was so excited to hear her name read out as ward chorister that I shouted out, “Yes!” People around me laughed, but sometimes the rightness of a calling just takes you with joy.

Yes, I thought to myself, as I sat there during the sacrament. All is well in our corner of Zion; “all is well with the world.”

As the feeling of peace washed over me, I realized that not everyone believes all is right with the world. Just this week I had overheard a conversation where people were bemoaning the fact that first a plane had gone missing and then a ferry had sunk. “This whole world is falling apart,” the person had said. “Everything is getting worse and worse.”

It’s true. Things are bleak. The California drought means grocery prices are through the roof. The Great Lakes are still frozen, and commerce is suffering in that region because of it. American politics are so crazy that they are better not thought about. Russia’s incursion into Ukraine may yet be the beginning of World War III. People lie and cheat and steal and kill each other because — well, because they can.

And yet, “All is well with the world.” When I heard it, I knew that it was true. The words may not seem true in the short term. There are going to be wars and natural calamity and horrible things on the horizon. Some of those things are going to be catastrophic. And on a smaller scale, there will be accidents and illness. People we love will get sick and die.

But God knew what He was talking about. He always does, doesn’t He? “All is well with the world.” I felt it. I knew with my whole soul that it was true — that it is true.

All my life, I have been unable to understand how the Atonement works. I’m still unable to understand the mechanics of it, but sitting in that congregation on Easter Sunday, it no longer mattered. I realized that the Atonement has worked for me, and it has worked for the people I love on this side of the veil, and on the other side.

It has worked for millions upon millions of human beings I have never even met — people of all colors and creeds, and who have been walking the earth as long as God’s sons and daughters have peopled the world.

Jesus Christ did the job He set out to do. Good has triumphed over evil. Despite comets and global warming-slash-cooling and wars and all the other things that mankind has thought to do to the earth, all will be well with the world. No — all is well with the world. That is all I need to know.

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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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