"We are not measured by the trials we meet -- only by those we overcome."
- - Spencer W. Kimball
July 20, 2015
The Naked-Legged Monster
by Kathryn H. Kidd

Fluffy pulled out his scrapbook supplies the other day and sat in front of the television for a relaxing morning of work and TV. He came upstairs to report that he'd found an awful science fiction movie "with a special effects budget of at least forty-seven cents."

This is not a bad thing. Fluffy looks for bad science fiction movies, and the worse they are, the better it is from his perspective. He wants to be able to work on our scrapbook and watch television at the same time, without either activity suffering. Bad science fiction entertains him without actually distracting him from his work.

When he reported on this particular movie, he was royally disgusted.  He said that two monsters came from outer space, landed on a planet that looked a lot like Earth, and spent the entire movie fighting to the death. One of the monsters was a giant spider. The other was a humanoid creature.

The humanoid creature was decked out in a formidable suit of armor. He had what looked like an iron barrel covering his torso, and similar iron sheaths for his arms. He had a metal helmet that looked like an upside-down cone, protecting his head, and thick gloves over his hands. This was armor that was resistant to the most determined weapon's efforts to pierce it.

Oddly, the humanoid's armor did not extend to its legs. Although every inch of the creature's body from the torso on up was protected, he was wearing standard pants over his legs. There was no protection whatsoever, unless you consider polyester to be a shielding device.

Even more oddly, it never occurred to the giant spider to shoot the humanoid in the legs. Every bit of ammunition was wasted on the armor that covered the humanoid's torso and his arms and his head -- armor that was impervious to whatever the humanoid's enemies used as weaponry.

If the spider had shot at the humanoid's legs, it would have been game over. One bullet would have at least incapacitated the humanoid, and if the bullet severed an artery the humanoid would not have survived.

But this never occurred to the spider, which determinedly expended all its ammunition on the suit of armor. (The human cast of the movie also tried to kill the humanoid by shooting at his armor, and achieved the same results.) The giant spider and the humanoid battled to the death for the length of the movie, until finally the humanoid prevailed and slew the giant arachnid.

The humanoid then returned to his space ship, took off his helmet, and smoked a cigarette, which revealed the surprise ending that the planet was not Earth and the humans on the planet were not Earthlings, but that the humanoid in the armor was a man from Earth who was wending his way across the galaxy in pursuit of errant spiders.

How often are we like that giant spider and the humans who attacked the humanoid in his armor? We are faced with a problem and we keep trying the same thing over and over again to solve it. It doesn't matter that the solution we try has failed every single time we've tried it. We keep repeating the same useless behaviors, never knowing that a solution to our problem is right there in plain sight.

All we have to do is try something different, but before we can do that we have to recognize that what we're doing isn't working and look for other solutions that may be more effective.

I'm good at shooting the armor. I'm not nearly as good at looking for other places to shoot. I'm beginning to believe that, like the giant spider, I am wasting my energy using the same weapons on the same targets, over and over again.

Sometimes when our prayers aren't answered, it's because we aren't praying for the right thing. If our prayers bounce off the ceiling, it may be time to shoot prayers out the window instead.


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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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