Paul, I don’t know how important it is whether the money would have stayed in the pants without any help. My experience is the same as yours in that regard, but it’s also true that when you send your clothes out to be washed, laundry workers could help themselves to things left in pockets.
That reminds me of the story of the man who, while working on the roof of a large building, lost his footing and found himself sliding toward the edge. He began praying harder than he ever prayed before: “Lord help me, I’m sliding off the roof! Lord help me, I’m sliding off the roof!” As he slid further he begged and pleaded with the Lord for help, then suddenly breathed a sigh of relief, saying: “Never mind Lord, my pants caught on a nail.”]]>
I also thought about how my experience has biased my reception of the money pants story. In particular, based on crumpled things found in pockets over many years, I think that money tends to stay in the pants, i.e. I question the assumption that intervention was needed to keep the money in the pocket. If I am right, God simply smiles when he hears the prayer, because he understands pockets better than little Tommy and knows that he will be happy to find the money and that he will continue with a life of prayer. By the way, I am not asking FAIR to do an analysis or test of early 20th century commercial washing machine mechanics in order to defend the story.
Confession: When I heard Elder Uchtdorf’s Priesthood talk, the first thing that went through my mind was “Unfunded Mandate”. Our ward has a high proportion of members with fully or partially debilitating psychiatric conditions, so thinking carefully and prayerfully about this talk and our situation is going to be important. I am not sure what helping within the Lord’s way of self-sufficiency means for them, but I’ll have to figure it out. Pres. Uchtdorf is of course right that the myriad of conditions each ward and branch finds itself in will require local solutions.]]>