Stamp Collecting and God

The story was retold here (14th paragraph about Jose Garcia).

I don’t know if they still tell this story in the MTC, but I want to offer my perspective on it (forgive me if my memory isn’t perfect, it’s been over a decade; but the main points stuck with me).

In one of the LRTs (Large Room Training, everything is better with acronyms), they told the story of a kid who wanted to go on a mission and all he possessed in the world was a stamp collection. The stamp collection was worth $2,000. The question was brought up to President Kimball whether the young man should be asked to sell his stamp collection to pay for his mission.

After a moment, President Kimball said, “Yes, have him sell his stamp collection. There are a great many letters that pass through the church from every nation in the world. Order that all of the stamps be saved. At the end of his mission, let us present him with the stamps. He shall have the finest and grandest stamp collection anywhere.”

This was met in the MTC with general thoughts about how inspired President Kimball was to give such advice. How, clearly, God cared about people individually.

For me, it was the opposite reaction. You see, I am a collector, and I happen to know that stamps that have been sent through the post are not valuable. It is UNUSED stamps that have worth. Hence, the missionary sold something very valuable (he came from Mexico, if I remember, and $2000 was a LOT of money for the family) and was returned with good efforts that had no value.

To me, receiving such a thing would at first be a great show that people loved me and were trying, but after thinking about it, I would be forced to consider that; either God doesn’t care about stamp collecting, or the idea and effort was not inspired.

As a collector and member, I’ve often wondered which of the two this returned missionary decided was the reason God asked for his valuable possession, and returned something of no value.

(Relevant Scene from Brewster’s Millions)

This entry was posted in Current issues, GA Bullsh*t. Bookmark the permalink.
Last edited by Mithryn on May 26, 2013 at 4:09 pm

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.