Comments about ‘LDS convert experiences miracle while shopping for missionary clothing’

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Published: Thursday, July 18 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

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Tyler D
Meridian, ID

Nice story… reminds me of a similar story I heard about an elderly woman who was in a clothing store one day and after getting to know the sales clerk and discovering that she was a struggling college student, ended up all but paying for the rest of her college expenses.

The difference however was that story contained no religious overtones and so it was not necessary to expand the definition of a word (i.e., miracle) to the point of rendering it almost meaningless in order to explain this generous act of kindness.

DonP
Sainte Genevieve, MO

I think it is important to realize that often Heavenly Father works his miracles through us. We must learn to be receptive to the spirit and then act on promptings we receive. To do that we must work to improve ourselves, to live such that we might hear and respond to these promptings. Then we can be instruments in our Heavenly Father's hands.

JonathanPDX
Portland, Oregon

Events don't need religious overtones to be "miracles." They are often just events that are highly improbable, extraordinary events, developments, or accomplishments, or to some even something as mundane as waking up alive each morning or taking a breath.

The definition of the word notwithstanding, these 15 young people experienced something very special, and it's nice to see a financial institution doing something positive for people besides trying to find new and unique ways of taking their money.

(Imagine if other financial institutions started actually working with people with the goal of helping them get ahead rather than just making a buck off of them. Now that would be a miracle!)

Sonny N. Bright
Taylorsville, UT

I've been part of the financial services industry for 29 years and can say without hesitation that many banks and credit unions - and other businesses - provide countless hours of voluntary service, resources and thousands of dollars in donations to good and worthy causes on a consistent basis. On a positive note, "giving back" through donations of time and money is the right thing to do and helps build and strengthen company morale in addition to the good that is done for communities and causes.

But make no mistake: Events like the one in this story also make for great publicity and very inexpensive promotional opportunities.

The financial institution that is the subject of this story helped a few, random folks out, and that is great. But they have also tapped into a cheap (economical) way to promote the business.

Walt Nicholes
Orem, UT

Although a lovely story, this must be terribly disheartening to the many other missionaries who are struggling with the financing of getting ready to go. "Why would Heavenly Father make a miracle for this elder and not for me?"

It could serve as a reminder for us to be more aware of those in need and do what we can do.

I heard recently of a "missionary shower" thrown for a young sister on her way out to do the Lord's work. Not a bad idea.

Sasha Pachev
Provo, UT

I am for missionary work, supporting the missionaries, and legitimate miracles of all kinds that help further the work. However, I could not help but observe one detail here. I recently bought myself a perfect pair of dress shoes at Payless in Orem for $25. If I were to go on a mission again I'd take those shoes with me. My intuition tells me those shoes can survive at least 1000 miles of running for a 145 lb runner at 7:00 per mile pace - so walking maybe 3000 miles. This should be enough for two years of missionary work. If money is a problem perhaps Missionary Mall is the wrong place to shop - unless you experience a similar miracle, of course.

Try My Best
South Jordan, UT

Sasha, I am lucky to have feet like yours. Any shoe and I am fine. Unfortunately others may need better shoes. My wife and my current two missionaries need better, more supportive shoes. A cheap shoe would have them hobbled in no time. I had to be over $100 before I started finding any that would be acceptable.

I also think you have over estimated the expected mileage of your $25 pair by about 2500 miles.

Tyler, To Petrungaro it was a miracle, plain and simple.

Fred Vader
Oklahoma City, OK

A similar miracle happened to me nearly 20+ years ago. I was still 18 when I put in my mission paper work and still had 6 months before I would turn 19. My parents did not have much money, but they told me they would do their part to pay for my day-to-day living, but that I would need to come up with the money to buy my suits, supplies, etc. I thought I had six months to do so; however I got my call back a week later, telling me I had 1 week to be in the MTC. I didn't have any money and had no suit the day of my farewell. My family had no idea. I told them I was ready, so they wouldn't worry. I prayed that morning that God would provide a miracle. And He did. As I walked outside to go to my farewell, hanging on the house doorknob was a brand new suit, shirt, and tie....all my size. After the farewell, many members gave me envelopes. When I opened them, I had enough money for six months of my mission. Please convince me this wasn't a miracle.

Lasvegaspam
Henderson, NV

Fred - Thanks for sharing. Your story has made my day!

ajmyers
Los Angeles, CA

I'm a little suspect about sponsored "miracles" to get publicity.

"But when thou doest alms, let not thy
left hand know what thy right hand doeth"

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@Try My Best – “Tyler, To Petrungaro it was a miracle, plain and simple.”

@Fred Vader – “Please convince me this wasn't a miracle.”

Please understand – these are great stories (they should give us faith in humanity) and I don’t mean to denigrate them at all, but what’s wrong with simply calling them what they are - the amazing kindness of others?

Semantics maybe, but it strikes me as odd to use one word – miracle - to equate buying clothes with, say, raising someone from the dead or parting the seas. How do we distinguish between these if we only have one word?

Maybe we can capitalize the M when the laws of physics are truly suspended…

brownderby
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Why the snarky comments on a very nice story. Leave it be.

MealyMouth
Alpine, UT

It's such a great story, it just thrills me. We are purchasing missionary stuff for our son right now, and it is costing a bundle. But we are equally sustained by a generous God, though in different ways. God is in the details of our lives, to the extent that we allow Him.

Kelliebelle66
West Jordan, UT

Regardless of whether or not it was a promotion for a financial institution, to the receiver it was a blessing that he will not forget. He was in the right place at the right time to be the recipient of a wonderful gift. I look at it that way. And it shows me that even if we are doing business we can still do good things to help the community and the people around us. There are other ways this bank could have promoted itself that wouldn't have been a blessing in these missionaries' lives. So instead of looking at this cynically I look at it as a wonderful gesture that blessed many lives.

Pops
NORTH SALT LAKE, UT

God doesn't suspend the laws of physics. He supersedes them with His knowledge of higher laws.

Fred Vader
Oklahoma City, OK

@ Tyler D: It appears that you only define a miracle, whether "M" or "m" as something that requires the suspension of the laws of physics. I disagree. Miracles can and are performed by everyday folks regularly.

But, either way, my "great story" as you so condescendingly put it, also defies the laws of physics; i.e. a suit that did not exist on our home's front door when my family walked out the door before me, suddenly was there when I followed. "Suit from nowhere" seems to defy the laws of physics, does it not? Or does that still not fit? In not, perhaps you could more specifically explain your definition of "Miracle".

maclouie
Falconer, NY

@Tyler D

the laws of physics are NEVER truly suspended… no need to capitalize the M.

Perhaps someday our suspended understanding of miracles will come to an end.

Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT

Not really a miracle.

theOtter
Lafayette, IN

Great story. I’m sure many of us that have served missions—particularly those of us who are the only Church members in our respective families—have stories like this, showing the Lord’s tender mercies. (I know I certainly do.)

Congratulations, Elder Petrungaro. Have a great mission!

Christene
San Marcos, TX

@Tyler D
If the definition of the word miracle has been "expanded," it happened long before this news article. Merriam Webster's dictionary defines a miracle as an "event manifesting divine intervention" or "an extremely outstanding or unusual event." I'd say this story, and Fred's experience, fall under the "extremely outstanding or unusual" umbrella. I can't remember the last time someone paid for more than $1,000 worth of merchandise at the store for me. If you disagree with this definition, it's not really about what the people in this particular story view as a miracle, it's about what the English-speaking world views as a miracle.

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