“Do You Have A Pig?”


A number of years ago I was in a priesthood leadership meeting. That particular meeting we had invited a representative of the physical facilities to address us on how we could help teach the members of the church on how to properly treat and maintain our buildings. The gentlemen who came to speak to us had a rather gruff manner and was very pointed in his presentation! At one point he spoke on keeping the chapel portion of our buildings clean.

One man raised his hand and told how difficult chapels can be to clean with all the pews, and that sometimes that was the reason they might look dirty. The response to his statement caught us off guard. In a very deep voice he asked, “Do you have a pig?” I looked around and could hardly believe what I heard. The room went silent. Again, and with more intensity he demanded, “Do you have a pig?” I was feeling very uncomfortable and felt sorry for the brother who had now been put on the spot. As I surveyed the room I could tell I wasn’t the only one who was feeling ill at ease.

Finally, and with some chagrin, the man responded back, “No, we don’t have a pig, but we have small children and some teenagers who can leave messes.”

“No, no!” came the gruff reply. “I mean a pig, you know, it’s a long-necked vacuum that allows you to get under the pews to clean!”

Immediately the air was let out of the room and I, as well as many others started to laugh. The meeting continued with the stern physical facilities representative never missing a beat. To this day I don’t think he understood that all of us thought he was calling our members ‘pigs.’

Many years later I would often pass other men in the hallways of the church who were in attendance at that meeting, and they would mutter to me, “Do you have a pig!”

How well do we communicate with others? How often do we say or hear things and take offense, when no offense is intended?

“Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them” wrote the Palmist. (Palms 119:165) The law, in this case, is the law of the Lord.

When I am tempted to make quick judgments of others actions or words, I remember back to that meeting and the question asked that day, “Do you have a pig?” And I chuckle!

May we be slow to anger, but quick to forgive! That is the way of the Lord!

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