As a boy of 15 I was called to preside over a quorum of teachers. Our adviser was interested in us, and we knew it. One day he said to me, 'Tom, you enjoy raising pigeons, don't you?'
"I responded with a warm 'Yes.'
"Then he proffered, 'How would you like me to give you a pair of purebred Birmingham roller pigeons?'
"This time I answered, 'Yes, sir!' You see, the pigeons I had were just the common variety trapped on the roof of the Grant Elementary School.
"He invited me to come to his home the next evening. The next day was one of the longest in my young life. I was awaiting my adviser's return from work an hour before he arrived. He took me to his loft, which was in a small barn at the rear of his yard.
"As I looked at the most beautiful pigeons I had yet seen, he said, 'Select any male, and I will give you a female which is different from any other pigeon in the world.'
"I made my selection. He then placed in my hand a tiny hen. I asked what made her so different. He responded, 'Look carefully, and you'll notice that she has but one eye.' Sure enough, one eye was missing, a cat having done the damage.
"'Take them home to your loft,' he counseled. 'Keep them in for about 10 days and then turn them out to see if they will remain at your place.'
"I followed his instructions. Upon releasing them, the male pigeon strutted about the roof of the loft, then returned inside to eat. But the one-eyed female was gone in an instant. I called Harold, my adviser, and asked, 'Did that one-eyed pigeon return to your loft?'
"'Come on over,' said he, 'and we'll have a look.'
"As we walked from his kitchen door to the loft, my adviser commented, 'Tom, you are the president of the teachers quorum.' This I already knew. Then he added, 'What are you going to do to activate Bob?'
"I answered, 'I'll have him at quorum meeting this week.'
"Then he reached up to a special nest and handed to me the one-eyed pigeon. 'Keep her in a few days and try again.'
"This I did, and once more she disappeared. Again the experience, 'Come on over and we'll see if she returned here.'
"Came the comment as we walked to the loft: 'Congratulations on getting Bob to priesthood meeting. Now what are you and Bob going to do to activate Bill?'
"'We'll have him there this week,' I volunteered.
"This experience was repeated over and over again. I was a grown man before I fully realized that, indeed, Harold, my adviser, had given me a special pigeon; the only bird in his loft he knew would return every time she was released. It was his inspired way of having an ideal personal priesthood interview with the teachers quorum president every two weeks.
"I owe a lot to that one-eyed pigeon. I owe more to that quorum adviser. He had the patience to help me prepare for opportunities which lay ahead."
General conference, April 1979