The other day, in my 9th grade seminary class, one of the kids asked me, "Brother Whitmer, do you ever sin?" Now most of you who know me realize that this is a really dumb question so I said, "that's a really dumb question." Then this same student said, "Well, what sins do you commit?" I really thought this was a pretty personal question so I replied, "I am not going to tell you because you aren't my Bishop." As I think about that experience I wonder why we ask people dumb questions. Is it really any of our business if someone is going to have a baby? Aren't we running the risk of offending a sweet soul simply because they have put on a few extra pounds? Why take the chance? And why should we be asking a young couple when they plan to have children? What about questions that have to do with the salary range of your job or the price of a new house or car? Can't we let people have some privacy without delving into all their private affairs? I think this all rises from the lack of respect we seem to have with one another in our personal relationships. We have become so 'familiar', calling everyone by their first names and forgetting common manners, that we think everything is fair game for our asking. It would be nice to have some of the courtesy we once felt was common in our lives.
Most of my years teaching have been accompanied by an effort to keep live plants in my classroom. It gives the room a better feel and I am of the belief the extra oxygen is good for the brain power of my students. Unfortunately, there has been a scourge raging through my plants for the past few months. At least 5 long-term residents of my room have succumbed to some form of…something…that has resulted in their deaths. Where I could formerly recover these plants, I am coming up short and losing some beloved friends. My daughter, Melissa, thinking I have a green thumb has sent one of her ailing subjects to my laboratory but it appears what magic I once had is beginning to wane in its power. I fear I shall lose her plant as well as one or two more of my own. Possibly, it is time to get some new victims but I really hate to give up on these little (and big) guys until they are completely deceased. Reports will be posted at another time on the results of my efforts.
Completely Dead ------------------------ On the way to Death (Missy's Plant)
Dead but showing green. --------------------- One of the few that lives!!!
The current rage to watch and read the Twilight series has been of interest to me only because so many of my family and students have participated. I have not read any of the books and have no desire to see the movie. My only reason is that it just doesn't sound interesting to me. Sort of reminds me of when I was in high school and the "Lord of the Rings" books were becoming popular. All my friends were reading them and raving about how wonderful they were but I just never could find an interest in little people and elves and orcs and such. Many years later, when the movies came out, I decided to see what I had missed and found that much of the series was interesting and readable. But those silly poems would have killed me in high school so it's a good thing I didn't try them in those days. Now I know how to skip over dull parts and get to the meat of the book, but then I would have felt obligated to read it all and would have learned to hate the whole series. It is possible the Twilight books will end up the same but I suspect it will take many years to find out.
Why is it that a small painting project in the house can turn into a major remodeling job? Teresa wanted to paint the walls in the living room, kitchen and dining room and so we decided to give it a go. Now we find that we also need to redo Joel's room (done first BTW), fix the ceiling in the hall, and put in some new lighting in the living and dining rooms. What was going to be a few hundred dollars has become a bottomless project, sucking our checkbook dry as the Christmas season approaches. And it is all our fault. It's not like we haven't had this happen before. Every time we come up with a small change, a cancer breaks out and the whole house decides it needs work performed. One time we wanted a new door and it evolved into a complete change in the family room. Even when we know the changes will be major, we get into things and they increase exponentially in their difficulty. Someday we will get smart and hire someone else to do the work so we can just watch and laugh. But then they will laugh all the way to the bank with our money.
Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin passed away last Sunday night. He was a wonderful man who set a great example for all who knew him. I wasn't aware that he had 8 children and only one was a boy. What a household that must have been. He REALLY was a saint to have that many daughters in one home and not go crazy. He will be missed for his direct and pertinent messages in our conferences. I have also enjoyed his dry wit that is sometimes hard to catch if you are not paying attention. May his family be blessed to have strength in his passing and may he truly revel in the reunion with his beloved, Elisa. He is a good man who will be missed by all.
Time to wrap up for now. Christmas is near and there will be lots to report. Hope all are doing well and living the good life. See you next time.