Thursday, April 26, 2012

Buzz, Buzz Confessions

This is one of those confession blogs that I seem to feel a need to give from time-to-time.  There are lots of things in life that are hidden away inside us and eventually they have to come out. J

The other day I received a call from my lovely wife, asking me to go to Brian’s house cause Paula was having a problem.  I couldn’t get there for a while so when I arrived, Brian had things well in hand.

Earlier that day Paula noticed some strange activity in her backyard and spent some time watching out the back window.  This is similar to what she saw—

Swarming Bees
A small swarm of bees

Eventually there were 40,000+ bees hanging out on Brian & Paula's little tomato garden. They called a beekeeper guy and he hurried over and gathered all the little folk into a hive and saved that branch of the Whitmer family from annihilation (or at least Freak-out-ation).  

Here's Brian's Swarm -- cool eh!!

All my life I have loved watching colonizing insects as they did their work.  When I was a boy I would sneak out into the desert and watch the anthills and imagine what it must be like down inside.  Sometimes I would give in to temptation and dig into the colony and try to find the queen.  It was all very fascinating to me!!

Nice Hole for Ants

More like what we had in AZ.

I had the same attraction to bees --- except, they were even more fun.  I think part of it was the challenge of not getting stung while I watched their work. 

Cute little fellas

But another part was a deep love for something that could be so organized and complete as a community.  Everything this little group of individuals did was for the benefit of the group.  No selfishness, no personal gratification, and no seeking for higher position.  Everyone did their job and if it meant that you were doomed to die because the queen needed your life, you willingly gave all you had. 

Maybe my heart knew this was the way the world should/could be if everyone followed the ways of Christ.  The parallel is not exact but if we are to ever live in a Zion society, we will have to learn to live like other people mean more to us than what we want for ourselves. 

Without bees there would be no fruits

To be honest, this is the first time I have really made this connection and I think this idea might be why I have been so fascinated by these wonderful creatures. Somewhere, Down in my soul, I knew that our apian friends were showing us the way and if we would learn from them, we would also learn what God wants us to become. 

So, while this started as a confession about my love for bees and ants, it appears to be ending as a confession that there is still much to do before I can be comfortable with who I am becoming.  The Savior said:
He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. (Matt 10:39)
Drones and workers are the strength of every colony.  The queen rules but the others DO.  And as long as there is someone DOING, there will always be things growing.
I have a long way to go before my time in life is ended so I guess I better make some changes so I can be part of the right ‘colony’ when HE comes again. 

And Teresa, I still want to have my own beehive… but I can wait ‘til you say OK.  

Monday, April 16, 2012

Old Friends

Teresa and I have had some wonderful friends over the years.  Many are still part of our circle but some have moved on and we have not seen them as much as we would like.  We think of them but… well, you know!!!  Life is busy and we don’t connect like we should.

Leave it up to my sweetheart fix that condition.  
At least in a small way.

A few weeks ago she warned me that she was planning something to bring a few of our old friends to the house.  As usual, I sort of put it in the back of my mind and then mostly forgot about it.

Early last week she reminded me again and said people were coming over on Friday night.  To be truthful, I was pretty excited.  She had invited some of my favorite people to come be with us for a few hours.

While not everyone came (lives are like that) those who did were greeted warmly and remembered with fondness.  Sadly, we didn’t take any pictures but we will always have the memories of our visit.  Thanks to all of you who came and made our day/week/life a little brighter.
Maybe we will do it again!!!

Here’s a list of those who came and visited with us:
Chris Fox
Christine Carlicci
Bertram and Victoria Merrill
Shane Smith + children Porter and Sabrina
Becky Smith
Gene and Lucy Smith
Orlan and Karen Thatcher
Suzanne Campbell
Paul MacFarlane
Hope I got them all.  If not, please forgive my forgetfulness. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Conference April 2012

I know, everyone is excited about General Conference so there will be lots of blogs about what the Prophets have said, but I'm not going to let that curb my enthusiasm for the messages.  It only happens every six months so it's easy to get worked up about the cool things that are said.  Here are some of my favorites, with a link so you can listen and watch if you like.

Elder Ronald Rasband of the Presidency of the Seventy spoke about those who care for children with special needs.  That is a tender subject because Brian and Paula have a little Becca whom we have grown to love so much.  Elder Rasband's words were a great comfort for us as we watch her parents bless her life with so much love.  And Becca has such capacity to love each of us with no strings attached.  Here's the link to Elder Rasband's talk.

Ronald A. Rasband

Teresa and I had the opportunity to go to the Saturday afternoon session with Melissa and her three oldest.  We all rode TRAX up to the Conference Center and enjoyed the privilege of watching things live from the balcony seats.

We were in the upper balcony, three sections from the end.  Everyone on the stand was very tiny.

I particularly enjoyed Elder Jeffrey Holland's message about the parable of the laborers.  He has such a way of breaking down the truths in the stories of Jesus and helping us understand what the Savior was teaching.  His message is found here.

Jeffrey R. Holland

Saturday night all my boys came to our building and we watched the Priesthood Session together.  As we walked into the building, I was duly impressed with the fine young men that my sons have become.  It was inspiring to see that they have lived lives that are exemplary and clean and they are worthy fathers and husbands (except Joel and he's working on that).  I suppose this is what Father in Heaven sees as He looks down on His worthy sons.  

Anyway, there were some excellent messages in Priesthood Session.  Elder David Bednar gave a very personal message that touched my heart and helped me want to be a better father and priesthood holder.  You can view his message here.

David A. Bednar

We are so blessed to have living prophets who can give us counsel from the Lord.  As Pres. Benson said (paraphrasing), "each conference the Lord offers us our marching orders for the next six months".  I try to take that thought with me as I work through the things we have been counseled to do.  And I wait for the next series of instructions that will come in our October gathering.  Thanks be to God that we have living Prophets who can guide us through the morass of this mortal life.

If you haven't already done so, take some time and visit the General Conference site and listen to a few of the men who have been called by God to lead this world to righteousness. They really are pretty good guys.