What do we see as we go through our lives? Do we go
through life with our eyes cast down seeing only a few steps ahead or
do we let our eyes take in all that is around us and record in our
memories the beauties of the world and especially the beauties of
life. When I came to the realization that I was losing my sight I
began to see and value this most wonderful sense of sight. I thank our
Heavenly Father for the wonderful memories that my eyes have recorded
in my memory and in my heart during the 80 years of my life.
Sometimes recently my wife has asked wonderingly,
"Can't you see"? I have reflected in my mind, can I see, can I really
see the important things of life? What do I see? What do we see in
each other? What do we see in the world around us? What do our eyes
record in our minds and in our hearts?
The other night as we sat in the ball games for the
Stake, a little boy was passing by and I spoke to him, "Hello Rooster
how are you tonight". He stopped and turned and solemnly looked at me
taking in the details of my old face. I saw a beautiful little boy
with blonde curling hair and big blue eyes seriously giving me the
once over. I thought at the time, what can he see? Then he seriously
confided, "When you get old you have bumps".
After a good laugh I thought to myself how little he
knows of the bumps that I have had in my life. I don't really know
what bumps he was referring to or what bumps he was seeing but it
caused me to reflect on the things that I see and the things that I
The Savior in his teachings tells us: "The light of the
body is the eye; If therefore, thine eye be single, the whole body
shall be full of light". He goes on to explain that the way we see
things will affect our whole bodies and especially our minds and
hearts. For my purpose I will paraphrase his famous quote. "Lay up not
for yourselves MEMORIES of the sordid and evil things of this world
but, lay up for yourselves MEMORIES of the beauties and the joyful
things for eternity." It is not what we see that affects us but how we
see it and how we take it that affects our minds and hearts. We each
see things differently, and they become part of us as we see them, and
as they are for us at that moment.
This whole sermon of the Master Teacher was to help us,
learn to see his teachings as the only way to joy and happiness and
the only way to return to live with Him and our Heavenly Father. If we
accept Him and His teachings then all that we see will be for our
good. " Behold the fowls of the air, for they sow not neither do they
reap nor gather into barns; Yet your Father in Heaven feedeth them,
Are ye not much better than they"? I would like to take this out of
context and depart from the usual interpretation.
As I walk out into our yard these beautiful spring days
I beheld the fowls of the air. How busy they are working in all
diligence to fulfill the measure of their creation. I see two
beautiful Mourning Doves busily carrying sticks to build their little
flat nest in the heart of the Prickly Pear Cactus in the yard. As they
search for sticks they pick up any seed or grain and tiny peaces of
gravel to fill there craw and ease their hunger. When they go to drink
they emerge their dainty bills in the water clear up to their eyes and
fill their craws with large gulps of water. Soon the nest is finished
and they make love quietly kissing each other with their dainty bills.
While the mother is laying and incubating the eggs the father early in
the morning sings his love song to his lady love from a tree near
While this is going on not fifty yards away two Mocking
Birds are going through the same process and building their more
complicated nest hidden among the thorns and branches of the
Paracantha tree next to our bedroom window. They are living in a
different world than the Mourning doves. Theirs is a world of
searching for insects, Caterpillars and fruit. The father marks his
territory with his song and defends it fiercely from intruders. The
Mourning doves are not of his world so they sing and live in peace
side by side. While the mother incubates her eggs the father sings his
many calls and trills, mocking the calls of hundreds of the songsters
of the bird world. At this time he sings most all of the time hardly
stopping to eat, changing from Tree to tree or even singing from the
chimney, but always where he can be heard by his sweetheart sitting
faithfully on the nest. Generally he sings through the night
especially if the romantic moon is shining.
Nearby in the world of watered lawns, Angle Worms and
Water Bugs, a pair of Boat Tailed Grackles are starting to feed their
tiny chicks. This entails much work and searching in the water, and
grassy places for unwary worms and anything that will provide
sustenance for their hungry family. This family can consist of four or
even five chicks all opening wide their gaping mouths to receive their
portion of the food brought to them. Their Long Tailed Black Bird
Parents fly constantly from day light to dark from their nest high in
the Italian spruce tree to where ever the lawns of the town are being
irrigated. This year is the fourth year for these parents to use the
same nest which was made very substantially with mud reinforced with
roots and grass to form a good base and lined on the inside with
cotton and soft feathers. The father is much larger than the mother
and has shiny black feathers that have a shiny purple hue that gives
them the name also of Purple Grackle. When two males confront each
other at times they stand straight with their beaks pointing straight
into the air with their bright yellow eyes searching the sky and
carefully watching each other. I have never seen them fight each other
only measure each other carefully.
In the midst of these three families, live a pair of
House Finches that like to build their nest as near the house as
possible. Even inside the garage if they are permitted to. This little
sparrow like bird is distinguished by his rose hued head and breast
and his clear little song. They too are performing their work and
fulfilling the measure of their creation. Paying no attention to the
contentious Mocking Bird or the noisy Black Bird. .
The Black Birds, the Mocking Birds the Mourning doves
and the house finches all live and nest here in our yard but seem to
be in different worlds as far as competition goes. I see that the Lord
has provided a place for them to be fed without having to fight each
other for their food. But they have to work for it constantly
searching and busily providing for the young.
The little Mourning doves grew rapidly and were well
fed. One day we went out to see them and found their mother trying to
cover them with her fluffed out feathers to protect them from the sun.
They were so big that they were poking out on each side of her. She
sat quietly and we could tell that she was very proud of her two baby
chicks. The next day I asked Naoma to come a0nd see them how big they
had grown but when we got out there the nest was empty. We were
worried and thought maybe a cat had found their nest but hoping they
had left of their own free will. We were happy to find that the
Parents were still feeding them while they were learning to fly. They
had been hiding under the big spiny cactus leaves in security.
Our Heavenly Father has provided a way to feed us in
this wonderful world. If we obey his commandments then he will take
care of us just as he takes care of the fowls of the air. We are his
children and he loves us and has given us all things in the world for
our use. Some things are to please the eye and gladden the heart.
Others are to provide food, clothing and shelter. He has sent us here
to gain earthly experience and teach and train our minds and bodies to
help them grow to the stature of our spirits.
Here I am talking about the Lord feeding us. He has
given us the commandment to earn our bread by the sweat of our brow.
Also he has said, "Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work." The
rest is up to us. We must choose what we will work at and we also can
choose to have joy in our work and in all that we do. He has indicated
that if we seek first the kingdom of heaven then all of these things
will be added unto us.
The fowls of the air are so caught up in living and
providing for their young and enjoying life that I am sure they take
no thought for the morrow and don't worry about their security. They
simply trust in the lord. This is over simplifying but we can learn a
lesson from the Lord's teaching.
Isn't it wonderful that we all see things differently
yet we are trying to become one in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is
essentially a very involved process because of our differences in
experience, feelings and how we see things and how they are envisioned
in our minds.
Our concept of any one thing is our total experience
with that particular thing and that includes what we hear of it and
how we see it.
I wish to illustrate by this little picture from the
Don Trinidad De La Cruz came to work for us on the farm
out on the flat. He was a vigorous 60 some odd years old and had spent
his life farming and gardening down in the State of Aguas Calientes.
He urged me to plant Chile as that is what he knew and what he was
very good at. He made the hot beds just as he knew how and grew the
beautiful plants and set them out. He cultivated them and watered them
raised a very good chile crop. When the time came to harvest he wanted
to make the drying sheds. We hauled from out near the foot hills big
loads of the tough three cornered grass for the roofs of the sheds. He
cut poles for the frame work and ingeniously tied little bundles of
the grass and laid them together for a very substantial roof. I was
awed by his knowledge and experience in all of his work. When all was
done and the Chile was drying he said that he was ready to help with
the other farm work. We had some plowing to do so I suggested that he
learn to drive the tractor to help with the plowing. He agreed and we
got out the big John Deere Model D tractor and placed it on the road
pointing toward the field we wanted to plow. We got Don Trino up on
the tractor seat and explained how to put it in gear and how to push
the clutch lever forward to start to go and to pull it back to stop
the tractor. After explaining everything that I thought he should know
to operate the tractor I stepped down and told him to go ahead and
that I would follow to help him get started.
He reached down and engaged the clutch. The big tractor
lunged forward and turned sharply to the left and went right through a
new four wire barbed wire fence and lurched through an irrigation
ditch making deep ruts and letting the water flood out on both sides.
Don Trino sat like a bronze statue his dark Indian face was a mask
without expression. His hands gripped the steering wheel firmly but
with out moving. The powerful tractor turned in a circle and came back
through the ditch and the new fence scattering all of the shocked
observers. I jumped up onto the tractor beside Don Trino and pulled
back on the clutch lever and stopped the tractor. Don Trino climbed
down from the tractor and walked stolidly to the house. After he had
gone we could not hold back the laughter and we had to run for the
shovels to repair the ditch to save the precious water. What was a
funny incident for us was a very traumatic experience for him. We
never discussed it with him and we realized that driving a tractor was
a totally foreign experience to him. I can imagine his concept of
tractors from then on.
Shortly after that I decided that I could no longer
keep our pet wolf here at the house with so many little children
around. We had come home from church one day and heard the chickens
squawking and making a lot of noise. Our loving and friendly pet wolf
was playing with the chickens. He would playfully run and grab one and
crunch with his powerful jaws and then run and catch another one. By
the time I got there dead chickens were littering the floor of the
coop. I grabbed the broom and in anger began to beat him with it. The
wolf whined and crouched down receiving his punishment until he
finally decided that he had enough. He growled and jumped at me. I
caught him in midair and knocked him back with the broom. He quickly
turned and ran out the door. After a few minutes I went out and petted
him in apology and he was his old friendly loving self again.
After consulting with Naoma she suggested that I take
the wolf out to the farm on the flat and tie him with a chain on a
long wire. We tied him in the shade near the ditch so that he could
have plenty of water and left Don Trino the food to feed him with. As
I was leaving he gave a long lonesome howl that nearly melted me but
the decision had been made. The next morning Don Trino came in to tell
me that the wolf had gotten loose in the night and had started to come
home but on the way he had stopped to play with one of Joe Beecroft's
cows and had mangled one hind leg, her ears and neck by the time Don
Trino found him to take him back.
How was I to tell Joe about my playful wolf stopping on
the way home to play with one of his cows and leaving her near death.
I was sure that he would see things by a different light. I got my
Pistol and went out and did what I had to do. I shot our playful
friendly wolf and brought the collar and chain home for future use on
a dog that might see things differently.
Each phrase or word can evoke very different pictures
in each of our minds. Just as an example take the word Turkey. For me
it brings pleasant pictures into my mind such as seeing a big
beautiful Turkey Gobbler strutting into a clearing in the early dawn
light and hearing a booming gobble that resounds on the cold morning
air. Then my mouth begins to water as I picture the slices of Turkey
Breast sizzling on the grill.
Yes. We all see things just a little differently but
may we all thank our Heavenly Father for the gift of sight and ask for
his help to see the things that will bring everlasting joy and
satisfaction. May we always see each other as He sees us when he looks
upon our hearts.