About seventy five years ago in Dublan about a half a block from our home, the Vicente Flores family lived. They lived in a little house that still stands today. Behind the house Don Vicente had a big carpenter shop in which he, with the help of his boys, filled all of the carpentry needs of our town. I remember the machinery they had in that big shop. As I go back in time I can smell the strong piney scent of the fresh shavings and hear the loud whining brrrrrrrrrrrr!!!! Of the planer. I can see Don Vicente with his glasses on carefully cutting an intricate design on the narrow band saw. I can see Arturo and Lemuel on each end of a long board holding it steady as they pushed it slowly through the whining rip saw.

Don Vicente was a quiet man and a faithful member of the church. I remember his soft voice touched with sadness as he told me of the death of his oldest son Daniel. It was an accident in the carpenter shop and he cautioned us to stay a distance from the machines when they were working.

One day as I came out our front gate I looked high in the air to see a kite that seemed unmoving in the sky. Only the tail fluttered gently to denote the breeze that held it steady in the Blue sky. I went out into the street to watch the kite and Arturo and Lemuel Flores were in the street trying to get another kite up. There was no wind down in the street but there seemed to be a steady breeze up where the other kite was. They would run in the street pulling the kite on the end of the string. The kite would go up into the air a ways while they were running but as soon as they stopped the kite would slowly come back to earth and lie lifeless on the ground. I asked them how they had gotten the other kite up and they said that their father had gotten it up easily the night before because there was a nice breeze that evening. I was incredulous that the kite that was up there so steady today had been sent up last evening and had been up all night. Don Vicente had gotten it up at the full length of the string and when it steadied he had tied the string to a little tree and had left it there all night.

I curiously examined the kite they were trying to fly to see how it was made that it could fly so steadily and stay up in the air so effortlessly. The frame of the kite was made of split Bamboo. Two pieces were the same length and were placed so that they formed and X with a cross piece crossing at where the X crossed. The bottom part of the X was longer than the top part so the cross piece was about 2/3 of the way up on the X. The kite was covered with a heavy brown paper, probably from a paper bag. We went into the carpenter shop and the boys told their father that there was no wind to fly the kite. He smiled and said we will fly it up this evening to keep the other one company. He was confident that the kite was made right and would fly just like the one that was up in the air.

I asked him to teach me how to make a kite like that and he proceeded to tell me how it was made. He explained that the bridle was very important and that it had to be measured and tied with three strings coming from the two points on top of the X and the other string coming from the center where the X and the cross piece were tied together. When the bridle was tied it should be equally distant from each of the three points so that it would hold the kite at the correct angle so that the wind would push it up until it seemed almost straight up. He then explained that the tail was very important and had to be just the right length and weight to flow straight out back of the kite and hold it steady so that it didn't spin or dart from side to side. The tail was fastened to the two struts or the bottom of the X and was made of a long string with paper strips of about six inches long tied across it at intervals creating a pull on the bottom of the kite and flowing straight out back in the wind. He told me that the stronger the wind the more tail had to be added to keep the kite steady.

I went home and with my new found knowledge of kites and with my mother's help I built a kite similar to Don Vicente's It didn't fly as good as his. I guess I didn't get the measurements exactly right . Through the years I built many kites big ones and little ones. When our children were growing up I helped them make kites and some of them won the kite flying contest that was sponsored each year by the Primary organization. I remember on one occasion my son Tracy and I had built a very good kite and we were flying it in a very good wind and it was going higher and higher to the full length of the string. As it came to the end of the string Tracy did not notice that the end of the string was not firmly tied to the spool. The string went off the spool releasing the kite to the mercy of the wind. It came down and down fluttering helplessly driven by the wind until it caught in the bare branches of a big tree. There it hung beating itself to pieces as the wind whipped it back and forth. Tracy climbed up to untangle the string and the tail and finally salvaged the frame and the tail and most of the string.

As I remember my experiences with kites I am impressed with the fact that the kite cannot fly without the string. Even with lots of string and a good bridle and the tail just the right weight The kite cannot fly without the wind to push it up pulling hard on the string. The string and the bridle is what controls the kite against the resistance of the wind. If the bridle is not right then the kite well seem to fly high into the air then suddenly dive toward the ground with great force and speed. Some times it will recover just before it hits the ground and soar again into the blue only to dive again and again.

When the tail or the bridle are not right it sometimes climbs high into the air and suddenly dives toward the earth and is dashed into the ground and is sadly broken.

In our lives if we bridle our passions and are held steady by the word of the Lord and the Gospel of Jesus Christ we can climb to great heights using the winds of adversity and the resistance and opposition to push us up and keep us there. When we are held steady by the tail of our spiritual experiences and keep the covenants we make with the Lord we can continue upward and be steady and beautiful in our flight.

If we do not bridle our passions or keep our covenants then like the kite we can dive to the earth and be broken in our fall. If we break the string that holds us to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to our Heavenly Father we will be turned loose to the mercy of the winds of adversity and to the buffetings of Satan and end up tangled and torn in the snare of the adversary. Thanks to the mercy of our Heavenly Father and the Atonement of Jesus Christ we can repent and put back together our broken lives and fix the bridle of our lives and renew our covenants and again fly into the heavens and remain steadfast and immovable in the winds of adversity and the resistance of the opposition.

Like the kite we must be held steady by obedience to the laws and principles of the Gospel and use the winds of adversity to climb up and up until we reach our potential. We must be exact in our self discipline and bridle our passions and use them for good and to help us keep steady. We must see to it that we are also helped to grow by work in the church and the service to our fellow men giving us joy and happiness and a tail to flow out behind and keep our flight steady and sustained.

May we be like Don Vicente's kite perfectly bridled and held by the strong string of the Word of the lord. May we develop a long tail of service to our fellow men and to the Lord's Church. Then in the winds of adversity we will be pushed up and be strong and steady in our lives and have peace and joy each day.