Friday, June 24, 2011


This week, while the Knight and I were working in the yard one morning, the unmistakable sound of helicopters suddenly filled the air. I stopped what I was doing and looked skyward. The sound became louder and louder, and finally the first helicopter came into view, quickly followed by a second, then a third . . . .
In all, there were eight of them. Black military helicopters. They were flying in a kind of staggered formation. They came from the north, flew over Provo to the east of us, and headed south towards Springville and Spanish Fork. I felt that I had just witnessed something special. Wow!
I wondered what they were doing and where they were going. Before the day was over, I knew the answers to my questions. The eight Blackhawks plus 66 National Guard Troops were on their way to Texas, and from there they were going to Afghanistan for a one-year deployment.
The following are photos from the Deseret News:

The front page photo of this Deseret News story was of the boy crying. All I could think was, “I pray your father returns home safely.”  I don’t think most of us appreciate the monumental sacrifices made by these families.

The Deseret News article, "Utah Guard Blackhawk crews bound for Afghanistan," was written by Steve Fidel. The photos were by Revell Call.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


The UNpredictable-ness of the weather goes without saying. In spite of sophisticated satellite and radar technology or advanced degrees in meteorology, the TV weather guys are lucky to be spot-on only about 50 percent of the time.
Last night they told us that the major flooding caused by snow melt, which they have been forecasting as imminent since May, is finally going to happen. However, last night’s prediction was made with more than normal confidence. It appears that a heat wave this week is inevitable. And rapid snow melt is, therefore, inevitable.

What is interesting to me was how June refused to act like June until yesterday. The cooler than normal and dryer than normal June has seemed to me to be Providential. It seemed to me that major flooding was held in abeyance for as long as possible to give more people more time to prepare for the inevitable. There have, of course, been others who were the unfortunate victims of early flooding. Their plight, widely publicized, has helped to galvanize hundreds of volunteers into action filling sand bags and helping the victims. Nevertheless, the unusually slow warm-up has probably spared the vast majority of flood zone residents an utter catastrophe.

A city official from a local community in a flood zone was interviewed on TV last night. He was full of confidence that his community is prepared for the coming flood. The sand bags are in place. More sand bags and large equipment are ready to be deployed at a moment’s notice. I sincerely hope his optimism is justified. Other communities that have failed to respond in like manner now face inevitable disaster.
As I watch the various forecasts and the reports of nature unleashed, I know full well that some kind of disaster could also befall me, just as it has befallen countless multitudes across the globe recently.  As I have watched, I have wondered, “ How well  am I prepared?”
I have witnessed the Hand of God holding back the forces of nature as well as of unrighteous political entities. I know that He gives us many warnings and more than ample time to prepare. He is a merciful God. But the inevitable is, after all, inevitable. 

However, I am comforted that there is a “one-size-fits-all” preparation. After doing all we can do with food storage and financial reserves and 72-hour kits, we may or may not be prepared to weather any coming storms. But the one-size-fits-all preparation that will help anyone weather any potential disaster is spiritual preparation. This is done persistently one day at a time, seeking the Holy Ghost and the Lord’s guiding hand in all that we do, keeping in tune with spiritual promptings. This is the only Sure Way.   

... just "watching" ...