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Fathers Protect Their Nests
There was a hunter on a hunting expedition in the Amazon. It was the last day of the trip. He rose early in the morning to enjoy one more day in the jungle. As he was watching the sun rise, he noticed a family of large birds. The mother bird is tending to the baby birds while the father flies from place to place retrieving food for his hungry family.
While watching this scene, out of the corner of his eye the hunter catches movement on an adjoining branch to the birdís nest. He looks closely and realizes that the movement is a very poisonous snake slowly making his way towards the mother bird and the babies anticipating an easy meal. About the same time the father bird drops food of to the nest and spots the snake. In panic the father bird quickly flies away. The hunter is disappointed thinking that the father bird has abandoned his family to a sure and certain death.
As the hunter watches the father bird's retreat he sees the bird begin to land on one tree for a few seconds only to fly to another tree and leave. This is repeated over and over until the father bird finally lands on a small bush and then the bird breaks off a leafy twig from the bush and rushes back to the nest. The serpent is dangerously close. The father bird places the leaves over the front edge of the nest closet to the snake and then he retreats to a nearby branch to watch. The serpent draws within striking range. He forms the deadly "s" and launches himself in deadly arc towards the baby birds. However, when the snake is moving forward it touches the leaf and instantly recoils as if in pain and falls out of the tree. The hunter raises his rifle and shoots the snake.
He picked up the snake and then he gets a twig off the bush the bird used and he takes it back to the village where he is staying. He shows the snake and the leaves to the villagers. He says, "I donít understand why the snake pulled back." The villagers explained that the leaf that the father bird chose was from the only bush in the jungle that is poisonous to the snake. The father bird new how to protect his nest.
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Robert Hingson is a physician, an anesthesiologist, working out of Pittsburgh. A Baptist layman, he got interested in the plight of the diseased peoples of the world. He found out that thousands of the worldís children are dying from a host of contagious diseases. So Bob Hingson coaxed some money out of his colleagues in the medical profession, he talked some pharmaceutical manufacturers out of a supply of vaccine, and went off to Central America to inoculate children against some of the diseases that were taking their lives.
But Dr. Hingson found out that as soon as he set up shop and got the word out that he could keep people from having all this illness, they lined up by the hundreds and the thousands to receive treatment. He found that he and his one or two helpers could have vaccinated people twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, in an endless line, and still the task would not have been finished.
And so Bob Hingson came back to Pittsburgh with a burden on his heart and an idea in his mind. He got together with some of his physicist friends, and they developed a high-speed, high-pressure inoculator, a kind of jet gun, so that a person can just bare his arm, and with one high-pressure squirt instead of the usual needle, several different vaccines can go in simultaneously. It doesnít even break the skin. Something like one thousand people an hour could be vaccinated with one of these!
Now Dr. Hingson and his helpers could go anywhere in the world, set up with what he calls the "Peace Gun" and "shoot" thousands of people with health, not with death. In nearly forty years of work, itís estimated that this one manís efforts have immunized ten million people. Some nations have had diseases wholly eradicated, just from the efforts of this one man, this Baptist layman, Robert Hingson.
But now hereís why I think of him. Like anybody would have to do, in order to do this task in an orderly way, and so that he could receive financial support, he set up a non-profit foundation. It was called My Brotherís Keeper. You know exactly where he got that name, My Brotherís Keeper. But a Nigerian student challenged him, "We donít need a keeper; we need a brother." Bob Hingson recognized immediately what was at stake; he changed the name. No longer is his group called My Brotherís Keeper. Now it is the Brotherís Brother Foundation.
(From a sermon by Joseph Smith, "Marked Men")
ďA Gold Mine of Opportunity!Ē Genesis 41: 1-14 Key verse(s): 14: ďSo Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and he was quickly brought from the dungeon. When he had shaved and changed his clothes, he came before Pharaoh.Ē
There once was an old Dutch farmer who owned a farm in a semi-arid part of South Africa which had, over the years, gone from semi-arid to arid. Even though his crop was wheat which required little moisture to grow and his few livestock did not require much in the way of feed and forage, as the land grew more and more arid, it was not long before the wheat that he did plant was stunted and fruitless while his livestock, bereft of adequate pasture, had to be sold. He loved the land. It had been his fatherís and that of his father before him. Yet, he slowly became convinced that his was the last farm on the land. He would have sell and move on. It would not be an easy thing to do since the land was no longer fit for farming or even grazing. Who would buy it? Day after day he rode his horse out to a ridge in the center of his land, the highest point on his property. From this vantage point he could see his entire ranch, the abandoned fields and the dusty roads leading to and from his ramshackle barns. In the distance he could hear the mournful lowing of the few cattle he had left. It was his custom to ride out to this point, a rocky granite outcropping in the middle of nowhere, dismount and sit. As he sat he cried.
One day a man drove up from the city. He had seen the ad in the paper for 400 acres of land for sale. The price was right, only $25,000. That came to less than $70 an acre. He seemed all too happy to make the farmer an offer and the farmer was all too happy to accept the money for land that had little or no value to it as it was. Several weeks later, after the farmer had moved family and goods, the new owner came back to the land. But, this time he did not come alone. He brought with him a geologist and a small mining crew. Less than a month later news had quickly spread that a great discovery had taken place on an old farmstead near Durban, South Africa. One of the richest gold mines in Africa had been discovered on a rocky outcropping in the middle of an arid plain. The spot marking the site of the first test core drilling was exactly the same spot that the old farmer used to used as his place to sit, cry and mourn the uselessnes...