Sunday, January 17, 2010

All Creatures Great and Small

Years ago I was digging through the used books at Deseret Industries (DI) and came across some by James Herriot. Little did I know I was about to embark on a great series worth far more than the twenty-five cents a copy I paid! These are the titles I have: All Creatures Great and Small, All Things Bright and Beautiful, All Things Wise and Wonderful, The Lord God Made Them All, James Herriot's Yorkshire, James Herriot's Dog Stories, and Every Living Thing. The books can be found in the nonfiction section at your library because they are the true experiences of a veterinarian in Yorkshire, England back in the 1920's. The author's real name is Alf Wight. He started his country practice while in his twenties but didn't begin writing until he was in his fifties. You will fall in love with the characters!

Well, it just so happens that the BBC made a wonderful television series based on these books and you can play them on your computer through Netflix. Oh, Netflix, oh, BBC, how I LOVE you! I just finished season one (13 episodes) this afternoon and am so grateful there are six more seasons (approximately 77 more episodes for my viewing pleasure)! Just like the books, the program makes me laugh and cry. I highly recommend these books and this show!!!

Speaking of "Every Living Thing," today's Sunday School lesson was about the Creation. We studied the scriptures from Moses, Abraham, and Genesis. The scriptures are very clear about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ organizing matter and creating the Earth for us. I like how Adam got to name everything--all the birds, beasts, animals, fowl, etc. I too like to name things. Some of my favorite places around here are: J's Meadow, The Enchanted Forest, Dutch Oven Flat, and A Meadow with a View. You won't find those names on any topo maps, but those places belong to me and they are special.

I also thought about my fellow park rangers. Nancy will pass a rare sego lily or quiet rattlesnake on the trail and simply say, "Hi, Sweetie." Rangers tend to get very upset if someone messes with one of their flowers, plants, leaves, trees, rocks, cave formations, chipmunks, squirrels, birds, rattlesnakes, or whatever! It's not because they're paid or wearing a badge, it's because they have acquired that respect and reverence for a certain place and all the living things associated with that place. Other people feel it too. A woman named Janie in my ward told me about protecting the ducks near our apartment complex when some kids were harrassing them. Another neighbor, Sue, reminds the children to stop breaking the branches off trees. I love the way K exclaims and exults over the flowers when we go hiking in the summer time. I understood better, while teaching the Sunday School lesson today, that many people are already park rangers in their hearts. They accept stewardship over the Earth and every living thing upon it without wearing the green and the gray. We need this kind of reverence concerning the Lord's handiwork. Sometimes I go to the Mountain of the Lord (temple) and sometimes I go to the Mountain (anywhere outside). Both places are sacred and help me to feel closer to my Father in Heaven.

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