On Saturday March 18, 2017, 9:00 a.m-1:30 p.m., the Lethbridge Alberta West Stake held a Preparedness Fair. The objective of the event was to encourage people to be both spiritually and temporally prepared. The theme was “Functioning like a Beehive”, which was derived from an address entitled “Be Anxiously Engaged” given at the October 2012 General Conference by Elder M. Russell Ballard.
In that address, Elder Ballard taught that:
“It is estimated that to produce just one pound (0.45 kg) of honey, the average hive of 20,000 to 60,000 bees must collectively visit millions of flowers and travel the equivalent of two times around the world. Over its short lifetime of just a few weeks to four months, a single honeybee’s contribution of honey to its hive is a mere one-twelfth of one teaspoon.
“Though seemingly insignificant when compared to the total, each bee’s one-twelfth of a teaspoon of honey is vital to the life of the hive. The bees depend on each other. Work that would be overwhelming for a few bees to do becomes lighter because all of the bees faithfully do their part.…
“All of this symbolism attests to one fact: great things are brought about and burdens are lightened through the efforts of many hands “anxiously engaged in a good cause” (D&C 58:27). Imagine what the millions of Latter-day Saints could accomplish in the world if we functioned like a beehive in our focused, concentrated commitment to the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Be Anxiously Engaged)
It seemed to us that, by working together as members of our wards, the stake, and the church, we can accomplish much more than we ever could individually. We decided that we wanted to display the resources available to help us to “Function Like a Beehive”, as well as providing training that would enhance our efforts individually and as a body.
Numerous planning committee meetings were held under the direction of the High Councillor responsible for Stake Welfare, Brother Ken Rees. Committee members included: Stake Welfare Specialist Sister Linda Fleck; Ward Welfare Specialists Sister Gloria Robbins, Brother Chris Eagan, Brother Eric Eklund, Brother Peter Etches, Brother Peter VanSchaik, Sister Naomi McConnell, and Sister Deb French; and Stake High Council Perfecting the Saints Committee members Brother David Hill and Brother David Jensen.
The Stake President, President Douglas Atwood, introduced our incredible Guest Speaker, Elder James E. Evanson of the Seventy who spoke between 9:15 and 10:00 a.m.
The Cultural Hall housed several interactive stations including:
-Pathway Service Missionaries
Designed to give students the confidence and skills needed to succeed in college, Pathway is a low-cost educational opportunity that combines online courses with local gatherings. Students earn college credit that is eligible for transfer to BYU-Idaho and some other universities. The program takes one year (or three semesters) to complete and can lead to professional certificates and degrees. https://pathway.lds.org/Main/Information
-Bishops Storehouse Service Missionaries
The bishop has the responsibility to care for the poor and needy within the boundaries of his ward. One resource available to accomplish this task is the Bishops’ Storehouse—a place where those in need can go to obtain food and other supplies at the recommendation of their bishop.
The storehouse is filled with commodities provided by fast offerings and other generous donations from members. Food and supplies from the bishops’ storehouse can also be sent to those affected by natural disasters, wars, or economic crises at a moment’s notice. https://providentliving.lds.org/bishops-storehouse?lang=eng
-LDS Family Services Representative
LDS Family Services helps Church leaders care for individuals with social and emotional challenges by providing resources that are in harmony with gospel principles. These services include:
Consultation Services for Church leaders
Single Expectant Parent Services
Adoption Consultation and Referrals
-ARP Service Missionaries
The 12-step program incorporates gospel principles and fosters recovery and healing. Resources are offered for those dealing with or recovering from addictions, as well as family and friends. https://addictionrecovery.lds.org/?lang=eng
Millions of people have had their lives changed by talking with the missionaries. All over the world, missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints share a message of happiness about God’s plan and the divine mission of Jesus Christ. https://www.mormon.org/missionaries
-Family Home Evening
Family home evening is a time to strengthen family ties. We do this by learning the gospel together, by listening to each other’s feelings, thoughts and ideas, and by enjoying activities together. It is usually held on Monday evenings. https://www.lds.org/topics/family-home-evening/purpose?lang=eng&old=true
-72 hour kits
Church members are encouraged to prepare for adversity by building a basic supply of food, water, money, and, over time, longer-term supply items. Beyond this, Church members may choose to store additional items that could be of use during times of distress. http://providentliving.com/preparedness/prepguide/emergencykit/
Members worldwide are encouraged to prepare for adversity in life by having a basic supply of food and water and some money in savings, so that, should adversity come, we may care for ourselves and our neighbors, and support bishops as they care for others. With careful planning, you can, over time, establish a home storage supply and a financial reserve. https://providentliving.lds.org/self-reliance/food-storage/home-storage-center-order-form?lang=eng
-Car emergency kits
You never know when your vehicle might break down, auto accidents may keep you in a car for hours, or weather might impede travel. The need for very basic items such as water, food, warmth, light, first aid, and communication may become very important to you. http://www.ldsliving.com/Auto-Emergency-Kits-Worth-Their-Weight-in-Gold/s/71132
We are blessed to live, learn, and serve in this most remarkable dispensation. An important aspect of the fulness that is available to us in this special season is a miraculous progression of innovations and inventions that have enabled and accelerated the work of salvation: from trains to telegraphs to radios to automobiles to airplanes to telephones to transistors to televisions to computers to satellite transmissions to the Internet—and to an almost endless list of technologies and tools that bless our lives. All of these advancements are part of the Lord hastening His work in the latter days. http://tech.lds.org/wiki/Main_Page
At JustServe, we believe that nothing should get in the way of organizations and volunteers coming together to do good things for the community, so we help make this happen for free. https://www.justserve.org/
From 10:15 to 11:15 a.m. we offered 7 classes including:
-Spiritual preparedness – Michelle Anderson
As members of the Church of Jesus Christ, we are responsible to bring forth fruits of righteousness. In this class, we looked at what we need to do to increase our testimony and conversion through daily righteousness.
-Young marrieds’ class – Brandon and Betsy Fletcher
Do you think your marriage isn’t perfect? You are experiencing what every other married couple comes to realize! Marriage is work and requires a mutual degree of love, toleration, and empathy. This session focussed on strategies, skills, and activities that can improve any marriage.
-Employment/Education – Dave Reeve
Are you at a crossroads, looking for a new job, or exploring education options? This workshop taught the tools needed to assist you in your search.
-Home storage/preparation – Marie Edwards
A Beginner’s Guide to Food Preservation and Storage. A basic introduction to the fine art and science of food preservation and canning.
-Financial preparedness – Jason Baker
Budgeting, debt control, and living within your means.
-Finding balance in your life – Keith Dudley and Jennifer Thibodeau
How to find a balance in this busy world, while staying in the moment, and finding joy in the journey.
-Handyman class – Jeremy Gook
The instructor’s goal was “to help integrate WD-40 and duct tape for all your home repairs.” A basic introduction for the “wanna-be” home handyman/woman.
The above classes were repeated from 11:30-12:30 p.m.
These classes were followed by more mingling at the stations in the Cultural Hall and a light lunch. We concluded the event by 1:30 p.m.
An eye-catching homemade table made from wood pallets was assembled in each foyer displaying many BEE related items.
The decorations of the day, included tastefully done signage for the stations, crafted Beehives, honey jars, bees wax, plenty of flowers, and many other appealing yellow and black items.
All of the presenters, teachers, and speakers were outstanding and we thank them very much for their contributions.
We would also like to express our appreciation to all those who assisted with the event in so many ways, including setting up and taking down tables and chairs, decorating, food preparation, clean-up, and many more.
We would hope that those who attended would return to their homes with a better understanding of, and commitment to, “BEE prepared”.