Gerry Avant, Deseret Morning News
President Thomas S. Monson embraces Robert Wray, 10, at a ward reunion in February at the Salt Lake Pioneer Stake Center.

In the vicinity where I once lived and served, we operated a poultry project. Most of the time it was an efficiently operated project, supplying to the (bishops') storehouse thousands of dozens of fresh eggs and hundreds of pounds of dressed poultry.

"On a few occasions, however, the experience of being volunteer city farmers provided not only blisters on the hands but also frustration of heart and mind.

"For instance, I shall ever remember the time we gathered together the Aaronic Priesthood young men to really give the project a spring-cleaning treatment. Our enthusiastic and energetic throng assembled at the project and in a speedy fashion uprooted, gathered and burned large quantities of weeds and debris.

"By the light of the glowing bonfires, we ate hot dogs and congratulated ourselves on a job well done. The project was now neat and tidy.

"However, there was just one disastrous problem: The noise and the fires had so disturbed the fragile and temperamental population of 5,000 laying hens that most of them went into a sudden molt and ceased laying. Thereafter we tolerated a few weeds that we might produce more eggs."

General conference, October 1988