Saturday, April 11, 2015

Bethine Sax Bernhisel-Mom, a photo collage of of her life- Marc Bernhisel

 Bethine Sax Bernhisel was born in Mackey Idaho on July 7th 1927 and grew up Eureka Utah. She was the oldest of 5 children. Her father, Ernest Sax, a silver miner, died of pneumonia when mom was 10 years old, leaving Grandma Sax to care for Bethine, uncle Bud and aunts Jo Ann, Marion and Jeanine whom she was pregnant with at Grandpa's death, during the depression era of the 1930's.
Mom met and married  a pre-med student,  Harris "Harry" Bernhisel at the University of Utah in the midst of World War II. She had graduated from LDS School of Nursing and was attending the University of Utah. After completing medical school at the "U", Dad did and internship in Albany NewYork in 1949-1950 and then came to the University of Minnesota to do a residency in neurology. They settled in a suburb of Minneapolis where they bought their "little Blue House" which they worked on and expanded all the time we were in Minnesota.


Mom who became a mom Nov.26th 1950. (University of Minnesota)
Mom, Dad and Marc at the North Shore
Mom and Marc on the front steps of the 'Little Blue  House'
 The day that I was set apart to be a Mission President, June 22 of 2012 by Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the 12, mom told me that the then, Dr. Nelson (also a resident at the U of M), visited her and me, the day I was born.  Elder Nelson, just before he set me apart, related to me the story of that same visit.

Mom, Marc and Rhet on Stevens Ave. Richfield
The Little Blue House-early days
My brother,  Rhet Warren, was born in 1953. My parents loved the lakes in Minnesota and loved the outdoors. We skied, skated and camped. Mom and Dad were amongst a core of great people that had  part in the foundation and growth of the Church in Minnesota and Wisconsin. They always were on the go with church assignments, which took them to remote branches. Our home was a gathering place for the YSA and missionaries. We always had people over to our house for dinner.   My parents were great missionaries.  Often as we went to church, we were frequently accompanied by a person that they were teaching the Gospel to.

Dad, Mom, Marc & Rhet
Jo Ann, Grandma Sax, Mom, Bud, Dad, Marc (with chicken pox), Rhet (in front)
Skiing in Ontonagon Michigan (N.peninsula)

Skiing with mom. Alta Utah

 My little brother Rhet,  age 5, died in a drowning accident. It was devastating to all of us. A day before his death, he gave my mom a bunch of daisies that he had picked from our garden-knowing how much Mom loved flowers. He planted the stems in dirt he had carefully put into a plastic holder and told her "these flowers will never die."
My mother had struggled with infertility after Rhet was born, which continued after his death. I had apparently suggested that they "buy a baby at the Baby Store." Later, in a way, they did just that. They adopted my sister Ann and brother Paul in Minnesota and then after moving to Bountiful Utah, they adopted my brother Todd.

My father did another residency in radiology at the U of M and afterward they made a difficult decision to leave Minnesota, which they loved, to return to Utah. From that point in 1964,  Mom and Dad have lived in their Bountiful home.

Mom with Paul and aunt Betty with Todd
Dad, Mom, Mongkol Tungmala and Marc. A trip to Hawaii and then to Thailand
Mom and Virginia Kirkham at Marc and Julee's wedding reception
Gretchen and Mom
Before leaving for my mission to Thailand in 1970, my mom had the distinct feelings of 'morning sickness. Sure enough, after 17 years of infertility, she was pregnant again with my sister Gretchen, born in April of 1970.                                           
Marc, Julee, Gretchen, Ann, Mom, Dad, Todd and Paul-Bountiful Home
Mom and granddaughter Brooke
Mom became a Grandma in 1976 with the birth of Heidi. Mom took Gretchen, then just turned 6 years old, to an outside window at the old South Davis Hospital, looking into the nursery. When Gretchen saw the adorable baby, who mom had pointed to,  Gretchen turned to mom and yelled "grandma, grandma, your a grandma."

Gretchen,Todd and Mom in New York
Now a 'grandma great' (first great grandchild 1998 Mckenzie) Tyler, Mckenzie, Heidi and Mom
Sax Sisters: Jeanine, Marion,Jo Ann and Mom
Mom, Dad and Jenny Leigh at her HS graduation 

Dad, Mongkol's mother and Mom
4th of July in Lewiston. Dad, Jan, Ted, Jay and Mom 2011
Great-grand kids at the Bountiful home 2011 
Mom and Dad loved their kids, grandkids and great-grand children and until recently, they traveled all over to be with them at many events. Everyone enjoyed coming to the Bountiful home and getting mom's home cooked meals and to swim in her pool.

Grave ceremony and dedication: Ann, Gretchen, Dad, Paul and Marc

Lyndi, Julee, Dad, Marc and Preston
Mom suffered a stroke in the spring of 2014. She retained her feisty manner right to the end. She was a wonderful sister; a caring nurse; a dedicated church member; a gifted painter, seamstress, and cook and  a great wife and mother and wonderful grandma and great-grandma.
Ryan and Stacy joining 

 "They will never die"
We love you mom

'They will never die: The Flower rises up and opens forth when Spring breezes fill the air. It toils in the heat and in the cold. It's glory is in the day.
'When the day is finished and Autumn winds chill the air, the Spring Flower's stock is bare.
'The Human Flower is born with Heavenly Care and flourishes on earth for just a moment. But the Eternal Soul, touched and transformed by the  Creator's hand, will never sorrow and will never see a day with a winter's storm.'

Mom is now with her son Rhet and with  her mother and dad and her brother Ernest "Bud". Most importantly she will be in the presence of her loving Heavenly Parents and her Savior.  When those righteous examples to us, such as Bethine Sax Bernhisel, who have accepted the gospel  and have embraced it  by their goodly works and by honoring the commandments and covenants of the Lord, depart from this life, they “are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow.” (Alma 40:12)

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Merry Christmas and a Cool Yule to all of y’all,
Julee  (Sister Bernhisel) and I are celebrating our third Christmas in Raleigh North Carolina and we love being here with our exceptional missionaries and members and the wonderful people of North Carolina who live in one of the most beautiful areas of the world. Our mission work is going very well, and quite frankly, we are a little saddened by the prospect of returning to “normal life” in six months, although we will never be the same after experiencing the “tender mercies” of being a part of the work of the Lord and from the changes of joy we’ve seen so readily in so many people.
It has been a very busy December with two special Christmas Zone Conferences (three zones each in a North and South Conference) combined with a musical Christmas program, a Sister Missionary Conference and a Spanish speaking missionary conference with a visiting General Authority and our Area Authority. Our missionaries in the musical program of the Christmas Zone Conferences have amazed us with their talent and enthusiasm. We have ended that program in our conferences, by something familiar to those who have attended our Bernhisel neighborhood ‘Christmas Family Home Evening’ in Riverview Florida, with my Stille Nacht/Silent Night story and group singing of Silent Night, accompanied by the guitar. (You can see us somewhere in all three pictures if you look hard enough or have a magnifying glass). The upper picture  is the Sister's Conference. The picture on the right, below is us demonstrating the '12 Days of Christmas-Bernhisel style'

A quick update on our kids and grandkids: We have had four grandchildren born while we have been on our mission and our daughter Brooke is expecting a little girl in the springtime. Heidi and Tyler and their four children moved to a new home,  a few miles from their old  home, to Seneca S.C.. Preston and Karee and their four children, including Cambelle, born this past March, are in Dallas Texas. Brooke and Mike and their three children, left the South (Atlanta) for California this year and a new great job. Their son Ethan was born just after we came to North Carolina and their new little one, ‘Brooklyn’, will be born just before we leave. Lyndi and Kevin and their three children live an Acworth (close to Atlanta) and had little Elsie born in March of this year as well. Jenny Leigh and Lance are on their way by car to visit us for Christmas with their three children from their home in Houston Texas. Just over a year ago little Millie was born. She and all the rest of the grandkids are the sparkles in our eyes.

As we reflect and ponder on the spiritual bounties of Christmas, the title of one of my favorite Christmas Hymns come to mind, ‘Oh Come All Ye Faithful’. This is an interesting time in the history of the world where there are so many evidences of Heavenly Father’s love and merci. These evidences serve to strengthen that faith in the babe born in the humblest of circumstances in Bethlehem, Jesus the Christ. The same who gave His life to reclaim and redeem us. In contrast, it is astonishingly evident that there is a lack of faith and even the secular distain for Godly truths by the world in large, an absence of which will always be accompanied by ultimate grief and despair.
Behold, doth [Jeusus Christ] cry unto any, saying: Depart from me? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; but he saith: Come unto me all ye ends of the earth, buy milk and honey, without money and without price. Hath he commanded any that they should not partake of his salvation? Behold I say unto you, Nay; but he hath given it free for all men… Will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you?...Yea, verily I say unto you, if ye will come unto me ye shall have eternal life. Behold, mine arm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive. (2nd Nephi 26:25,26. 3rd Nephi 9:13,14-The Book of Mormon)
Julee and I know that God lives and is aware of the smallest details, happy or sad, in all of our lives. We also know that His Son Jesus, is the Christ and through His sacrifice and the enabling capacities of His atonement, He has not only given us life after death, but individual growth, happiness and joy in this life. He has also prepared the pathway to Eternal life, which is life with our Heavenly Parents and our precious families in the world to come. Isn’t that great?
We love y’all
Marc (President Bernhisel) and Julee (Sister Bernhisel)

P.S. Great, short, Christmas videos: 1) Piano guys with David Archuleta “Angles we have hear on High” 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving-y’all-(See the Duke Gardens Pictures below this post)
“O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people. Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works.” (Psalms 105:1,2)
“O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. (Psalms 107:2)

Thanksgiving has got to be one of my favorite holidays. It seems overshadowed and almost forgotten in all the Christmas advertising, but I love it that the title of the holiday implies the admonition to all to give thanks unto the Lord for his love and “his mercy (which) endureth forever.”
The Bernhisel concept of celebrating Thanksgiving is a little different. Instead of the pressed table clothes; the seldomly seen silverware and the formal dinner, we would camp out in tents by the beach in Florida and enjoy deep fried turkey along with our smores by the campfire. It is our marvelous way to enjoy family and enjoy the beautiful creations that the Lord has blessed us with and give thanks for the simple things of life.

Now, I am not suggesting that the Bernhisel Thanksgiving is the only way to celebrate and to give thanks (and moms who read this, don’t give up on your homemade rolls and apple pies, which sound great right now), but that we should daily, multiple times daily, pause and thank the Lord for the tender mercies which we have been given.

Thomas S. Monson has said “Do we remember to give thanks for the blessings we receive? Sincerely giving thanks not only helps us recognize our blessings, but it also  unlocks the doors of heaven and  helps us feel God’s love.” (Ensign Nov 2010, 87) We find an example of giving thanks with the Lord Jesus Christ as “he took the seven loaves and the fishes and gave thanks.” Observe how He rendered  thanks and then a miracle followed as 4,000 were fed and “that was left [was] seven baskets full.” (see Matthew 15:32-38). Miracles happen by  “unlock[ing] the doors of heaven” as we give thanks and in the process, it  “helps us feel God’s love.” What a blessing for us by simply recognizing the hand of the Lord in all the things we see and do.  President Monson in the Ensign article quoted the English author Aldous Huxley-“Most human beings have almost an infinite capacity for taking things for granted.” We certainly should not take the things given to us by God, for granted.
What about the hard times and challenges we all face? 

Deiter F. Uchtdorf  “It is easy to be grateful for things when life seems to be going our way. But what then of those times when what we wish for seems to be far out of reach? We can choose to be grateful, no matter what. This type of gratitude transcends whatever is happening around us. It surpasses disappointment, discouragement, and despair. It blooms just as beautifully in the icy landscape of winter as it does in the pleasant warmth of summer. When we are grateful to God in our circumstances, we can experience gentle peace in the midst of tribulation.” (April ’14  Gen. Conference ‘Grateful in any circumstances’)

Let me bear my testimony from personal experience that this “gentle peace,” “my peace (that) I give unto thee” (John 14:27)  from the attitude of gratefulness is so real and so consoling to give one not only peace, but also trust in the Lord’s purpose and confidence in our purpose in this mission of ours and in life.
I love you and never does a day go by that I don’t thank Heavenly Father for you.

Love, Marc Bernhisel

Sunday, November 23, 2014

11/23/ 2014
After a long, but rewarding week doing missionary interviews, Julee and I took a trip to one of our favorite spots both now and thirty years ago-while I was at Duke University doing my fellowship in medicine. This is Duke Gardens (Sarah P. Duke Gardens). The fall leaves were spectacular. From Duke Gardens, we went to Dames Chicken and Waffles (really)-one of our favorites. Happy Thanksgiving to y'all from the Bernhisels.