There's an old joke told by a pioneer from the late 1800's about my little corner of the Mojave desert. It goes..."If you owned a house in St. George and a house in Hell, you'd sell your house in St. George and move to Hell. Its cooler."
The record breaking heat in this part of the country is the reason some people in the desert have a summer and a winter home. In the dead of winter, the 60 and 70 degree temperatures are heaven. In the summer however, well...you heard the one about it being cooler in Hell.
Around here we find every opportunity we can to escape the blistering temperatures. We head north for cooler weather.We hide out in our air conditioned houses. We swim everywhere and anywhere there is water. Pools, rivers, ditches and even puddles if we can find them. Water, in the desert is an invaluable commodity and priceless at this time of year.
When we are literally being baptized by fire around here, the water is our most beloved asset. Before the mormon pioneers arrived in this corner of the desert, the growth rings in the trees were thin and showed the devastation of living in dry, hot climates. Since the late 1800's the growth rings in the trees have tripled. Because the population has brought more moisture to the desert? Because human ingenuity has channeled run-off, guided water sources and unearthed hidden wells?
Actually its because..."the desert blooms like a garden unto the Lord..."
It's a promise God gave to the native American people who inhabited these lands thousands of years ago. "See2 Nephi 8:3)
There's a ton of stories from the people of this area about promises made to the residents if we were righteous, fasted, prayed and trusted The Lord.
Promises of rain, a break in the heat and sufficient water. According to The Washington County Water Conservancy District. Washington county saves 28 % of its water resources compared to the rest of the state which saves 18%. How do we do it? How do we beat the intense heat of the Mojave and still protect our precious water?
We believe in God. We trust Him and We wait upon Him for the living water He freely offers.
If Hell is cooler than St. George than the lesson we learn is that in The Lord's hands, even the fires of Hell have no hold on His children who believe, work and obey.
Maybe our little corner of the desert isn't really hell, but in the flooding of 2005 Death Valley, the hottest part of the Mojave, had plants, flowers and greenery cover its land. Plants that hadn't been seen in 100 years. Flowers that were rumored to bloom, but never had, and rocky, barren ground sprouting moss, vines and roots otherwise never before seen. How could you not beat the heat in a garden like that?