Telling It Like It Is

Dear Will:

First things first: My surgery is safely behind me and the doctor has declared me “cured.” I’ll be in recovery mode for the next several weeks, but all of the really scary stuff has been taken from my body and sent to the lab. So I can get on with life.

The only “complication” so far is that I had to stay in the hospital a couple of extra days because of some ancillary bleeding. It was nothing life-threatening, mind you, just the sort of thing that makes a doctor crinkle his brow and muse a bit. When he informed me that I wasn’t going to leave the hospital as early as originally projected, Dr. Pasin was extremely apologetic: “I’m sorry, but I’m going to keep you in here an extra day.” He gave that speech twice.

Of course I was disappointed, but I hardly felt like he owed me an apology. What he was saying was for my good, after all. But such are our social conventions that we feel compelled to apologize even in circumstances when we are doing something for the benefit of someone else.

God is not bound by any such social conventions. “What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself,” He says. In other words, “I’m not going to apologize for telling it like it is.” Which makes sense, of course. He then continues: “Though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same” (D&C 1:38). He’s going to speak plainly, without apology, and what He says will come to pass. Just like that. And it makes no difference whether He speaks as a voice from heaven or through one of His designated representatives—either way, what he says is going to happen whether we like it or not.

I bring all of this up because this weekend is the semi-annual General Conference of the Church, and you can watch it while sitting on the sofa in your family room. There will be a total of eight hours of instruction broadcast in two-hour chunks (Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. PDT) It’s generally broadcast over BYU-TV (channel 567 on my box) or on one of the public access channels. I hope you get a chance to tune in at least for a little bit.

In my state of convalescence, I’m likely to watch the whole thing (I’m still not getting around much). That will be a rare privilege, and I’m really looking forward to it. Thomas S. Monson, the Prophet and President of the Church, will be speaking (multiple times, no doubt) along with his counselors, the twelve apostles, and several other of the General Authorities of the Church. As I maintain my preoccupation with my physical well-being, it will be nice to have the distraction and to focus some time on spiritual healing instead.

Who knows? In my state, maybe my spiritual doctors will decide I need a few extra days of intensive care to stop the bleeding. Which would be fine by me. Whatever it takes to finally be pronounced “cured.”


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