(I had a last-Sunday-of-the-month appointment with a good guy I home teach. He was unable to keep the appointment because of conditions flowing from a frightening mystery illness that’s troubling him. So I wrote him a note, enlarged very slightly for posting here.)

Harvey (name changed to protect the innocent),

You may wonder why this is coming so early--I mean, there are still 23 hours left in the month. But this is the message I was going to share last night.

I've been reading in Third Nephi about how the believers felt about knowing that the Savior was finally walking the earth. They were really glad. The signs of His coming had literally saved their lives. They knew He was the Son of God, they knew He was healing and teaching. They had even heard that He was going to die for them. But He hadn't, yet.


(Notes for a Sacrament Meeting talk I gave to the Alpine 1st Ward on 7/13/08)

It’s a universal principle that if humans aren’t permitted to breathe, they will die. It’s true across the globe, and we ought not to have to say any more about it than that--you should just believe it. But the way to get this universal principle to become very important in your lives would be for me to pinch your nose and put my hand over your mouth for a minute or two. It’s by exploring very specific situations that we really come to learn very general truths. Some folks don’t feel that the experience of the pioneers is particularly relevant to their lives, because they’re not related to any. And it was a long time ago. And they dressed unattractively. Nineteenth-century pioneering appears to be a situation that isn’t specific to everybody. I want this to be relevant, and I want to speak to a situation in which each of us, specifically, finds ourselves.