Posted by: 1of10boyz | May 11, 2014

The Simplest Answers

As I continue to put together the things that I have learned from George, the ever-present monkey on my back, I am reminded of the things that allow him to have the power to even exist. I am also hoping to give you a way to learn from my experiences. In many ways this little exercise is for my posterity and I am putting here so that others can see, maybe a little vanity on my part but also a desire to share something that I think is important.

I left the hospital in Little Rock, AR much sooner than I would have expected. Part of that is because of the now well documented problem that I had with Patience. You might remember that I said I have learned a lot about being patient and being a patient from this experience. That has been a 10 years process so none of that experience and knowledge existed in the middle of February of 2004. The doctors felt that I would get better care at home from my wife than I would get from the over-worked nursing staff that was in the hospital. I think I was also a pain in the behind to the nurses working the ICU and recovery rooms. So I left the hospital shortly after being released from the ICU; and he was right; she did take very good care of me.

It was likely a week or two after the surgery that I had the stitches or staples removed from my head where they opened my skull to perform the surgery. About the 6 week mark I went back into his office in Little Rock. My world was beginning to return to normal. I had made remarkable progress in my own opinion considering how fresh the terrors of a spinning world had existed. I still wasn’t whole yet but I could see the end of the terrible challenges I had so recently experienced decreasing and diminishing each passing day.

In the process of seeing the doctor and trying to determine what I should expect to be doing and what I should not be doing I asked about a spot on my head. I had found that there was a piece of my skull that I could push on and it would move under my scalp right behind my ear. The doctor told me that this was the spot that had been cut loose to get inside my skull. It didn’t hurt to move it and I wondered why it still moved. It was not disgusting to move it but it didn’t seem quite right either. The doctor told me that this piece was actually wired back into place with some titanium wire.

When I asked him about moving it his answer was quite simple: Don’t. What a profoundly simple answer for something that could have had a much more complicated discussion. It said everything that needed to be said. Simply, don’t.

I have reflected many times back on this simple answer and so many other simple answers that I have gotten in when I have sought answers. Those that have been the most profound have been often the simplest. I don’t claim to be an expert on answers though I have an opinion about many things they are not often communicated in simple terms or simple answers; that is not my personality. What I want to help you understand is why those simple answers are so important.

In this case the “don’t” likely made it possible so that the little wiggly spot behind my left ear would become firmly attached and it doesn’t wiggle anymore. It feels just like any of the other little bones that form my skull and protects my brain. Continuing to move it and wiggle it would likely have created a situation where it didn’t or wouldn’t have created a safe environment for my brain. I always laugh a little bit differently now when I hear Cousin Eddy, in the movie “Christmas Vacation”, talk about the plate in his head because I might have had that problem without the simple answer of “Don’t”.

That is not the only simple answer I have gotten, I have many others and not surprisingly those have all come as answers to pray. I have so many of these experiences where the answer was simple yet profound. The answer related to the work/job I had before this little gig in China, an answer to pray in the Albuquerque LDS Temple: “it doesn’t matter”. The answer related to marrying my wife kneeling in an isolated spot in the depths of some willow trees in the neighbor’s cow pasture: “Carry on, my son”. Many times I have gotten answers that have been so simple yet the exact and perfect answer needed. There is something to be recognized from a short answer.

I will draw a parallel for these simple answers of mine to one that many of you know, the answer to the boy, Joseph Smith in the Spring of 1820. This young man sought counsel from the Lord related to his desire as to which church was true and which he should join. As you may remember that initial answer that he got was simply: “This is my Beloved Son, Hear Him”. Now I don’t claim that my simple and short answers are of this eternal importance for others but those simple answers that I have received were as eternally important to me and to my family as I now recognize that answer was to Joseph Smith, Jr. The important thing to know and to recognize is that when we get those simple answers that there is something that we need to learn from them and continue to learn from them. I have found that those simple answers really continue to be pertinent long after I got them because 1) I can remember them, and 2) I can remember how I felt when I got them.

First Vision 2 First Vision 1




President Thomas S. Monson, a living prophet and apostle of Jesus Christ, gave us some simple and profound advice during this past general conference. I offer to each of you the same advice: “If you ever find yourself where you shouldn’t ought to be, get out!” Simple and profound but absolutely important, Get Out! If we find ourselves in circumstances or situations where you recognize that things are not going to be for your greater good, simply get out. As in so many other situations in our lives the answers don’t have to be complicated or complex. The simple answer is often the best answer.

Look for the simple answer and then do what it said to do. There is more to just getting an answer, when we get answers we have to take action. Nothing says that quite as effectively as the simple answers.

Next Up:

Important Things In Life


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