The Vision of the Valley of Cancerous Bones

He is sitting on the upper deck of the lake house in Maine. His wife is in the kitchen with her sisters making dinner. Towels are drying on the rail in front of him. He opens the Bible to Ezekiel 37. Most Mormons like it for the stick of Joseph and the stick of Judah. He likes it for the vision of the valley of dry bones.

He reads the familiar verses, and as he nears the end of the vision, he feels a voice whisper, “Substitute the word ‘dry’ with ‘cancerous.’”

He does, and then he hits verse 12:

“Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.”

Everything becomes still. He can see himself giving the blessing to his father seven months ago, see his father’s emotion after it, see his brother beside him, his mother in tears. And he knows now that God will not heal his father in this life, but will heal his cancerous bones and bring him out of his grave in a permanent healing that can never be undone. And all this is better than a marginally extended life. He knows this from head to toe, ear to ear, eye to eye, every strand of his hair.

The sun is peaking through the treetops, turning amber on Moose Pond. Night is day, day is night, and everything is one eternal now. And he wonders, How can he possibly explain this to his father? His family?

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