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Dave, not to be the cynic, but to me, this sounds like picking teams for kickball. Maybe I was the only one who was always picked last, but I feel for that bloke who wasn't a butcher, a baker, or a candlestick maker. Of course, there are good ways to go about doing this, and we can assume the best.

Matt, it sounds like you subscribe to the "let no good deed go unpunished" school of human relations.

Dave, and don't forget the actual religious element. The feeling you imagine in these people of receiving this helping hand in temporal matters can only have been inhanced by the awesome recognition that they had arrived among the body of saints, something of such importance to the early converts that it is probably almost incomprehensible to us, although we can get a glimpse of it now and then when we move house to a new city and are received with enthusiasm and tons of support from a new ward.

Part of me wishes we still had such a comprehensive program for collaboration in the church. As Nibley says, "We will still weep for Zion."

My great great grandfather was one of those sent out by Brother Brigham to rescue those who left late in the season and therefore got caught in the early winter storms. His story was heroic, and slightly exalted, but never the less deserves respect for the strength and character of those early pioneers. Most of those stories are slightly exaggerated to make the descendants of those good people feel proud of their ancestors.
Everyone wants to be proud of their forbearers, and we should be, but lets take it all with a tiny grain of salt.
I am as proud of my ancestors as anyone, but I have to tell you, I take it all with a little leavening. Everyone wants their predecessors to be perfect, brave and beyond reproach, but there is always a slightly different edge to the story.

When my wife and I moved cross country to Pleasant Grove, Utah for me to start law school at BYU, we no sooner pulled our 22-foot moving van into the driveway than we were met by half a dozen neighbors with cookies, lemonade, and helping hands. It was very gratifying. The people of our neghborhood were welcoming, friendly, and helpful. I'll always be grateful and have a warm place in my heart for them.

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