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Great post. While I agree that 19th century Mormons had a strong sense of community that continues with us still, I'm not sure that sense is immediately recognizable to an outsider.

The distinction between movers and stickers probably doesn't apply to us in the same way it does to others, because we move around alot but still feel at home. Brigham Young would call people to move somewhere and start a settlement, then five years later ask them to repeat the process somewhere else. Many people describe their wards as "transient", whatever that means. Our sense of community derives as much from participation in an organization as it does from a sense of place. When we have moved, I've always been surprised to notice how much the new ward felt like the last one.

Good point Mark.


Have you perchance ever read any Wallace Stegner's work? This theme laces a lot of his writing.

Seth, I listened to about four hours of a cassette tape version of one of his books during a long drive to Utah about ten years ago. He struck me as sort of a naturalist historian (and that's "naturalist," not "naturalistic"). He's on my reading list.

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