Holy cats, people!  When I ran Fed Up in Fresno’s letter about using the men in the priesthood quorums to help people move (click here  to read the letter), I knew it was going to touch a nerve.  I didn’t realize it was going to “touch” that nerve with a cattle prod!  In two days I have received 176 (count ‘em!) letters in my email box on the subject — far and away more than any other subject we have ever discussed.

Needless to say, DO NOT SEND ME EVEN ONE MORE LETTER ON THIS SUBJECT.  I have not read the letters I’ve already received, but I’m betting every possible sentiment on the topic will be contained in the letters I already have.  Thanks to all of you who have written.  Now I’m putting on my waders and opening the letters.

Folks, it’s time to read the Church Handbook of Instructions. Yes, the new one issued in November 2010 specifically mentions that moving people is not a priesthood quorum function. Those aren’t the exact words, but look it up, and you will see.

I had to move twice in one year, and I wouldn’t dream of asking the ward folks to help. That’s what families are for, and if they aren’t around or available, you box up your stuff yourself, get rid of half, and then pay people to help you.

Some people say they don’t have the money. This is why our Church leaders (think Elder Hales most recently) tell us to manage our finances and have a reserve fund for emergencies. This might be harsh and judgmental of me to say this, but there seems to be a pattern of people who cannot manage their lives and finances and are always calling on others to bail them out at the last minute. They seem to have constant emergencies. Yet they seem to have money for cable, smart phones and oh, yes, that big screen television that the elders quorum gets to move.

I am not talking about the occasional real emergency here where someone has a crippling health issue that is out of their control. I am referring to those who constantly abuse the system, take advantage of others’ goodness, and frequently do so in ward after ward after ward.

Mostly Movin’ Myself
Salt Lake City

Thanks for a great letter, Mostly. I’m sure it’s going to inspire a lot of people to look at the Church Handbook of Instructions.

By the way, I really liked what you wrote about “boxing your stuff up yourself, getting rid of half, and then paying people to help you.”  If people want to get rid of half, there’s a great resource at www.freecycle.org.  People will be glad to take your old stuff off your hands. Try it and see!

It absolutely amazes me (in a bad way) that people automatically expect other ward members to not only help out in moving but also cleaning after they have moved.  What ever happened in being self-reliant

My husband and I have moved a few times and have done it by ourselves.  Where are family members in all of this?   Yes, you do know ahead of time that you have to move and so you prepare for that day.  Depending on the Church for moving is not right, and people in the wards do get tired of having to pack up families and their belongings.  In every ward that we have lived in, people expect the elders quorum to help and the Relief Society to clean.

From Canada

I’m glad you pointed out, Canada, that the Relief Society gets roped in just as the priesthood does.  It’s no fun to wash walls and floors for a house that’s not even yours.  Thanks for sticking up for the women.

I’ve never asked my local priesthood quorum to help me move, but if they did I’d definitely consider it a privilege of mine to have their help.  They definitely have the right to say “no” — better to save their own health and wellbeing.  If they want to help somebody move, great.

About 1 1/2 years ago we had to move my mom to assisted living; last summer my sisters went up to Traverse City, Michigan, to pack up more of her household effects and (hopefully) make the house more attractive to potential buyers.  Some of that work involved heavy lifting, and they were wondering how to get help.  Through my home teacher and my bishop, I got in touch with the local LDS branch about help moving the heavy things.  The elders quorum president wasn’t sure how much help they could give because it was a weekday, but they did want to help.  I made sure he knew we’d be grateful for whatever help they could give. 

From what my sisters told me, I think four or five missionaries showed up and they got all the work done in a few hours.  I wrote a note to the EQ president expressing my gratitude, and my sister wrote a note to the branch president.

Jody Carlson

Fairfax, VA 

Thanks, Jody, for pointing out that sometimes there are extenuating circumstances where moving help really is needed.  You and your sisters handled your situation perfectly — including expressing gratitude both verbally and in the form of handwritten notes for the service that was rendered.

While I was in the military the elders quorums in the various wards I was in helped pack up and move families on a monthly basis.  We did it gratefully because we knew our turn for needing help was coming up. But, we were smart enough to have the garbage tossed and the boxes packed before the movers arrived.

Today, at the tender age of 56, I’m one of the youngest high priests in the ward. Due to age and health we don’t get called on much.

With the years of moving experience I received in the military, if I were to be called on today to help a family move I would have a checklist of things the family will have done prior to moving day — things I learned in the 20 years of helping ward members move while in the military. This checklist may sound a bit harsh, but the people who are moving need to understand you are putting out a lot of effort on their behalf and they should not only be grateful but should be willing to cooperate in these things:

  • Have all the garbage tossed out and away from the loading area.
  • I am not going to wash your dishes prior to packing them; have everything clean and ready to pack. In fact, have your kitchen packed so all I have to do is move boxes.
  • Have the pets gone to someone else’s house; I’m not going to deal with upset pets, including a dog that won’t stop barking.
  • Children will not be underfoot or giving me orders.
  • Have everything boxed that you can, including clothing, linens, books, and the kitchen.
  • Do not expect the quorum to pack your dirty bathroom or the secrets in your medicine cabinets.
  • If you expect the priesthood quorum to pack “intimate items” into boxes for you, then just remember we men gossip as much as anyone. Sisters, the men do not want to handle your underwear drawer or your birth control items and devices.

  • Dressers and other cabinets will be emptied. I am not going to empty your dresser for you and learn your secrets. I am not going to move fully-loaded dressers or cabinets no matter what your wife says.
  • You will give me a list of tools needed to disassemble furniture prior to moving day.
  • You will supply boxes and packing material unless otherwise arranged. It will be on hand prior to moving day.
  • Just because I’m helping you move does not mean I’m going to spend the next month cleaning your old house while you kick back and enjoy your new one. Cleaning your old house is a completely separate service project.
  • Do not have the utilities turned off until after you move.  I will need to use your bathroom and plug in my radio.  If I’m working on your behalf, I expect to have the air-conditioning on in the summer and the furnace in the winter.
  • Don’t expect me to travel to your new home and help you unpack unless previously arranged.
  • Don’t insult my sense of charity by offering me money, because if you do you’re going to get charged the same as if a moving company is moving you, and I already know you can’t afford that.
  • Do not expect the ward budget to pay for breakage. After all, we’re not professionals.
  • Be grateful enough for the quorum coming to help you that you will provide drinks and food to keep us working; men will do nearly anything if you feed and water them. Cook them hot dogs and cut the brownies to a one-bite size they can shove in their mouth and keep working.

I would make it very clear that I am helping them; I am not in charge or taking charge unless that had already been established beforehand, and if it were established beforehand that I was in charge then the family being assisted would be assigned to have this checklist completed before I came through the door on moving day. If it were not completed then I’d go home with the promise of returning when they had completed the checklist.

If the family being moved has put me in charge, then neither the husband or the wife (or the children!) are going to stand over me giving me orders.  They may make requests, but if I’m in charge then I have the final say. Either you are in charge or I am; it won’t be both ways. If you don’t like how I pack your boxes, then you should have packed them before I arrived. Remember, I have 20 years’ experience.

Bruce T. Forbes
Kearns, Utah

Bruce, I’m a sucker for lists.  This checklist should be passed out by every priesthood leader that coordinates a move — not just to the people moving, but to the people performing the move so nobody will be taken advantage of.  It’s apparent from your list that you’ve experienced some real horror stories in your day.  Thanks for sharing the wisdom of your experience.

Here’s a letter from another mover who has his own private checklist — this one a little tongue-in-cheek:

I grew up knowing that it was my duty to help people move.  If you were a man with a pickup, you spent your Saturdays helping to move someone or hauling kids to or from a campout.  This example came from my father, who hauled me along as a teenager to help others move in or out on regular occasion.

As an adult, I have continued this with my own son.

We counted one year.  The men in our ward got together to help someone either move in, move out, or move across the ward eleven weeks in a row.  There were also many days when we’d help move three different families.

The worst part was if they had to move a refrigerator or a piano to an upstairs apartment.  I also learned that everyone who was ever in the Army and stationed in Germany will have a “shrunk” (kind of a full wall entertainment center that weighs a ton) that needs to be moved.

Some people would be kind and have pizza and sodas.  Some would stand around and watch us.  One woman wanted us to move a washing machine full of wet clothes (she wanted to rewash them at her new location).

As an adult, I have called upon the Church to help me either load or unload a U-Haul when I moved.  I figure that I helped many of them, and they can help me.  It’s also a way for me to get to know some of the people in my new ward.

Years ago, I thought that God must keep a count of these moves.  Melchizedek Priesthood holders must have a certain number of people that they help move to qualify for each of the kingdoms.  If you help less than 50 people in your lifetime, that is only a telestial service.  Fifty to 100 qualifies you for the terrestrial kingdom.  A hundred moves qualifies you for a lower order in the celestial kingdom.  Help 200 people, own your own pickup and refrigerator dolly, and keep the Ben-Gay by the nightstand, however, and you are going to the highest degree of the Celestial Kingdom.

Alan Hatch

Las Cruces, New Mexico

What a great attitude you have, Alan!  You may be alone in the Celestial Kingdom, but you’re going to have earned your way there!

We’ve moved five times in 20 years of marriage.  Family helped us the first three times, we hired people the fourth time, but the last time we were recovering financially from ten months of unemployment, and we asked the elders quorum to load the U-Haul.  Our ward was great — I think at least 10 men showed up. 

My husband has a number of physical limitations, and as we moved, I’d just found out I was pregnant.  Everything was previously boxed, and once the sale of our house was completed (and we had reserved a bit of money out of it), we hired some day labor to help us finish and to unload at the new house.  I did have to ask for a bit more help to get the very last of it — I just couldn’t do it all in time before the new folks moved in to our old house (we only moved a few miles, and it took about three days to get all done).

I can’t imagine not being grateful, or asking for it if I didn’t need it.  Or not being ready when the help arrived — the only time I did that was the first time as a dumb newlywed.  My family hadn’t moved since I was five years old, and I simply underestimated the time, the number of boxes needed, and everything else that goes into a move.  I know we’ve actually been chided for not asking for help on the other moves, as if it’s simply natural and expected that the priesthood will help.  But when we didn’t need it, I would have felt weird asking.

Deena in Utah

I agree with you, Deena.  I can’t imagine not being grateful for help like that.

People make huge sacrifices for the benefit of others.


When we moved back in 2003, my health was already going south.  I was able to do most of the packing on the main two levels of the house, but the basement was beyond me. 

During our tenure in that house, the next-door neighbors had put their woodpile next to our garage and it attracted a herd of mice that found refuge in our basement.  They chewed and relieved themselves on everything, stopping only to bring new generations of mice into the world in that same basement.  As you can imagine, they pretty much destroyed the contents of that basement.  Most of the stuff had to be thrown away.  Because of my lungs, there was no way I could do that work.

To my eternal gratitude, a dear friend in the ward pretty much packed our entire basement for us.  I cannot begin to describe what an odious task that was.  Cleaning our basement took weeks.  I never saw any of it because our friend threw away the stuff that was to be thrown away, gave away the stuff that could be given away, and packed away the stuff we could keep.  Alan Hatch, whose letter appears above, had to move more than 200 families to earn his spot in the Celestial Kingdom.  Jessica Cather earned her place by working in our basement.  I will never forget what she did for us.  There is nothing I could ever do to repay her.

Here’s another letter about gratitude:

All sorts of thoughts run through my mind on this one.  I don’t think it’s as much a question of whether the priesthood brethren should still serve as much as an entitlement issue. 

I dare say that those people referred to in the letter expect a lot of other things in their lives besides help with moving.  People who accept responsibility for events and choices in their lives don’t expect anyone to come over and do all their moving for them. 

It’s always much easier to serve someone when you feel they are invested in it also.  I’m afraid we are developing into a society where people just figure they deserve certain things without any effort on their part.  That’s a main reason for why we have the problems in our government today, but I digress. 

To look at the priesthood as a moving service is wrong.  For the priesthood brethren, I think it is important for the elders who are younger to volunteer to help in these situations.  When we have moved in the past, there was no way we could afford professional movers, but when the elders came over it was simply a matter of hauling furniture and boxes out to a truck.  It never took longer than a couple of hours.  I am so grateful for the help we received.

I think it really is a matter of somehow teaching people that they are not entitled to anything.  I know this issue is being addressed by the Eyres when it comes to teaching our children.  How do we teach adults who are so engrained in the belief that they need to take more responsibility for their lives?

Grateful in Layton

Entitlement seems to be a good topic for a future topic, Grateful.  Maybe someone will write me a letter on the subject and we can handle it if I ever dig out of these moving letters!  Speaking of which, the very next letter mentions the same subject:

The concept of entitlement is addressed also in the pages of Meridian as a negative teaching. Lazy people would do well to read it.

I have found that moving crews are smaller than they could be. However people do have the right to say no or to walk off a job that reflects those experiences mentioned. We get too caught up, though, in another person’s emotions and whether or not they’ll become inactive. Let them go!

Your lack of planning is not my emergency, and someone else’s emotional stability is also not my responsibility. It sounds harsh, but if someone’s testimony is only as shallow as the dust on the table to allow this issue to cause inactivity then so be it.

Matthew Glosenger

I know where you’re coming from, Matthew.  Sometimes we overlook things which should be addressed because we fear that someone will become inactive.

It is just another example of bad manners that has permeated our society.  What happened to having your family help first and then asking the Priesthood or Relief Society?  We are not teaching our children manners anymore.  I rarely receive a thank you for a wedding gift and therefore do not send them.  I could go on and on about the lack of manners these days.  It starts in the home (it’s not happening for the most part) and can be supplemented at church.  However, when the adults don’t have manners, what are you going to do?  We need to get back to the basics of civility.


You’ve got a point, dismayed.  If people aren’t learning manners at home, things are only going to get worse as the next generation gets older.  Readers, if you aren’t teaching your kids the basics of manners — among them, that a gift isn’t used until the thank you note has been written — you are doing a great disservice to them, and to the people who have to interact with them.  It’s a lot less painful to learn these things when you’re young and in the home than it is when you’re older and trying to find friends or meet a spouse or keep a job.

I have used the priesthood moving help many times since I joined the church in 1969, including this past week.  It was always because I couldn’t afford to pay someone.

There was only one time I wasn’t totally packed when they arrived and that was quickly finished with the half dozen boxes I had ready, but hadn’t had time or strength to finish because of health issues.

Once a small part to something was lost, and a couple of times something small was broken.  Both only mattered to me, but the cost in comparison to the service rendered was negligible.

I have always appreciated the work done for me and generally had water available for them. I was there to tell them where I wanted things, but other than that I didn’t interfere with how they packed the truck or handled things.  I provided a rental truck with hand trucks and packing pads.

On my last two moves a priesthood holder has also had to drive the truck because I can no longer do it.  The service is wonderful and should be greatly appreciated for what it is — service freely given.  Many people I know who have had professional movers have had small things stolen, especially when they are movers provided by the employer.  They only guarantee, questionably at best, the security and safety of your possessions when they pack it.  Thus small things you might treasure can disappear easily.  I love the priesthood and their willingness to serve.

Diane Blakely

Branson, Missouri

Thanks for writing, Diane.  Your letter was important because it shows us that sometimes the service is desperately needed and gratefully received.

I have noticed that the people who ask for help moving are hardly ever the “active” members.


  They are families who get the most attention and service because they are inactive.  Why shouldn’t the ward move them?

My visiting teaching companion and I, who are both 76 years old, visited a young single mother who only lived in the ward three months.  She asked us to help her pack.  When we got to her home she had company, so she and the other young mother visited while we packed.  She asked how long we could stay, and I told her, “Until we are tired.”  It only took an hour for us to get tired.


Congratulations, Joey, for holding out for an hour before you got tired.  I’m sure it was frustrating to you to be working when two young people were sitting there chatting, but you might be joining the above-mentioned Alan Hatch and Jessica Cather in the Celestial Kingdom of Movers.

I got quite a chuckle out of this one.  Seems like we have always lived in wards with a lot of move-ins and move-outers.  My husband, sons, and son-in-law have been called numerous times at 10:00 on Friday night and asked to be at so-and-so’s house at 7:30 in the morning to help the move.  Usually it’s for less than active members who they don’t even know.  All have given up many Saturdays to help.

My son-in-law has given up many days with his own family to help others, with rarely a thank you at the end.  He feels it’s his priesthood duty to help others whenever he can.  My husband used to run to help also until health issues prevented the heavy lifting.  Even after letting leaders know several times that he physically can’t do it anymore, he is still called.

The funny thing is that after living in one ward for more than 20 years we moved to a new home.  Everyone knew we were moving and we had been packing for weeks and all we had to do was load the truck and then unload it.  Did we get any help?  No!

My visiting teacher came by with sandwiches for the “movers” and was shocked that we were doing it alone with family and some nonmember friends (great missionary opportunity).  She got on the phone and called the elders quorum president, who said he would round up a crew and get right over.  They never showed and we drove off to our new home in another ward — where we were met by several people we didn’t know well but who had heard we were moving that day and wanted to help and welcome us to the ward.

Oh, we were moving on by birthday and my VT brought a wonderful cake for me, too.  The lucky movers in our new ward had a special treat.

I’m not sure where the answer lies.  I do believe in service and helping others; however, we also need to help ourselves.  The Priesthood Moving Service is often helpful and necessary, but it is often abused.  I never plan to move again, so I don’t plan on calling them again.

Still Chuckling Out There

It’s to your credit, Chuckling, that you had a sense of humor about this.  A lot of people would be steamed, but you have the gift of being able to shake your head over human nature and not let it ruin your day.  We’re a lot better off in the long run when we can follow that example.

I think this is something that should be discussed. 

  1. Older priesthood holders should not be moving anyone.
  2. My husband, when he was much younger, nearly died from a hernia he earned from moving a family.  No one offered any apologies nor checked on him. 
  3. Anyone not packed, doesn’t get moved.
  4. Oh and last minute moving!  I cannot say enough about that.  They expect the priesthood to drop everything, change plans, to move people.  We had an LDS family move in above us.  Just because they moved in, my husband was expected to call everyone about helping them move in.  Only they didn’t tell him until two hours before hand and we were already gone out of town.  When we arrived back home, our voice mail had many rude messages for us.  The bishop called him in and lectured about helping others. 

Just My Two Cents

Glendale, California

Wow, Just — that takes the cake, to be chewed out for not doing an assignment you didn’t even know about because your voice mail got it after you went out of town.  I remember when my husband, Clark, was sorely chastised because he didn’t get the high priests to shovel the walks at church after a major snowstorm.  We had been out of the country for more than a week at the time and didn’t even know it was snowing.  If we could just get our answering machines to do our church callings for us, life would be a whole lot easier.

When I was a stake president, I had two bishops in the stake who had two attitudes about this. The first thought that helping families move in and out was a great service that could be provided and was very helpful to those families at the time of their need. The second thought that the Church was not a moving company and bluntly said that to the father of one member who was moving into his ward.

In one inner city ward, where most members were apartment renters and moves occurred frequently, the elders quorum presidency was spending nearly every weekend moving people. The elders quorum president and the bishop worked out a deal that the elders quorum would not move anyone unless the person who wanted to be moved had met with the bishop. The move was evaluated as a welfare services matter, and only after the bishop had determined that the person requesting the move did not have the financial or family funds or personnel to make the move could the bishop make a request of the elders quorum president to assist with the move. This seemed to cut down on the “entitlement” attitude. Of course, any member was free to ask any other member to assist on a “friendship” basis, but the move was not a priesthood assignment.

Former Stake President

Thanks for sharing your experience, Former.  It illustrates that different bishops have different attitudes about this issue — and that the bishops should have the last word as far as their wards are concerned.  Even though your experience probably occurred before the new Church Handbook of Instructions came out, it sounds as though your inner city bishop did exactly as the new handbook counsels us.  That’s what happens when you have inspiration!

Single mom here with one daughter.  We move ourselves every few years.  Why do people think men are always needed?  There are always people who want to help, including 70-year-old women who are happy to move lighter things things and smaller boxes. Old men with health problems can also help with the smaller things.  As for the neighbor who “expects” to be moved, they need to be told that that other members are willing to help after everything is packed and only if the family is working right along with other members.

I have been taught that service covers a multitude of sins. We all need to help others no matter what the situation and not be so quick to complain.


  Perhaps this family’s situation is a “test” provided by the Lord to sort out the sheep from the goats. An angry wife does not help the situation.    


You sound like an independent woman, Observer.  It was neat to envision a whole cluster of ladies of various ages, busily working together to move one of their own.  Thanks for a day-brightener.

Yes, this is a hot topic and one that I have an opinion about.  We have moved 29 times in our married lives and never once have we asked the Church to help in any way to move us.  I also have a beef with Relief Society sisters being asked to go clean up a home, either to move into or out of.  I have always cleaned up my messes and many other messes as I have moved into homes.

It is about time that members learned to be self-sufficient, and moving is all about organization and giving oneself time to properly box up and clean up before, during and after a move.

High priests especially should not be asked or expected to move anyone’s boxes or furniture.  My husband has done this many times and finally at the age of 74 with health issues has learned to say no.

As per the article I just read of the family who moved every year into another house in the ward, that was a way to upgrade one’s home but the cost of moving should be considered and if they cannot afford to pay for professional movers perhaps they should wait to move until they can.

With all considered the only time asking the Church priesthood members to help move would be if there were no family members (seldom the case) who could help in the case of illness or old age.

Kathryn from Utah

My hat’s off to you for moving 29 times, Kathryn.  I’ll bet with all those moves, you have made sure you don’t have extraneous possessions to clutter your house and cause trouble when you pack up and go elsewhere.  A lot of us, myself included, could follow that example.

There was a singles ward in Salt Lake several years ago that was getting so abused with this that they finally had to set up some pretty strict rules.  Some of them were that you actually had to be in the ward; you were never to call the bishop; you had ask your family first and if they weren’t available to help you then and only then did you call your home teachers; you could only ask for help once a year; you had to have everything boxed and ready; you had to be there the entire time helping, and no large appliances pianos or fragile items would be moved.

Other singles wards soon followed suit, with similar requirements.  One ward also added that the scheduled move couldn’t conflict with a ward activity.

I heard of a regular ward in Arizona (where most of the members were fairly well off) where the bishop stood up and told everyone that they all had the means to hire a moving service. 

I am grateful for the help that I’ve received during my few moves, but for the most part have only used the men for the larger items.  It is always a difficult thing to know when it is appropriate to ask for help. 


I agree with you, Grateful, that it is always hard to know when it’s appropriate to ask for help.  In my experience, usually the people who ask themselves the question are not the people who take advantage of others.

Boy howdy! You sure hit one of my hot button issues with this topic.  The Priesthood Moving Company is the single biggest issue in the ward that gets my blood boiling.  I have seen it abused time and time again.

I live in a ward with a large military and federal government presence.  The military pays for the moving of military members and their families to the next duty station.  This is an all-inclusive service where they will come in and actually box up the family’s stuff, load it onto their truck, move it to the next duty station, and unload it all.  There is no cost to the military member or the family unless they have more things than are allowed for the family size under military moving guidelines.  They will even move the family car overseas!  The military member has the choice of using this service or moving everything themselves and getting paid per pound up to a certain amount for their items.

Often, moving themselves allows the military member to pocket some money even after paying for the rental truck and boxes.  So in steps the priesthood to help them load up their stuff so the family can make money on our labor.  With most service members moving approximately every two to three years there are multiple moves every month.

Now to be fair, not every military member of the ward does this but enough do that it is a problem.  As a result I have begun screening all phone calls, listening to the messages, and only responding to those requests where there is a real need.  My elders quorum president and many other ward leaders think I’m not fully engaged in service to the ward, but I don’t care.  I have no problem helping those move who are elderly, or single sisters, or those on limited incomes with small children.  One old guy I have helped move multiple times and I have no problem doing it and would do it again at a moment’s notice because I know he can’t do it on his own and he is on a fixed income.

My reluctance to do all the moves for anyone, anytime, anywhere, and in any circumstance has cost me.  When I moved and needed help the only person to show up was my own brother.  We got it done but I did not get the large group of priesthood brothers that the “paid” moves generally get.  I have made many moves of people who truly needed it who I home taught, but my calls for assistance went unanswered except for one or two brothers from the ward.

I’m not seen as a team player in elders quorum because I don’t show up to every move and never show up to a “paid” move anymore.  I’m sure this means that I am not considered for some callings because of my unwillingness to move everyone in the ward that asks.  I’ve heard the groans from the other elders when I am asked in priesthood if I can help with a move and I decline.  It doesn’t matter anymore if I have a legitimate scheduling conflict; they just assume I’m flaking out again.

I have strained my back and pulled a muscle in my shoulder on two past moves.  I’m still relatively young but a decade (or more) older than the average elder’s age in the ward, so I worry about injury on every move.  I keep in good condition with jogging and weight training, but all it takes is turning the wrong way moving someone and it can turn into a physical nightmare.

Now, I take into account the risk of injury on moves.


  I have pretty crummy insurance with high deductibles and poor coverage, making any injuries costly.

On a couple of moves I have observed the young, healthy teen children of the family do absolutely nothing.  On another move I was horrified to see the son-in-law and daughter of an older man do nothing but stand around as we helped their father move his few possessions.  Another son-in-law that did help grumbled the whole time about his lazy family, but I’ve learned that some people have no shame.

Some teens are coddled and can’t be bothered to move their stuff but the priesthood brethren can be bothered?  What is wrong with this picture?  I’ve seen families who live nearby not even show up to help an older mother in need while the priesthood quorum drives itself to exhaustion to help.  I wonder what happened to families helping first.  When did we just expect the priesthood to be the first people we call for moving, yard work, re-roofing, painting, and other tasks when able-bodied family members lived in the home or nearby?

When the new handbooks of instruction came out the broadcast training I attended had several general authorities talking about the duties and roles of the auxiliaries.  I was overjoyed when it was mentioned that moving people would be less emphasized.  Unfortunately, it does not seem to have slowed the pace at all.  After the broadcast I mentioned to ward leaders about that part of the training regarding moving ward members and not one of them remembered hearing what I heard.  I told them it was definitely in the broadcast we watched but my concerns were ignored and life went on.

It is a cultural sickness and I don’t know how to fix it unless by some miracle ward leaders change their minds about moving everyone.

Still Young and Worn Out

Worn Out, I can see that this is a major topic for you.  I have to admit, however, that if someone in my ward could be moved for free, I’d be a lot less likely to want to help him.  I can only imagine how that situation is exacerbated in a military ward, where people are moving in and out all the time and all of them have the option of the free moving service.  That’s a new wrinkle to the moving issue!

As for your being judged by your quorum members for picking and choosing the assignments you accept, that doesn’t sit right with me.  One of our letters just today mentioned a young husband who almost died from an injury he incurred while moving a ward family.  Doing heavy labor — whether it’s moving people in and out or shoveling the church parking lot — should be an individual decision.  I’m too busy worried about my own salvation to have to waste my time worrying whether someone else is doing the amount of service that I deem appropriate!

Okay, people, that’s it for this week.  Do not — I repeat, DO NOT — send any more letters on this subject.  As much as I appreciate your opinions, I already have more than enough letters on this topic to last me for the next month, and I can’t read any more of ‘em.

Until next time — Kathy

“Be of service. Whether you make yourself available to a friend or co-worker,or you make time every month to do volunteer work, there is nothing that harvests more of a feeling of empowerment than being of service to someone in need.” 

Gillian Anderson