Of potatoes and prayers

As the last of the Martin handcart company entered the valley, Brigham Young stood before a conference in Salt Lake City. He recounted the peril of the Saints traveling in the snow and declared that they had a great labor ahead: “we had supposed that we should see the kingdom of God established on earth and Zion become the joy thereof, by merely gathering to the several Stakes; and that then our labors would be done and we should have nothing to do but sit and sing ourselves away to everlasting bliss; but we will find that preaching the gospel is but a small portion of the labor that is upon us.”

Brigham declared that they would take the pioneers in among them – that he would take them all if no one else would – and that they should treat their frostbite and starvation. In doing so, he uttered counsel that has persisted with us:

The afternoon meeting will be omitted, for I wish the sisters to go home and prepare to give those who have just arrived a mouthful of something to eat, and to wash them and nurse them up. You know that I would give more for a dish of pudding and milk, or a baked potato and salt, were I in the situation of those who have just come in, than I would for your prayers, though you were to stay here all the afternoon and pray. Prayer is good, but when baked potatoes and pudding and milk are needed, prayer will not supply their place on this occasion; give every duty its proper time and place.

Reliving the settlement of the Great basin in my mind, I take in the destitute and thaw their frozen feet. I administer food and prayers. Then I wonder why it is so difficult for me to do much less today.

_____________

Brigham Young, Sermon, in “Remarks by President Brigham Young, Tabernacle, Nov. 30, 1856,” Deseret News, December 10, 1856, 320.

Comments

  1. Steve Evans says:

    J., because the poor smell. Their frozen feet might have disease, and ruin your carpet. Because they might be involved in drugs, and likely drink. Because they are foreign and distant and unlikely to appear in suburbia.

  2. True enough; but it is those around us as well.

  3. I think it’s fear. For me, everything is fear based. You know, like that Albert Brooks movie — you can’t get into heaven until you’ve overcome your fear.

  4. Amen.

    In all seriousness, when people have praised my wife and me for taking in friends of our children who have been kicked out of their own homes, or housing a family for a few months while they got their lives back in order, I always thought, “What’s so special about what we are doing? It’s not like it’s a terribly difficult thing.”

    I think we only neglect the poor *around* us, because we refuse to let them be *among* or *of* us.

  5. Peter LLC says:

    Well, mainly because unlike the pioneers, the modern destitute deserve it–they made their bed, now they can sleep in it! After all, agency and all that. Or so I’ve heard.

  6. Maybe there is a lesson here about individual initiative and “being commanded in all things”.

    I have not doubt that all of us would respond enthusiastically if the president of the church called us to fast and donate money and take some kind of action. For my part, I don’t respond as well to my conscience as I do to Pres. Monson.

  7. Anyone who chooses to walk halfway across a continent in search of Zion can have all the potatoes in my pantry.

    In the modern US economy, poverty, hunger, and homelessness are a much more complex and throwing a whole truck full of potatoes at it will not have any real positive impact, other than to make the giver feel better about themselves.

    Growing up, my father occasionally brought street people to our house for meals. Usually they showed up at our little urban branch and he would invite them for lunch, and we almost invariably had other guests there too. None of these people were starving, but I imagine that quite it had been a long time since they had eaten a sit down meal in a home.

    As far as I can remember we never saw any of these people more than once.

    Was it the right thing to do? There wasn’t any harm come of it, we never had an Elizabeth Smart incident thank goodness. But I don’t think that it ever did any good for the individuals, I’m sure it benefited us kids. At the end of the day I think it served as just another thread in the safety net that allowed them to continue scraping by without having to deal with their situation.

  8. #5,
    My foster son was born with fetal alchohol syndrome. His mother was a prostitue that killed herself when he was 18. She had four sons from four different men. Some days her children ate catfood and dumpster dived for food. He suffers from detachment disorder, learning disabilities, and a host of physical problems due to lack of prenatal care as well as a lack of health care as a child and later an adult. He struggled through a mission and a year of college, but the damage done to him through the neglect of his mother cannot be undone by hard work, determination, or faith. Fortunately, the atonement will someday cure all the abuse heaped upon him. I wonder how my destitute son deserves your condemnation. Agency is a wonderful thing, but other’s choices infringe on that agency. I recommend a careful reading of King Benjamin, we are all beggars before the Lord, or so I’ve heard.

  9. Ardis Parshall says:

    It’s about giving the service that is needed, whether that’s baking potatoes, rubbing frost-bit feet, or giving that annoying Brother Whoever a ride to church.

    About the only real service I ever do is visit one of the 91-year-old widows in my ward as her visiting teacher. She doesn’t need potatoes or anything else material, but she desperately needs somebody to talk to. I admit that I don’t look forward to going, because I know I’ll hear the same stories about how her parents met, and about her father’s mission and his real estate. But I do go, and while I’m there I realize that as simple as it is, it’s what she needs and wants, and I’ll sit and listen and make appreciative noises as long as she needs me.

    I’ll bet most of us do something along those lines, not as dramatic as rescuing starving, frozen pioneers, but *something* that is needed.

  10. Thanks for the spiritual slap in the face, J. Just what I need after four days of vacation doing nothing for anyone but myself.

  11. I think you are right, Ardis.

    Chris, no face slapping intended.

  12. Lovely thought, Ardis. Just do something, anything, that is needed. I think it is easy to compare this post with Steve’s recent post about the poor. It seems that many are deliberating over whether the answer is large-scale political and social change, or serving immediate needs. The answer is both. And most of us fall on the immediate need end of the spectrum as far as capacity to help.

    I am saddened by MAC’s sentiment that a free meal was a disservice and encouraged undesirable characteristics. I think many of us have missed the link between small offerings and large, lasting change.

  13. Smiling at a stranger on the street can be wonderful medicine…even if they don’t smile back. I think that people are so unaccustomed to being kindly smiled at that by the time they register the fact (that they are indeed being smiled at), their chance to return the seniment has passed. I’ve been on boths sides of that, so I speak for myself. But it’s hard to not feel better when someone has given you a gesture of kindness such as a simple smile.

  14. No doubt none of us does as much as she could or should for those in need. The recent BCC posts on point are all excellent reminders to help generously and creatively. But inviting in Saints from the Martin Handcart Co is not the same as inviting in anyone. Once I would have done so but that was before a number of experiences. Our entire family was threatened by a poor stranger my husband helped when he was a Bishop and by a dangerous mobster whose wife I helped as her attorney. In Houston, sisters in a housing project known for parking lot gun battles had to be visited, but not by just any sister in the ward. I was RS president and chose someone thoroughly nonjudgmental, courageous, and fleet of foot to accompany me. Anyone else might have endangered us both. We have housed a number of people in need and hired about a dozen live-in alcoholics with whom we have left our home alone often (some ended their stays sober and some had to be evicted after theft and damage), but now I will do it only after background checks or solid references.

    Our help must be generous and smart that we may give again. It is not unChristian to be cautious in a dangerous world. Caution just can’t justify inertia. There are too many relatively safe ways to ease poverty and suffering. Fortunately safety and risk advisability vary from person to person so some can take more risk.

    Jonathan’s retelling of this wonderful story reminds me that prayerful fleeting thoughts sent upwards during work are the real deal.

  15. Steve Evans says:

    “and by a dangerous mobster whose wife I helped as her attorney”

    Some of these just beg for more detail, Molly!!

  16. #9 Camay,

    Not to speak on Peter’s behalf, but I’m sure his tongue was firmly in cheek when he made that statement. He’s following Steve’s lead from comment #1. There is an element of Peter’s thought in all of us whether we like to admit it or not, and I think that’s what he was pointing out. Why don’t we give spare change to beggars?

  17. Thomas Parkin says:

    “She doesn’t need potatoes or anything else material, but she desperately needs somebody to talk to.”

    Not only something that is needed, but one of the most essential things. It’s tough to feel human if you sense that everyone is around to try and fix your problems. It’s a great relief to just talk about the NHL playoffs, or whatever, and not feel like one’s problems are omnipresent, not only in your mind but in everyone else’s, as well.

    Doesn’t Job say something like this? His freinds come by and they all want to fix his problems, and he basically says, why can’t you just be friends and leave off thinking you can fix everything.

    Maybe the best answer to the perpetual ‘can we do anything for you’ question is: yeah, just come by and be a bit human every now and then. I’m convinced that the biggest problem our ward faces when it comes to missaionry work is just that we aren’t being good enoough friends to one another – just not taking basic, undemanding, non-intrusive, friendly interest in each other, and finding some degree of delight in each other’s company. Natural affection, I think the scriptures call it.

    ~

  18. Just remember that the Martin company had British accents.

  19. Peter LLC says:

    Indeed MattG, in my insensitive way I was shaking my finger at my own tendency to weigh the burden of someone else’s responsibility for their plight before shelling out a dime or two. I apologize for the misunderstanding, camay.

  20. #5 I think the notion that somehow those who are less fortunate have done something do deserve their circumstances has done very much damage and very little good. All too often among Latter-Day Saints I have heard others’ misuse of their own agency cited as a reason to not reach out and help those who may need it.

    Let us not forget that we ARE to be our brothers’ keepers, whether they have done anything to deserve their own difficult circumstances or not.

    Truman G. Madsen asserted that Jesus didn’t get what he deserved in this life. He didn’t “have it coming.” I think it is wise to not think of yourself as deserving of anything at all (and to often think of others this way too), otherwise you risk bitterness when your expectations are not fufilled, and frustration when and resentment when those whom you think don’t deserve blessings are rewarded. I’m reminded of the prodigal son. I’m also reminded of Job.

    This mortal life, while it is a life of decision and consequence, is often affected not only by the agency of others, but by other physical events. Bad things happen to both good and bad people. Good things happen to both good and bad people. The only sure reward that we may receive and indeed deserve will come in the next portion of our lives after we leave this world. Everything here is tentative, or temporal.

    I like to think of the words to A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief

    “A poor wayfaring Man of grief
    Hath often crossed me on my way,
    Who sued so humbly for relief
    That I could never answer nay.
    I had not power to ask his name,
    Whereto he went, or whence he came;
    Yet there was something in his eye
    That won my love; I knew not why.

    In pris’n I saw him next, condemned
    To meet a traitor’s doom at morn.
    The tide of lying tongues I stemmed,
    And honored him ’mid shame and scorn.
    My friendship’s utmost zeal to try,
    He asked if I for him would die.
    The flesh was weak; my blood ran chill,
    But my free spirit cried, “I will!”

    Because we find the man in prison do we refuse to give him help because we assume that he is there because he “deserves” it? One thing that can be ascertained from Jesus’ teachings that is most certain is that in this life we ought to frequently let our mercy trump our judgement.

    “I will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.”

  21. Peter LLC says:

    I think the notion that somehow those who are less fortunate have done something do deserve their circumstances has done very much damage and very little good.

    Amen.

  22. sol,

    I won’t say that a free meal was a disservice, I would say it can very easily be a double edged sword.

    But it is much more complex than just handing out potatoes. It is hard to argue that the unintended negative consequences of many charitable acts outweigh the benefits in the long term. I agree that many miss the link between small offerings and large, lasting change, but sometimes that change is negative.

    At some point, the shame of accepting charity in the absence of real, hunger-panged need disappeared. It is hard to not blame the over-prevalence of indiscriminate giving. It went the way of the shame of single parenthood, the don’t worry others will clothe and feed my children attitude. The extreme example being the attitude that that was reflected when ODB took one of his many children’s mother to the food stamp office to pick up her benefits in a limousine.

    We currently live in a community with a large percentage of people are on foodstamps. It is almost a given that when buying food at the grocery store that people carefully sort their purchases into a WIC/foodstamp approved piles and an “other” pile, and the “other” pile includes alcohol, cigarettes.

    I guess what I am getting at is that careless, unaccountable charity has made it harder to give and the accepting of charity/assistance needs to carry a certain shame again.

  23. Very interesting. This just got me thinking about (admittedly a very basic)idea of Karma, wherein good deeds bring good fortune, and conversely bad deeds bring bad fortune. This is often seen as typically an “Eastern” philosophy (i.e Buddhist and Hindu, though they have their own permutations), however it seems to be so ingrained in Western culture as well. Is this just human nature? Or is this a belief system that is inadvertently taught from the scriptures (think O.T)? Or something different altogether? My Catholic father-in-law was convinced for years that the death of his oldest son was due to God punishing him for some unknown purpose. The same though process I think gets projected on people in unfortunate circumstances.

  24. MAC, I know that this is probably not what you intended it to mean, but when you say “charity/assistance needs to carry a certain shame again”, I am reminded of “charity, the Pure love of Christ”. Does accepting that love require that I carry a certain shame? I tend to think of my feeble efforts at charity as a weak attempt to follow the Savior’s example. And I do think that accepting Christ’s grace does require a different, but real, hunger-panged need.

    How am I to know who is deserving of my charity? My potatoes and puddings are available to all comers, I hope. I’m just not very good at finding them on my own, I’m afraid.

  25. J (#11), I assumed it wasn’t intended as such, and honestly, that makes it all the more effective. I meant my comment as a thank you. I sincerely appreciate the recent slew of posts at BCC on this subject in general. Thank you.

  26. Kevinf,

    Thanks for the benefit of the doubt, I didn’t intend “charity” in that sense.

    I agree too that, lacking the wisdom and insight of the Savior that we risk erring in our choices and judgment. But that applies to both giving and withholding.

    I think a good example is spoiling our children. I want my children to have everything, but I know that giving it to them will not benefit them in any stretch of the imagination, so I am selective. I am sure I am not perfect and in some cases I spoil in others I can justifiably be called a cheapskate.

    If we are truly our brother’s keeper don’t we have the responsibility to consider the consequences of our giving to the same degree we consider it for our children?

  27. Ardis Parshall says:

    22: I suspect that when we go to stand before the Lord, our sins of being too generous are going to be somewhat outweighed by our sins of being too stingy, whatever our rationalizations.

  28. Steve, I would be surprised if that woman is still alive. And she had had every advantage in life. Certainly wonderful parents, wealth and education. In a crazy moment of youthful rebellion, she married the wrong man. I truly regretted having to withdraw to protect my family, but I did.

  29. Fwiw, if I have to err on the side of compassion and generosity or judgment and withholding, I’ll choose the former. I’d rather be wrong 90% of the time with that mentality than right 80% of the time with the other.

  30. Ray, # 29, I think that is what I was trying to say. You said it better. King Benjamin said it best.

  31. StillConfused says:

    I think you just need to pick your way of choosing to help others. I have never had a good experience with giving in the form of handouts. However, I have had great experience and feel I really made a difference in teaching various life skills. Just find the method of giving that is aligned with your spirit.

  32. Just find the method of giving that is aligned with your spirit.

    Perhaps a better way to think about it is to be sure the spirit is aligned with your method of giving. I don’t subscribe to any particular method of “giving” or “helping,” and I most certainly don’t categorically exclude particular methods from my list of possibilities.

    I know many who have made general decision to never give “handouts” to those who beg. I personally prefer to seek the spirit’s guidance in each and every situation that presents itself. Sometimes I feel like emptying out all of the change I can find in my car into the hand of a beggar is the best thing to do. Sometimes I don’t feel so good about it, so I don’t. . . and then I feel good about it :)

    For those who don’t like to give to beggars for economic reasons or because you feel that there are better ways to serve those in need I would encourage you to contribute the same amount that you would have (or should have?) given to the beggar, but didn’t, to some other charitable cause, even if it is just adding a dollar or two to your next fast offering.

  33. StillConfused says:

    Remember, not every is meant to be the potato man

  34. Nora Ray says:

    Actually, if things like visiting/home teaching and auxiliary activities are done according to the Spirit and not just to get them done, they can have a very positive effect on those who are less fortunate. I am in a small Branch in the Northeast and this area is very economically depressed. Many of those who are baptised need life skills training almost as much as they need the gospel. Because we are so small we struggle to get everything done, but I have seen some significant changes in some people who needed those changes the most, such as single mothers with several children.

    On a personal note, I am somewhat sorry I came across this blog. I am not getting much done around the house anymore!

  35. Nora Ray, be glad you didn’t run across it while you were at work!

  36. I’m sorry I jumped on your post Peter LLC. I gues I view foster children as the modern Martin handcart company. When I went through foster parent classes our teacher refered to them as “God’s forgotten children.” That said, I struggle with how and who Christ wants me to serve and a bit of self loathing because I currently choose not to be a foster mother. I find it easy to take potatoes, bread, and money to those who suffer, but I struggle with the dirty jobs that involve the sacrifice of my time. my heart, or privacy.
    Ezekial pleaded with the Lord to take his stony heart and make it a heart of flesh, sometimes I purposely protect my heart with stone. I struggle with my own Christianity.

  37. I’d say the shame of accepting a handout has not gone away. MAC, feel free to rejoice. The Food Stamps/WIC recipients in front of you in line have surely noted your disapproval and inwardly cringed while pretending they don’t see you.

    The church food/assistance recipients hold their heads high as their heart writhe within them because the Relief Society President or Bishop tells them once again that they must do such and such an assignment because they are on welfare.

    The “evils of the dole” principle really cannot be overemphasized. If we don’t administer help with a lecture, people may become comfortable begging for a living. It is delightful fun to have to ask someone to buy something for you that you ought to be able to buy for yourself.

    I really think everyone should be required to be destitute for a month or so. People wouldn’t have to dig quite so deep for compassion after their stint.

  38. Jami,

    I am assuming you have read Tracy’s subsequent post.

    Was she wrong to feel shame? Would you walk proudly into the supermarket waving your coupons? Would your possible hesitancy be limited to the chance that someone stranger would silently judge you?

    I personally feel it is damaging to the soul to accept that which has not been earned without humility and contrition.

  39. Yes, MAC, I read Tracy’s beautiful post.

  40. I agree with MAC.

    Full disclosure: My pregnant wife and our baby girl are both on Medicaid while we complete school. We didn’t plan it that way–we thought we could pay for health insurance–but a few things didn’t quite work out the way we’d planned.

    In hindsight, though, our predicament is the result of poor planning and some rather stupid decisions on my part. I deserve every sidelong look we get at the doctor’s office.

    It’s obviously dangerous to over-generalize, but it’s hard not to think our society needs a healthy dose of shame when my wife (a cashier at a grocery store) comes home and tells about the latest customer that paid for most of their groceries with food stamps–and then paid cash for a few enormous cases of beer. It’s hard not to think something’s wrong when BYU students routinely state–in public letters to the school paper, no less– that it’s perfectly OK to quit your job and go on Medicaid, because it’s some kind of God-given right and society owes it to you.

    / hypocrisy

  41. Ardis Parshall says:

    MAC, I take it that you don’t buy health insurance, or at least that you insist on paying full price and turning now the discounts that insurance companies negotiate with hospitals and drug manufacturers? And that you don’t use roads and libraries and city water systems that were built before you turned 18 and began paying your full proportionate share of their construction, not just maintenance, costs? And that you don’t ever read BCC during work hours, unless you are self-employed and have contacted the owners of the machines and networks through which your internet connections pass so that you can pay your full share of those expenses? And that you put a little something extra into your donation envelope every time you take a family name to the temple? (I mean, it would hardly be fair to ask ME to help pay for the blue cardstock, the toner, and the investment in computer equipment to print up a card with your great-grandfather’s name on it, would it?)

    For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raimant, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?

  42. Ardis Parshall says:

    … turning *down* the discounts …

    (It’s so hard to make a dramatic and haughty exit when you catch your skirt in the slamming door, isn’t it?)

  43. At first my shame was for needing help- but once I realized my former lack of charity, my shame changed to humility before the Lord for my sins.

    The two emotions may be very close to one another on the human scale, but they are far apart in the heart before the Lord.

  44. “I really think everyone should be required to be destitute for a month or so. People wouldn’t have to dig quite so deep for compassion after their stint.”

    Amen, Jami. Amen. I’ve had to receive assistance from the Church more than once in my life; it certainly changed my perspective.

  45. Peter LLC says:

    JimD,

    It’s too easy to beat yourself up–all of us could have been higher achievers, more careful planners, wiser investrs, born in richer countries…

    The notion that taxpayers should feel ashamed for availing themselves of tax-funded programs created to assist them (if they qualify) is baffling. Government aid is hardly low-hanging fruit for the unmotivated–Medicaid, for example, is careful to point out that poverty alone is not necessarily sufficient to qualify:

    the Medicaid program does not provide health care services, even for very poor persons, unless they are in one of the designated eligibility groups.

    In the rough and tumble frontier that is the US safety net, I go get what is yours. I know you condemn this attitude, but that’s probably just because you are an American. In other parts of the world, state social insurance is mandatory and the only options you have are to be sensible and take advantage of it, don’t take advantage of it and go untreated, or pay for additional private insurance, which still doesn’t let you off the hook for what you owe to the Man.

    I too worked at a grocery store as an undergrad (full disclosure–my employer paid for my health insurance) and I saw plenty of WIC/foodstamp recipients come through the line, and often enough they would use money they didn’t have to spend on cheerios and apple juice to pay for their vice of choice. And it didn’t bother me–I’d rather that all mommies and babies and even daddies get enough to eat even if it means an indirect Word of Wisdom violation subsidy. Besides, buying beer in bulk drops the unit price, which is surely good economics. 8)

  46. Peter LLC says:

    erratum: “I say go get what is yours”

  47. Well MAC, I got a good night’s sleep and reread your comment #38 and it’s every bit as pompous, insulting and asinine this morning as it was last night.

    The answer to your other question is that the shame I’ve felt in receiving assistance has been almost entirely due to knowing that people are judging me.

    No, I would not go waving my WIC vouchers around gleefully. I would, however, turn to anyone who came behind me in line and say, “This is going to take a lot longer than it looks like. It’s WIC. You might want to choose a different line.”

    Humiliation is not humility. Jesus did not humiliate those who he served, but almost all were humbled by his loving, healing grace.

    Contrition is absolutely not required for having to receive help. Contrition for being laid off? For having a spouse die? For staying at home with children while they are young? For being poor and doing what is necessary to get good food for the family? Contrition?

    Does it make you feel better to know that Tracy cried at the WIC office. Does it make you feel better to know that I cried last night reading the heartless judgement of some of the commenters here? That I’ve cried every time I’ve had to ask for assistance?

    You are absolutely right about one thing though: people who ought to be feeling shame in this situation are not. Shame on you, MAC.

  48. Matt Rasmussen says:

    And that you don’t ever read BCC during work hours…

    Indeed, we are all beggars.

  49. In judging others’ situations we often forget we are capable of seeing only a very small portion of their lives. We tell ourselves that other people have the same opportunities as us and, therefore, their situation is of their own making. This reasoning is faulty in that does not account for the tremendous subjectivity of opportunity. Even seeing the possibility of a decent job, a college education, a dad who doesn’t abandon his kids, a life without welfare, and many other life choices/situations is a privilege. If we see these things as attainable or even possible we are privileged. Those of us who grew up with three square meals and a warm bed are privileged. Those of us who grew up without these privileges and still found a way to a better life are privileged.

    Before we count someone as having the same opportunity we should look at what they have known and what they have been taught and what they have experienced. If we could know a person on that level I doubt we would be so cavalier in our judgments. Are we not grateful the Lord mercifully considers our very unique experience in judging us?

  50. Jami,

    Let me give you a little context.

    My grandparents raised 7 kids. My mother was truly homeless for a period totaling years, she was effectively homeless for most of her childhood. My grandmother almost never talked about it, my mother lets out small pieces, I am close to an aunt who has filled in a many of the details.

    I don’t remember my grandfather, but my grandmother was a humble, religious woman who probably could have won a bar fight in her day and could send chills down your spine with a look. The children she raised ended up successful and generally happy, though a few took the long way to get there.

    Without going into detail, some of the situation could be excused by things outside of my grandmother’s influence, but for the most part they could not. I know, from things she has said, that she is still ashamed of certain things. This is many, many years after the fact, the shame is not based on the reactions of non-family members and her children have frequently absolved her. The youngest siblings have said that they just thought they spent a lot of time camping and the older siblings all talk fondly of the “adventurous” aspects of their childhoods.

    The shame she felt was internal, an organic response and acknowledgeable that she was human and owned her own mistakes. It was part and parcel to the person that she is and I hope that I inherited some of it from her.

    Of course I don’t rejoice in in the fact that you or Tracy cried when asking for help. I respect you for that response. In the same also I am disappointed when one takes what is offered shamelessly and with a sentiment of entitlement.

  51. I still say shame and humiliation are an unhealthy and unnecessary part of the mix. For something that is not sin.

    The emotional energy that it takes to process shame and humiliation is much better spent on becoming more Christ-like, working on solutions to the financial difficulties, and supporting/loving each other in times of stress.

    MAC, thanks for the respect, I guess. And with all due respect in return, I suggest that you won’t find the scenario nearly as cut and dried when you are the one in need of assistance.

  52. cj douglass says:

    Down with meetings! Thanks Brigham! …I’m not joking.

  53. banister says:

    If we want to do what’s right then we need to minister to anyone in need. Alcoholics and addicts are no less “deserving” of our assistance than anyone else. No matter what.

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