I think it’s pretty cool that when an LDS family is ready to move anywhere, there is a system in place to lug stuff from one house to another house, a group of people (mainly men in the elders' quorum age group) to help transfer the accumulation of a person’s life.
I’m talking about the Mormon Movers.
What are the qualifications to be a Mormon Mover? There are a few:
1. I think it’s important to have a couple of feet that can go in a forward direction.
2. A good sense of spacial relationship thinking is another good quality, so as to not bang into other Mormon Movers carrying unstable armloads of grandma’s good china.
3. You have to own a decent-size refill mug, 64-ounce or bigger, to rejuvenate the old metabolism when a body gets tired (hopefully filled with liquid refreshment of the DEcaffeinated variety).
4. The ability to communicate is optional. In fact, too much talking on the job impedes the main purpose of the job, keeping those feet moving.
5. A need for speed is something that is important, especially as the sun is going down.
And, oh yeah, No. 6., the ability to raise that hand when a priesthood leader calls for volunteers.
Now, I feel the general procedure that the Mormon Movers use to fulfill a moving assignment hasn’t changed in the span of time or the span of geographic/cultural distance. It stays the same:
- The mother of the family decides to move
- Tells the father of the family that the family is going to move
- Who wonders immediately how to move the piano
- Then tells the elders quorum president
- Who asks kindly for volunteers in a mighty call to action from the brethren (minus the information about the piano)
- A bunch of arms are raised and names taken down on the back of the ward bulletin
- That is lost, then found, about 10 times
- Which, after looking at the list of strong-willed, full-hearted but weak-muscled guys, calls Brother Schow and Brother Beckstead, who are buff
- And all arrive at the wrong time because the ward bulletin was finally, completely lost
- But everybody gets to work anyway after a mighty prayer that pleaded that “no harm will befall us,” a chorus of “amens”
- And I fall, skin my knee, but luckily didn’t break the contents in the box of old salad shooters
- As the truck gets completely loaded, with the bikes and the backyard barbeque grill in the very back.
And what about the piano? Usually, the piano gets firmly placed between two queen-sized mattresses as close to the axle of the truck as possible. The piano goes through two thresholds of doorless frames, down a four-step front porch, across a bumpy lawn, up a U-Haul ramp, finally placed “right there above that axle, Jerry, right there” and a worried mother of the house following close behind the huddled group of straining men with her hands tracing imaginary and efficient hand-holds in the thin air.
That’s how the Mormon Movers roll — including all the energy and commitment that money can’t buy.
Bill Hill lives in Idaho Falls, Idaho, with his wife and three daughters. He works for a counseling agency.