Pure religion: A fruitful search

Three 26-foot rental trucks backed into the driveway and the transfusion began. More than 50 ward members — young men and young women, elders, high priests and Relief Society sisters — arrived and began the work of packing the tons of furniture, files, mementos, and memories that had been collected over the years. The young family of six was preparing to leave the place they had called home for more than a decade and move to Eastern Canada, a journey of 3,000 miles.

Slowly, the contents of the home vanished and the truck beds settled heavier upon their wheels. Finally, after working all day the work was finished and, except for a few odds and ends, the family was ready to begin their long journey.

And so the friends hugged each other, said their good-byes, and went home. All had gone well. Unbelievably well. Almost too well. And that's when the father realized that something was missing. The folder that contained their documents — the birth certificates, the titles for the vehicles, the moving van manifests. He had set them all aside knowing that he would need them to get across the Canadian border. But they weren't where he had put them.

He scoured the house. The more he searched, the more his heart sank. The documents must be inside one of the moving vans. The mother and father spent a sleepless night wondering how they would ever find those documents.

Morning came and the downcast father resigned himself to the task. He opened the door of one of the vans and began to pull out, one box at a time, the contents of the trailer.

"You're going backwards," one of his neighbors teased. "The boxes go in the trailer until you get to Canada, then they come out."

The father explained what had happened and then went back to work. His neighbor stayed with him and the two of them began unloading the trailer.

It wasn't long before another neighbor arrived. And then another. Soon, eight men began unpacking the trucks, checking each box for the precious papers.

The documents weren't in the first box they opened. They weren't in the second. But in nearly the last box — the hardest one to get to — were the precious documents. And as they were discovered, a look of indescribable relief and joy washed over the faces of the mother and father.

Almost immediately and without a word, the long process of repacking began. They worked through the afternoon until the last box had settled into the last truck.

Neil K. Newell, Welfare Services