Worthy friends

A public safety chaplain working in a burgeoning Utah community has witnessed staggering heartbreak and grief. The chaplain is called on scene when a family is impacted by the death of a loved one. He offers gentle counsel and a listening ear to folks dealing with the aftermath of a violent crime or tragic accident.

Sometimes the deceased was involved in some sort of criminal or risky activity that ended in violence. Others have overdosed on drugs or been killed while driving drunk. Through their tears, the surviving relatives often tell the chaplain that their lost son, daughter, sibling or spouse was a "good kid" who, at some point, "fell in with the wrong crowd." Their bad decisions in life have yielded tragic, final consequences that will forever change the lives of many others.

One might ask what is a "wrong crowd"? Daily, people gather in crowds and no tragedy occurs. Youth are often seen in "crowds" doing good, participating in uplifting activities. Perhaps a crowd goes wrong because of the poor decisions of just one or two people that influence and endanger the others.

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