"And should we die" is the first line of the ultimate verse of the hymn that has become the anthem of the L.D.S. church:Come Come Ye Saints. The hymn is one of gathering and became the signature of emigration to Utah in the mid and latter half of the 19th century.

And Should We Die was first drafted and written more than twenty years ago with the help and cooperation of my still growing family who - with little interference - watched Dad go to the basement with his Selectric Typewriter every day for six months to write.

I want to acknowledge my Aunt, Hope Hayes, who lived in the Mormon communities of my own childhood and who generously provided the documents written by my own ancestors who were part of the LDS Handcart Experiment and ultimate tragedy in 1856.

But mostly I want to acknowledge my wife, Lietta Ruger, who - upon discovering the manuscript in our home 15 years after its initial writing - insisted that I read it with her, save it to a floppy disk and advocated publishing.

It took her five years, but after gentle pushing, she has what she desired, a real book in an honored place in our living room.