Let me tell you a little bit about my ward: It has 15-20 kids in the Primary. No scouting program whoatsoever. I hope this improves by the time my boy is old enough for scouts, but I don't feel that strongly about scouting anyway, so it's not that big a deal for me. It has no young women. As in zero. I hope this improves when my girls get big enough for the program, but I have no guarantee of this. It has 4 young men. It is very common to have an elder or a high priest give you the sacrament. My husband is often up there, and my kids love to get the sacrament from him. They try to make him laugh as he stands by our pew. We have 2 full time missionaries out in the field. It is a small ward, and I love it. I live in Utah. I would really appreciate if people would stop bashing Utah, as if every ward here is overflowing and filled with made-up callings, intolerant people, and people who don't know what it's like to live on the same street as Jewish people, non-denominational Christians, and a black Baptist preacher. (That is my street). I am just sooo tired of the phrase, 'well, of course it's not like this in Utah, but...' I'm just tired of it. I'm tired of people who feel they are superior than I am because they live in the 'real world.' So, I'm removing some of my anonymity (which is possibly all blown to hell anyway) and saying I live in Utah. And... I am tolerant, loving, and understanding of diversity, damn it! I have lived outside of Utah in humongous wards - wards where nobody would know if I stayed or went, and frankly, didn't care. Several, in fact. I never thought I would settle here or raise my kids here. And it's a long life, who knows, I still might move someday. But chances are, if I move outside of Utah, I'll be moving to bigger ward than the one I'm in now. Maybe they'll even have scouting, who knows?


Blogger Heather O. said...

Utahns are all freaks.

7/21/2006 07:50:00 PM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you...

Those things people say about "Utah" people? They applied better to my "Idaho" upbringing. And don't even get me started about Southern Alberta in small towns where I'm related to each and every person that lives there....

BTW, did I say thank you?

7/21/2006 10:19:00 PM  
Blogger moddy said...

Thank you, I moved to slc about 1 1/2 yrs ago from Vancouver WA and the 2 wards that I was in there were at least twice the size of my ward here. The primaries there were huge and both wards had 2 nurseries. Here my ward is small the primary has about 30 kids on a good day (when the active kids bring a friend or their cousins are in town) and about 5 in nursery. We do have a great YW and YM's program but we are stretched to find people to fill all the callings in our ward. Our primary has to combine some of it's classes to have enough teachers. They are trying to get away from people having more than one calling, but alot still do anyway.
When we moved in I was a little concerned about the size of the ward, but not anymore. I've met people in the ward faster here than any ward I've been in (outside the ward I grew up in). In one of the wards I had been in in WA after 3 yrs I still would have peolpe ask us if we were new in the ward!
We love our small Utah ward.

7/21/2006 10:46:00 PM  
Blogger Tracy M said...

We live in a ginormous Washington ward- we have 8 former bishops in the regular congregation, and at least a dozen more who would qualify to be one, should the need arise.

You know, maybe it's because I'm a convert and didn't grow up in the LDS subculture, but I've never heard anyone bag on Utah wards. Maybe people just don't talk to me- I believe your experience is true, and I've heard others say similar things, but I'm glad no one talks to me about it.

You tell 'em!

7/21/2006 11:05:00 PM  
Blogger Tammy and Parker said...

I spent most of my growing up time in wards so small that they were.....Branches. A Branch in Turkey and a Branch in Germany. Small enough to reach out and reactivate my parents and bring me in along with them.

My ward now used to be huge. So they spilt it. Amazingly the new boundary went straight down the 'those who have and those who have not' line. This was the only ward I knew of that gave all of the tickets to the dedication ceremony of the Timpanogas Temple where Pres. Hinckley would preside to those who had leadership callings. Those who had leadership callings all were from the 'have' side of our now two wards. These same people seemed to just exchange leadership callings between each other. We 'have nots' just weren't leadership material I guess. LOL!

It was nice when the ward split. Gone were the Sunday fashion shows and the keeping up with 'who just got something new so now everyone else needs to go out and buy one if they want to be cool.'

And no more people standing up in church during testimony meeting explaining how they Lord loved them so much more than the rest of us because He made them rich.

So I think I can say that I like small wards too.

7/21/2006 11:12:00 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

Our ward spilt about a year ago to feed a ward that was struggling.

We lived right on the line before the split so of course we knew we would be going.

The old ward is pretty affluent, and kind of upper middle class suburban, the new one is urban and kind of gritty.

Some families were very unhappy about it. They had intentionally bought their homes in the other ward and did not want to change.

My son is much happier here. He is one of four active young men, with a couple of others drifting in and out.

It took half the old ward to get 2 young men! The families with boys must live farther east. Maybe we should jerrymander the ward boundries. :)

The nursery is huge though, we have a lot of young families going to college, they will be gone well before their children are in the youth programs.

While I have been happy in both wards,I wanted to be in this (the less affluent) ward when we bought our house but, for some reason that makes no sense to me, the only house we could afford was in the more affluant ward.

7/22/2006 12:15:00 AM  
Blogger Keryn said...

Thank you, thank you! My first "real" ward in Utah (not a student ward) was in Orem, where we lived in a basement apt in a ward that encompassed less than three blocks...little neighborhood blocks. There were three houses with non-member/completely inactive people. There were probably 10 former bishops, several former stake presidents, Bruce R. McConkie's son...you get the picture. And it was truly a ward striving to be Zion. So wonderful.

Then we moved to our own little house in Spanish Fork. In the old part of town. Our ward is considerably bigger geographically. We have probably around 50% activity--which is pretty good! And although it's a harder go, this ward is trying to be Zion, too.

One of our biggest problems? The sweet, wonderful elderly folks. They truly are wonderful, but they can't serve in many callings (Primary, YM, YW, Youth Sunday School, Scouts...). So although we have a thriving high priest group, the average age is probably 75. Our elders quorem is somewhat smaller, and stretched thin in callings.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that although I live in Utah, too--in Utah County, for heaven's sake!--my ward here feels more "mission-field"ish than my mother's ward in Las Vegas!

So, ditto, Wiz! You rock.

7/22/2006 12:31:00 AM  
Blogger annegb said...

Heather: Are not. My neighbor is very unfreaky. Her neighbor, not so much :)

Where do you live? I live in Utah. Have we had this conversation before?

7/22/2006 11:54:00 AM  
Blogger Lindsey said...

I struggle with this. I loved my wards in Utah, but there is a distinctly different feel in my ward in Montana. Maybe it's just how the ward fits the person? Incidentally, the worst ward I ever attended was in Wyoming, where my family was visiting. The lesson was on fellowshipping new members, and in the YW class I attended they raised their hands and answered 'you should say hi and invite them to sit by you' to the questions and not one of them acknowledged the stranger (me) in their midst...

I guess my problem was with a few specific people in Utah who took tradition as doctrine and preached it that way, or the atmosphere of 'I'm perfect and my mistakes are not allowed to show' that I felt in a lot of my wards in UT. I did have some great wards there, but I love my ward here so much better, and I think it would be different if it were in Utah.

7/25/2006 01:55:00 PM  
Blogger ubercyl said...

I live in a branch in a populous area of Utah. When I tell people in town about it, they all say: "A branch? In Utah?" as if it's the weirdest thing in the world. It was formed about 3 months ago, and the driving force behind it was Elder Richard G. Scott. It's something of an experiment, there are only 9 children over 18 months in the WHOLE branch (and 3 babies), I have two callings and do one more unofficially, and hubby is Everyclerk.

But we love it. 'Cause it's so not Utahny.

7/25/2006 05:40:00 PM  

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