Tuesday, October 17, 2006


As I’ve mentioned before, our family is in the process of building a house, and while we’re living with my in-laws, we’ve been kind of in a state of limbo, church-wise.

For a while, we continued to attend our old ward. That worked for a while, but we began to feel less and less connected there.

So, we started to attend our new ward, thinking to make new friends.

This particular week was very interesting. I woke up, not feeling too well. It was one of those borderline “not too wells” that could go either way. You could get up and go to church, or you could stay in bed all day, and still feel perfectly justified.

Still, as I’ve been feeling so in-between and only a little bit lost lately, I decided that I needed to get my sorry butt out of bed and go to church anyway. I mean, I can see just how easy it would be to go inactive. Miss a few weeks in between, then when your moving, in the chaos, you miss a few more, and before you know it, you’ve stopped attending.

Well, my kids gave me more than their usual amount of grief when we were getting ready, but still we soldiered on and got in the car. It’s about a 40 minute drive to the new ward house. Pretty significant when you consider most people in Utah walk to church. Or, rather they COULD walk to church, but still somehow end up driving…

But I also thought of my pioneer ancestors who walked a couple of thousand miles to get to church, so I didn’t feel too bad about it.

Now, this new ward has a very interesting dynamic going on. It’s in a new city, where houses are going up like weeds on the prairie. The wards are stuffed. Our ward, for example, has an average attendance of over 400 at Sacrament Meeting. There are two Elder’s Quorums. There are two or three adult Sunday school classes.

And yet, they can’t field more than three or four deacons to pass the sacrament. The rest are Melchizedek Priesthood holders.

Sacrament meetings there are, by far, the noisiest I have ever experienced. Babies and young children outnumber the adults by possibly three to one.

After Sacrament, the halls are a gridlock of people passing back and forth trying to get their kids to Primary and then back to Sunday school. I can see just how easy it could be to get swallowed up in the mass of humanity and end up not noticed and “feel like no-one cares”.

But in spite of all those things that could give someone reason to complain (and I’m usually pretty good at jumping on those things), I found myself just feeling relaxed. The spirit cut through the noise during the speakers at Sacrament meeting, and the people I sat with in Sunday School and Priesthood were friendly.

And almost all of them had one big thing in common with me. Within the last few months or so, they’d each been “the new family”.

So, I’m excited to be in the new ward. No matter how many times it splits in the next few months! I’ll jump in and meet people, get my home teaching families, and I’ll probably even join the choir.

Welcome home!

Mark Hansen


  1. The house almost done?

    I bet your glad ya went.

    How neat.

  2. That's the spirit Mark. Love your real world positive message. Keep to the upward road!

    With Enthusiasm,

    Chance Thomas

  3. It took us nearly five years to get comfortable with our new ward. This one was large enough (though not quite a large as yours by the description) that it's taken me this long to start remembering names of more than 20 people or so. Being buried in callings like Family History or the ward choir (same 15 faithful every Sunday!) probably didn't help.

    Why it took me five years to get comfortable I'll never know. Mrs. Woody and I frequently comment that we always feel so good when we're able to attend our "home" ward. (The Woody family frequently is out of town on Sundays because of Mom-in-Law's health.)

    Now we can't imagine not being in this ward. Just funny how that works.



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