We’re #1! We’re #1!

Kristine A returns to share with us her thoughts about why Rexburg is home to the best ward in the world.

Last week I was strolling around my neighborhood near dusk and ran into a friendly neighbor, let’s call him “Bro. Smith”. As we visited I shared that my husband and I were building a home 5 blocks away (.5 mile and 2 wards away, in Rexburg measurements) and we’d be moving in a few months. Bro. Smith mentioned how sad it was we had to leave our ward, but at least we were staying in the best stake.

He went on to share that when “Bro. Young” from our ward was Stake President, Elder Packer came up to Rexburg and in confidence with Pres. Young, told him the our Rexburg Stake was THE literal best stake in the Church.

That the Brethren have less to worry about our stake than any other stake. Bro. Packer went on to disclose within the best stake, THIS ward was the best ward of all the wards . . . and that he wouldn’t be surprised in the future if a temple were built within the stake boundaries. So the legend goes that when the Rexburg temple location was announced, lo and behold it was placed within its holy boundaries (let’s not forget temples are built on hills and there’s only one stake on the hill, but I digress . . . ).

I haven’t moved around a lot, but I do figure 18 moves in 13 years in 4 states and 4 time zones amounts to something . . . and all of the wards we have loved, and people mention how wonderful all of them are. When we first moved into this ward our bishop assured us it was the best ward in the Church. We thought that was a little over-confident, but typical of a bishop who loves his ward. We had no idea that people truly, literally thought there actually exists a “best” ward.

Since I have now been assured by the mouth of more than one witness that I’ve found the best, I’d like to propose World Cup Ward Brackets. I’m usually partial to March Madness, but perhaps this is more appropriate for the rankings of righteousness . . . what with the break down of Church Basketball Tourneys and all.

Please make your case for your own ward to be included in the comments below. How is your ward the best, and how would you rank it? Do you think you have the #1 biggest nursery? I will admit this ward is likely to have the greatest musical strings talent in the Church, a 16-piece orchestra for musical Christmas numbers has got to at least be Top Ten. The ward choir is nearing limits for needing tryouts, if there were a Rexburg MoTab – we’d be in the running for that one as well.

I’ll be using my Wizard Cup to finalize the results. May the odds be ever in your favor.

Comments

  1. We have an elevator in our building, and we are one of the only ward buildings that the chapel doesn’t back up to the cultural hall. That describes both the wards that meet there though. What sets ours apart is that my bishop is amazing, and that is the ward I was baptized in as a young lass of 15. Check and mate!

  2. Manhattan 1st Ward. D. Fletcher on organ. Jim Lucas in Sunday School. Richard Bushman in HP. Claudia Bushman in RS. Bishop is Adam from the old temple film. Right across the street from Lincoln Center. Amazingly diverse, amazingly intelligent, amazingly welcoming. It’s the best ward I have ever experienced.

  3. We had four nurseries at one point. FOUR nurseries. So maybe ours was the most reproductive. One year fifty two baby blessings in as many weeks. We’re older now and I think we’re down to three.

  4. EOR: elevators would definitely raise the stakes when the youth play sardines in the building . . . and no cultural hall? or is it just located in a different spot – because the lack of basketball gym in a mormon church makes my head spin.

    Steve: No name dropping! Negative points to you, and a hopeful future visit to Manhattan1 for me.

    Dovie: Reproduction definitely should weigh heavily in the rankings, I’ll get back to you!

  5. Oldie in the ward. says:

    Heber East Stake, (435) 512-9464
    Rapid Growth Award, we had lived in our home for three years and we were what was considered the old ward members. Our move in average was 8 homes a month. Constantly for two years.

  6. We had been in our ward for 15 years and had a major disaster in our family. The ward, which consisted of many members we had helped over the years, did nothing. Oh wait, this is for “best” ward? Sorry, my bad.

  7. Kristine A the cultural hall is downstairs. NY Mormons love their Church basketball too :)

  8. Let me see…I lose!

  9. @Mike: Sounds like you are in my ward.
    You would not believe what we have been through (two really bad wards)
    I believe that there Are really goods wards but they are few and far between. It is nice to know good wards exist so that gives me hope.

    I would say the small Branch I grew up in would make the best ward list. Wish I still lived there.

  10. Oldie: my husband was EQP in a ward with 3 apartment complexes, talk about exhausting! Once in that ward a new move-in couple stood to give their sacrament talks and said, “we won’t be here long, found another place so we’re moving in 3 weeks” and I think the bishopric member pulled a muscle trying not to roll his eyes. You have my condolences.

    Mike, jessie, and jg: your wards get 0 points in the round robin group stage – it’s like you’re the japan/australia/denmark trifecta of the World Cup. You also have my condolences.

  11. We actually like our ward. I can’t really give much context to our situation without possibly revealing to a current ward member who we are. We were, however, tempted to move because of the lack of response. Funny thing is, the responses came from non-members, inactives, ward members who had moved away, or people from work. We decided not to let the experience destroy us.

  12. And we were both in leadership positions, and had been for some time, so it’s not like people didn’t know who we were.

  13. YOU’RE the one who started the name dropping with this Elder Packer mythos garbage!!

  14. Arlington, MA Ward; late 80′s – early 90′s; Priesthood Meeting and Relief Society opening exercises held in rooms on opposite sides of the chapel; the men were so good musically that the women waited to start their meeting until after the men had sung their opening hymn, acapella (with at least five or six men improvising unique and different parts each verse). Celestial music is hard to beat.

    Added aspect: Church building was destroyed by arson, so community pitched in and Church leaders approved unique architecture – making it a one-of-a-kind structure.

    Clinching tidbit: The Boston Temple was built on the same lot.

  15. Hedgehog says:

    New move-ins tell us we are the #1 most welcoming ward they have ever experienced. What strikes them most is that the welcome is immediate, we don’t wait around assessing if they’re ‘ok’ first. We get quite a few US members and their families moving in and out fairly regularly, as employees of an international company, and also US military. New converts and reactivated members also comment on how welcoming we are.

    In a recent stake conference we were told our mission is the #1 highest baptising (I don’t think I misheard that), which surprised me. Apparently it’s going really well.

  16. Well, I think our church unit for the 2.5 years I was on bed rest was the best for its size.

    We had sacrament almost every Sunday, once appropriate permission was given by leaders. (This did not extend to the hospital, even though all members were in attendance, but since we got confused and had sacrament on both State Conference Sundays, it worked out okay.) All members of the unit were involved in singing the hymns, and we had a special musical number at least once a month. (Twice we had more nonmembers than members participate in the number.) We invited the missionaries and nonmembers to join us when they were able, and I believe all 4 missionaries, including an assistant to the president, may have lied about tgeir gealth status to cone for the awesome cello rendition of A Poor Way Faring Man of Grief, that led to 5 encores of other favorite songs.

    People were always welcomed in whatever clothes they cane in, including drag queens who may have been sleeping until a few minutes before church started.

    One of my favorite opening prayers was given by a homeless teen who attended for 3 months, before she got up the courage to ask if it would be okay. She started, “Hey Mom and Dad, I didn’t really know anything about you before, but if you love me, I am thinking it’s at least polite to call home and say thanks for making me smart and getting me away from the bad place, and knowing their are churches where you can talk about rape but not be raped. I wish all churches were at home, and you could ask questions about anything without people telling you that you are going to hell. Not really sure what else to say, since it’s kind of been a heavy conversation, but I won’t pray for cracked anymore, now that I know what the Spirit feels like. Oh, and bless xxxxx and xxxxx to get what they need, but please let church at home keep happening until I can find a way to get clean and baptized.” (Copied from my journal)

    She has been clean for a year, and will be baptized next month. She likes her ward well enough, but she is the one who told me that it would have to be a pretty amazing ward to beat our Church at Home. This is the note she asked me to include:

    “When you said I could have breakfast any Sunday, and stay for Church at Home, I figured it was free gross food and a real church. When I got just what I wanted to eat, I thought you would start your sermon and go to the bathroom for a hit so I could zone out. Instead you asked about me and talked until noon. Then you told me what you did for church and explained everything and said I could leave whenever I was ready. I always had a hit with me, every time, but I never used it. When I asked if I could take a shower you also let me take any clothes I like that fit me. Even ones I knew you liked too. When you taught about only hearing Heavenly Mother, because your dad hurt you, so you couldn’t think about a loving heavenly Father, I started crying and you let me tell you everything and said that was the lesson, even though you had lots more notes. You made me want to get clean and then help me get treatment by my aunt and away from my dad.

    I saw that BBC has a silly contest about the best ward or stake. They should be asking about the best church, and that was at your appointment for lots if people. You should tell about church at your house, and the first prayer I said that made you cry, and you typed up for me to remember.

    I showed it to the mission president at our interview, and I am going to be baptized on my 21st birthday. I wish you could be there, but they said Skype would work, so you have to do the talk anyway. A bunch of people from treatment are coming, even some people who aren’t at 3 get to come.”

  17. anonymous@thebestwardever.com says:

    @juliathepoet… Its going to be pretty hard to beat that one.

    We are so awesome, we have had the same core members for about 18 years. In all seriousness: about half of the members have their last ward listed in MIS as the one ours was broken off from when it was first formed. That’s over a decade and a half of serving and learning with, and from, the most open, honest and loving people in all of Australia – if not the world. We’ve grown in numbers obviously and our family now includes people from as far and wide as England, South Africa, Egypt, India, most of the Polynesian archipelago, and even that little backwater they call the US of A.

    We are so awesome, missionaries come here, serve 6 months in one companionship (by bribing the MP with stories of that convert who just won’t come unless they are there and are soooo close to baptism) and then move back and marry the locals.

    We are so awesome, we openly discuss all those “issues” everyone here and elsewhere seem to have problems even bringing up: poor conversation about modesty, women’s issues all ranging and even whether the great darkness the Nephites experienced was a volcanic eruption or just the power going off so none of the tellys worked anymore.

    We are so awesome, we are modest enough to not tell you who we are.

  18. I don’t know if it was the *best* ward, but God goes to church in Tucson (one time the person saying the opening prayer in our ward there expressed his gratitude “that we could attend Thy ward”).

  19. I’m glad to see Australia has more than one ward in the running ;)

    Our ward has been split, but with our powers combined, this is Zion. Men with no prior leadership experience are called as Bishop, and couples who’ve both served in stake callings work in Nursery together. The times I have participated in ward council, people’s situations were discussed with respect (and as much privacy as possible), and people came with answers to questions – and the possible answers were listened to, even when they came from a different auxiliary than the one with the question. Youth activities are planned by the youth, and facilitated by loving leaders. They take seriously the idea that they have a duty, because of their baptismal covenants, to care for each other, and actively look for opportunities to serve.

    We have families were the grandparents, parents and children share a home. Single parents (both mothers and fathers), shared custody arrangements, full-, step- and half-siblings all in the same home. Couples who are childless by choice, and through infertility. Families who have children through IVF, international adoption, and taking in young friends who need help. Newly expectant parents, and single old ladies. Almost any family makeup you can imagine, has called our ward home. And all have been welcomed, and given the support that they needed – even if that was space to figure out and deal with their own needs.

    We cover a wide socio-economic spectrum, and a broad range of educational backgrounds, but everybody appreciates beautiful things – particularly when it comes to food and music. Especially at Christmastime. People give of their best, not their unwanted leftovers, and find joy in service. You should hear our Craig Petrie version of Master, the Tempest is Raging. (And you should have been there for the fun we had practicing it). I’ve probably given my ward away with that, but for serious.

    I have lived in 7 wards/branches, in two countries, and this will forever be home. Our hearts are knit together in unity and love. Come, join us :)

  20. Terry H says:

    For what its worth, our Stake has 82% of eligible young men go on missions. Our ward has 22 priests. Meetings are the best I’ve attended anywhere. Sure, we have our problems, but Stake is very pro-active in attempting to help.

  21. @Steve: you are right, I started it. And the Bushmans are the greatest name-drop ever created. Manhattan1 get’s a bye to the next round. New Rule: any associations with GAs don’t count

    @Ray: I’m already jealous of those Boston types – Red Sox and Kristine H? Don’t make it worse.

    @Hedgehog: I think I was born to live in a non-US ward, I think I’ve got to serve a lot of missions to make that happen . . . I’ll be an empty-nester in my 40s. I’ll be requesting your mission, sounds like.

    @julia: I’m glad you are participating in the silly contest, sounds amazing. We needed some powerhouses to round out the mix.

    @anonymous & misseola: I need JK Rowling to hook me up with a portkey because I need to come to Australia, stat. You breezed through the group rounds. Awesome.

    @otherbridget: in my patriarchal blessing it refers to the Lord’s university, so it makes sense He has a home ward, too. But Tucson, huh. He does work in mysterious ways.

    @TerryH: you get points for “raising the bar” and “riding the wave” Nice.

  22. Dubai has been DQd for spam. Too bad, I read they have some pretty cool humanitarian service missions there.

  23. Oh, I wish there were a ward where missionaries go to villages to digg wells, and which has a nice ski resort. That ward could win. As a ward clerk the Quarterly report is familiar to me, but what was that about extended flight?

  24. Not a huge fan of my current ward, but I’ve been in a lot of wonderful wards in the past. The good ones tend to have a good amount of diversity and a real focus on reaching out to individuals and families.

    The ward I grew up in always had a great choir. Lots of professional and semi-professional singers. They did a musical sacrament meeting this past Easter, and I had the good fortune to attend. A great collection of music, and they were just powerful. I had no idea a ward choir could be so impressive.

  25. tkangaroo says:

    I don’t know if it counts, but for years I was a member of the Normal Ward (in Normal, IL). I think that makes us awesome.

  26. I wanted to give shout outs to some former wards:
    Cedar Rapids 1st: First time out of mormon valley and we fell in love. You are literally family there. Everyone attends all the baptisms and Eagle Courts of Honor. Probably the only ward I’ve felt the members are my brothers and sisters.
    Christiansburg VA: I don’t know how to quantify its awesomeness, but I miss it dearly.
    Pocatello Bringhurst: Top Ten Greatest Youth Leaders, huge youth program to grow up in
    Ricks College 59th: One of the best married student wards – we still keep in contact
    LV Greenbrier: Probably the humblest ward we’ve lived in, very well off, down to earth people living in older homes and driving Fords to church.

  27. Naismith says:

    A great ward has to have an annual shrimp boil. Any ward that doesn’t enjoy that should be eliminated early on, in my opinion.

  28. We have 2 gyms 2 chapels and the mission home in our building and an elevator. One of the gyms has a disco ball for the dances in it. The ward is super friendly and full of service for each other. When we moved in we were taken under their wings and loved. A lot of great people who look out for one another. The only downside I can see is when I have to bring food it better be fancy not plain at all. We also have an annual corn dinner and invite everyone in the neighborhood and we have a lot on friends (not members) and families of our ward come back too. We love it.

  29. Kristine: Funny that Elder Packer could not only pin point a best Stake, but also best Ward! Amazing! But what, wasn’t that pronouncement like 15-20 years ago? What have you done with your best ward moniker since then?? (By the way, was that “Brother Young” actually his name?)

  30. Kristine: I know this is all for fun, but any parameters Elder Packer would be able to see measurements of are far from sufficient to define “best” ward. I have lived in wards with 20% home teaching, 25% attendance at sacrament meeting, etc. But, some of them were much better at serving one another and having lots of social interaction than the wards with 50+% in the statistics (obviously I have never lived in Utah Valley where the stats hit 90+%). Different strokes for different folks. ;0)

  31. My stake is so amazing that I don’t even have to go to stake conference to read what my stake president said. I can just read his complete address later in the Tribune! Beat that! :)

  32. @Naismith: an annual shrimp boil?! You’ve made it past the group rounds..

    @Rozan: I’ll second this testament of the disco ball church, I’ve been to this ward – it’s definitely getting past the first round. I can also testify they were not impressed at the RS birthday dinner and I signed up to decorate a table – I supposed they asked for help because they needed members to supply paper products, it didn’t occur to me that table decorating was an art form. My red paper plates sure were lonely that night.

    @fbisti: that’s why I want you to make your case! every ward has got to have something amazing about it, even with all our issues.

    @John Harrison: I’m not quite sure what this means – but I assume it means you’re in SLC. And either you have a controversial/super orthodox SP or a famous one? hmmm

  33. @tkangaroo I’m currently in the Normal Ward in Normal, IL. It does live up to its name.

  34. rameumptom says:

    After 11 years here, they have not kicked me out, so it must be the best ward around. Of course, they send me frequently to the Spanish Branch to serve, which gives them a break….

  35. I think all of us have been warned to stay far, far away from John Harrison’s stake. Potent reminder that despite my past and present stakes’ flaws (stake conferences where the stake president talks for over an hour so we all get out forty minutes late–and then does it at the next stake conference too, and the next after that, or stakes where I’m quite literally the only active member who didn’t vote for Romney) it’s not so bad. A quote in the Tribune has to mean trouble.

  36. Christian J says:

    The winner of the Ward League must play in the world series against of the Branch League. Branches are like the Dodgers before they left Brooklyn.

  37. Honestly, my stake is great, as is my ward.

  38. My kids lived in the Scottish Ward in the lower Aves in SLC (don’t know/can’t remember the #), and we would go every year to the Christmas sacrament meeting musical program for the trumpets from the balcony, celtic drums, bagpipes, piano, saxophones, choirs, guitars, flutes, harps, and – the last time we went – ocarina. Lovely, lovely, lovely, with the stained glass flaming over our heads and the grandkids wriggling in our laps. Yeah, I miss that.

  39. Lunada Bay Ward in Southern California. They just somehow did it right. In fact the whole stake did. When we walked into the building and saw rows and rows of pictures of former mission presidents and their families, it was very intimidating. However, the way they ran the ward was that the bishopric & RS leadership was comprised of converts who were members only between 2-5 years or less. Imagine if you were in a leadership position and every person you asked to do anything said yes and asked if they could do more than that and willing to serve anyway you wanted. Every church talk was pretty fantastic. Your VT companion was a former mission first lady, the sunbeam teacher was a former mission president, etc. The gospel doctrine teacher was a recent convert who would occasionally say something a little out there and the comments and loving redirection of those in the congregation was amazing to watch. Any diplomacy I have is just copying the way these members so deftly taught correct principles without shoving it in the face of the teacher. Putting the stalwart leaders as primary teachers, youth SS leaders, etc. and letting new members run the show leadership wise was incredible to watch and experience.

    Also, the stake president had a youth activity at least 2x a month at his home/pool. No exaggeration. Once some money was stolen from his home “a significant amount” but he said he still felt the good that came of these gatherings outweighed the bad of the theft. The adult session of stake conference was always a youth session. Choir was all youth & youth leaders and after a few words from the stake presidency, it became a big testimony meeting. Monthly stake activity night–during the week–instead of just ward activity night. Didn’t have the problem of “our ward is better than your ward” that exists in every other stake I have been in because of this approach. I would love to know how the statistics of this ward was compared to others but didn’t have access to the info at the time. As a new married, I thought all wards were like this. How wrong I was! My heart is still there. My truest friends are still from there. AMAZING!!

  40. I’m trying for best ward, not worst, just FYI.
    We have 18 missionaries out: 4 seniors, 2 young women, 12 young men. We have longtime members born on five different continents–just missing Australia. Seven families in the ward are non-English speaking (mostly Spanish) but are raising their children to speak English.
    Our annual service project, in late April, is the ward clean up. Two men in the ward own construction companies and they bring their heavy equipment and some volunteer employees. We do one or two big projects, like replace someone’s driveway. We cut down lots of trees and do a lot of yard work for each other. Everyone collects their big yard waste and big trash and puts it in the street, and the trucks come collect it and take it to the green waste or the dump. (We live in a suburban neighborhood.)
    We have a rotating SS class as an alternate to Gospel Doctrine. For 16 weeks, it’s a parenting class. 16 weeks of emergency preparation. And 16 weeks of the 12-step addiction recovery program (no one gets up and says “I’m a recovering addict”; everyone just learns the steps of the program).
    We participate in the citywide service day by doing cleaning and small repairs at the local high school. We serve at the local senior care center by performing sacrament meeting and RS meetings there for two months a year (taking turns with other wards in our stake).

  41. @Normal Warders – I’m not sure what to do with you. You’re on the bubble.

    @Rameumptom – if you’re an outlier and still there, it counts – you pass. But if that’s all you got I doubt you’ll make it past single elimination . . .

    @Tim – You didn’t help your case any! 40 Minutes past time? You’ve been eliminated!!

    @Christian – We can’t compete with branches, what’s required of y’all is sanctifying… you’re already in the Celestial Kingdom. Amirite, branchers?

    @CRW – what?! That sounds Amazing! LOVE! The Scotts have advanced, marching through the opening round, definitely!

    @KC – I love that. Sounds like Zion. Lunada Bay gets a bye to the next round, no need to even play. I’ll know which ward to crash next time we make a beach run to CA. Thx.

    any other takers? Because for all our faults I really think we have a lot of brag about, too. So don’t be shy!

  42. @Beth – I love the annual and community service projects, nice! Bonus points for walking the talk. You pass.

  43. Forgot to mention our stake had 2 dependent branches–Chinese & Japanese. Sacrament Meeting in their native tongue and then SS & YW/YM for the teenagers & PRI for the kids in English. Parents still able to have SS & RS/PH in their native tongues. Our Lunada Bay ward had the kids of these 2 branches and they assimilated completely….attending all the activities and holding leadership positions. Best of both worlds.

  44. Or should I have saved that for round 2?!

  45. Tom Weber says:

    My ward easily wins for best name: the Bluegrass Ward! Who could beat that?

  46. @KC, that’s definitely round 2 material. You seem to be the Ronaldo Cristiano of the whole thing. An mirage or good looks and insane skills. Keep it up.

    @Tom W: Bluegrass? Are you in Kentucky? Out in VA we had the Floyd Branch in our stake that was home to famous bluegrass fest and where every Friday night musicians would gather on corners and jam or you could go into the country store for some real Appalachian country dancin’. Either way, you tugged at my heartstrings, you’re thru to the next round.

  47. Kristine A — Thanks for this posting. It is nice to read kind words about the church…

  48. ji, we may have locked horns elsewhere (ahem), but I promise I dearly love this crazy place of Mormonism I call home. That being said, I’d love to hear about your ward :) Posting without playing? That’s a yellow card for sure.

  49. Palo Alto 1st. A billionaire in the ward routinely greased the wheels of commerce for members and non members alike, Steve Young taught an EQ lesson on Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy, and a sister from E. Palo Alto always gave her testimony through sudden bursts of deep southern gospel song. Can I get an Amen?!

  50. Geoff - A says:

    The best ward I have lived in was Leura, in the Blue Mountains behind Sydney in Australia. We had a chapels that wa a unique design, by a local architect. The baptismal font is in the foyer, because its central to our religion and shouldn’t be hidden away. The hallway has an arched ceiling, and the chapel is lit by moon bowls which act as gutters, and reflect light, often with water ripples onto the ceiling.

    Our bishop had gone back to uni to learn old testament hebrew and culture, and we had another member who was qualified as a rabbi, and also our music leader, and the chior did gregorian chants.

    All down hill since then.

  51. NotAllThatNormal says:

    Another vote of awesome for the Normal Ward in Normal IL — and not just because I was baptised there (on April 1!) many years ago…

  52. Mark Brown says:

    I have attended services in a branch (and I’m not saying where, because I don’t want the branch president to get in trouble) where the three-hour block of meetings gets magically shortened to just under two hours.

  53. I’m one of those misguided souls who would never vote for a shortened block. I would, however, vote to replace boring instructors at times.

  54. melodynew says:

    Grandview 17th Ward. Because everyone in this ward frequently states it is the best ward in the whole church. Newcomers say so, old-timers say so, pre-verbal infants coo and smile and wiggle their toes when they enter the chapel doors. (You think I’m kidding.) Our ward is the epicenter of the irrefutable truth: All Is Well In Zion. We need no other sanction. Our ward family consensus justifies our #1 position.

  55. I’d like to submit Scotch Plains 2nd ward in NJ as the congregation most likely to Group Hug you every Sunday. I’ve never received so many Sunday hugs and kisses as I did in that ward. It’s also wonderfully diverse, at least ten different accents, making our monthly Linger Longer an international culinary delight. And nothing is better than saying good morning at the pulpit and having the entire audience say “good morning” back.

  56. Brian,

    I endorse the Palo Alto 1st ward, and love my friends from the old Polynesian branch.

  57. @Brian & John H: PaloAlto1 may just barely get by to the next round, I need more than a famous teacher and rich guy to tip the scales. I like the southern lady, though – so you’re through :)

    @Geoff A: Australia is making a surprisingly strong showing here. It’s like the darik horse of the competition, coming from behind to blowout all the other wards. I had no idea such mormon brilliance even existed. All Australian entrants have now become favorites according to Nate Silver on 538.

    @Mark Brown: May the wisdom of your branch leader “go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear”

    @Melodynew: You tie with my Rexburg ward, whose belief that their number one position comes from fervently believing it to be so. Or something like that. I’m not sure we have much chance in the next rounds, though.

    @Teresa: You had me at “international culinary delight.” Didn’t expect a Jersey ward to place, just goes to show me to keep an open mind.

  58. Kristine says:

    oh, ji–so cute that you can even be passive-aggressive on such a cheerful post.

  59. Kristine, the Bluegrass Ward is in Lexington, Ky. I lived there for a year before moving across the city into the Pioneer Ward, so called because the pioneer members of the Church in Lexington lived in that part of the city, the older part. The Lexington Stake does get points for coming up with good ward names and lots of points for being a great place with members who make lots of sacrifices.
    Favorite memory in the Pioneer Ward: for a Primary sacrament meeting program, children held a picture of an international temple and said “I love to see the temple” in the foreign language, for example: “In Switzerland they say, J’aime voir le temple.” The last one was a young lady with a thick Southern accent who held up a photo of the Atlanta Temple, our temple at the time, and said, “In Atlanta they say, I LUUUV ta see the te-ehmple.”

  60. Left Field says:

    Many years ago, I lived in Mapleton, Utah when it was part of the Kolob Stake. When the Mapleton Stake was formed, the new stake president observed that we were now “nigh unto Kolob,” which is even better.

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