Recently the Manhattan stake where I live has undergone a surge of growth. In response to the influx of new members, new wards have been created, buildings have been erected, and there is every appearance that the stake will soon divide.
The surge of members in New York City is undoubtedly exciting. But these members are also shaping a Mormon community that looks scarcely like the one I grew up in. The majority of these members are, like me, young singles, newly weds, or parents of young children who come to the city to pursue school or professional goals. They are also unlikely to settle in NYC permanently. Even those who do stay in the city for several years often switch apartments frequently and thus migrate from one ward to another. If NYC wards are anything, they are resoundingly transitory phenomenons, with congregations whose faces change almost monthly as huge intern populations come and go. [Read more…]