“Beyond Boundaries,” New Era, June 2006, 37
I was only half listening in sacrament meeting until the bishop announced that the ward boundaries were changing. I was devastated. I looked around the chapel, wondering who wouldn’t be in our ward next week. These were the people I’d gone to church with since I was three. They were more like family than ward members.
After sacrament meeting, in our Laurel class, our group of 16 usually talkative girls was quiet and tearful. We didn’t want to think about what it would be like with half of us gone. We would still see each other at school, but it wouldn’t be the same.
That night at a fireside, the stake president put up a map of the new boundaries. My stomach sank. My family was in the new ward. Looking more closely, I realized every other Laurel I knew would be staying in the old ward. I couldn’t believe it. I kept looking at the map, hoping I was wrong, but I wasn’t.
The next Sunday was miserable. I saw only a handful of familiar faces. There was only one other girl in my Laurel class.
A couple of weeks later, my previous Laurel class secretly filled my bedroom with paper hearts and notes. I knew these girls cared about me, and ward boundaries wouldn’t change that.
It was still hard to be in the new ward. Sometimes I felt like I was missing out on fun experiences with my old friends. But I learned that I was gaining much in return. I met new people and had many interesting callings. My new ward was definitely different from my old one, but that was what made it so fun.
My previous Laurel class president had said something on my last Sunday in the old ward that stuck with me. She said that the Church was true, no matter what ward you were in. I realized I wasn’t going to church because my friends were there. I was going to church to worship Heavenly Father, and I could make sure that never changed.