by Devin Fletcher:
For the last few weeks, my family and I have been in a weird spot in our relation to the organization of the church. We’ve kinda moved. I don’t mean “kinda” in the linguistic filler type of way, or as a way to minimize the damage of a comment to follow. I mean we’ve kind of moved, but not completely. Since 2013, we’ve lived in Waco, Texas while I attended Baylor Law School. Upon graduation a year ago, I passed up a job offer because of a prompting from the Holy Ghost. Recently, I found a job and began working down in Austin during the week, driving back to Waco on the weekends, while my family finished out the lease. My family moved down and joined me in staying with my sister-in-law and her family. Due to various circumstances, we have attended church in three different wards since and have effectively been without a ward for a month.
The old saying is, “the beauty of the church is that it’s the same wherever you go.” In my experience within the U.S. that's generally true, with allowance for local flair and preference. The doctrines taught in the Austin-area wards were basically the same as anywhere else. The people were friendly and often welcoming. But I miss having a ward to call my own. It makes me feel, perhaps for the first time, truly grateful for the geographic way we determine where our members attend services.