The 25th Ward was on Salt Lake’s west side, with a largely immigrant population and then, as well as now, one of the humbler Salt Lake neighborhoods. It was part of Pioneer Stake, whose budgeting process we recently looked at.
About a year before he died, Bishop Ek reflected on the difficulties of being a bishop in such a ward – and his reflections were entirely different from the challenges of today’s bishops.
“This is a lovely ward,” he wrote, “and I think that you will find just as many honest noble Saints as you could find in any other ward. But unfortunately, they are all poor.” Apparently he had brought up the subject of the ward’s poverty so often to his stake leaders “that I might be looked upon as a little crazy on that point,” but it was a point he was compelled to repeat now.