A real-life example of a 'ward family'

When I was in Primary, I had a bishop who always referred to our Mormon congregation as a "ward family." He used the term so frequently that it became a family joke, and my siblings and I would giggle every time he said it during sacrament meeting.

I quickly came to learn, of course, that his rhetoric was not unique; almost every bishop I've had since then has, in the pursuit of Zion-like unity, urged members to treat their fellow congregants like family members. But nowhere have I seen this ideal so successfully achieved as the Harlem 1st Ward in New York City.

By the end of a long first week in New York -- during which I spent 10-hour days at my internship while my wife explored the city alone -- we were both eager to get to church on Sunday and feel the familiar spirit of the Saints. Of course, getting there wasn't so easy. After a 30-minute walk through Harlem on an exceptionally hot, muggy morning, we arrived at the chapel sweaty, tired and dehydrated.

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