Church News - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Church News: Question of the week

Published: Saturday, June 14, 1997

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What is the origin of the use of "wards" to designate geographical divisions and congregations in the Church?

(Answer on page 13)

Here's answer to week's question

In the 1840s, Nauvoo, Ill., was divided into political "wards," following a common practice among municipalities at that time. That led eventually to the practice of dividing Church membership into wards. The ward became a social institution of prime importance in the Church.

Source: Dean L. May, "Social and Cultural History," Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 3.