Branch vs Ward

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techgy
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Branch vs Ward

Postby techgy » Fri Nov 20, 2009 12:18 pm

What's the basic difference between a branch and a ward? I am thinking that a branch can cover a larger area than a ward but in some areas of the US there are wards that go for miles. So when is it appropriate to create a branch instead of a ward or visa versa?

Thoughts?

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Postby faazshift » Fri Nov 20, 2009 12:27 pm

The wikipedia page describes how they differ. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ward_%28LDS_Church%29. Scroll down to the section 'Wards and branches. Hope this helps.

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Postby jdlessley » Fri Nov 20, 2009 12:37 pm

The official information is provided in the CHI, Book1, 2006, p 170 -171. But for those who do not have access to the CHI the wikipedia information will do.
JD Lessley
Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?

techgy
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Postby techgy » Fri Nov 20, 2009 12:45 pm

Thanks. I hadn't checked wikipedia.

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Postby russellhltn » Fri Nov 20, 2009 12:56 pm

I'm not sure what information you're looking for. Off the top of my head, I believe a Branch has a streamlined leadership structure that makes it a better fit for small congregations, but I don't remember the differences.
Have you searched the Wiki?
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PNMarkW2
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Postby PNMarkW2 » Fri Nov 20, 2009 3:06 pm

Having lived in ward that was bigger then the stake I'm in now I would say it's not about geography at all, at least as far as I know. One of the major determining factors is whether of not you have enough active, worthy, tithe paying, priesthood for all the callings that require priesthood (bishopric/clerks, priesthood quorums, young men).
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Ward Clerk
Colonial Heights Ward
Portland Oregon Stake

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Postby lajackson » Fri Nov 20, 2009 7:46 pm

Techgy wrote:What's the basic difference between a branch and a ward?


All of the information referenced so far is good. The basic difference is that a branch is usually small and created in an area with very few members. They function as best they can and use the basic programs of the Church.

Ideally, a branch will grow in numbers and strength and eventually become a ward. A ward is created when there are sufficient numbers and strength of members to carry out the full program of the Church.

A ward does not have to have been a branch first. If there are enough members in an area, a ward can be created. This happens most often in established areas of the Church, such as when a large and strong ward is divided to become two, or two large wards are divided to create a third ward in the same area.

techgy
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Postby techgy » Sat Nov 21, 2009 9:39 am

I appreciate everyone's input. Much of what you have stated I had already considered. It was mostly curiosity. Our stake will shortly be going through some ward boundary changes and I was simply wondering what the basis was for the creation of a branch vs ward.

We have two branches in our stake. One is a singles branch and the other a deaf branch. Both are relatively small in number although they cover a rather wide area.

Thanks everyone for your thoughts.

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Branch Size Relevance

Postby Velska » Mon Nov 23, 2009 5:22 pm

I'm not sure if this is useful, but here goes. A branch can have plenty of members, including worthy priesthood holders, when it is outside boundaries of a stake.

A case in point is our branch. A couple hundred people, including recommend holding MP holders, but two hundred miles from the nearest ward, and the stake there is already huge, geographically.

So, I think geography comes to play when you really have relatively few members living in a large area. If we were inside the boundaries of a stake, or even neatly neighboring it, we could easily be a ward (I've lived in a smaller ward).

Theoretically speaking. When I was in the district presidency here, our goal was to become a stake. A lofty goal for around 350 members to be sure, but if you don't reach out you'll never get anywhere.

The membership is growing now, and I see young people come to the Church and get married in the temple. For some time that didn't seem to happen.

Cheers,
--velska

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Postby russellhltn » Mon Nov 23, 2009 5:50 pm

velska wrote:I'm not sure if this is useful, but here goes. A branch can have plenty of members, including worthy priesthood holders, when it is outside boundaries of a stake.


True. A Ward can only exist inside a Stake. No Stake, no Ward.

But a Branch can exist inside a Stake.
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Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.


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