by Amanda Mauldin

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    How could they do this to me? Suddenly, all of my friends were in another ward, and I was alone in a new one.

    February 14, 1988

    They split the ward, and I feel like part of me has been amputated. I still can’t believe this is happening. Things at home and at school have been so crazy lately, and now I have to face being in the new Tierra Bonita Ward instead of the Lancaster Third Ward.

    Doesn’t the Lord know how hard this is going to be? Doesn’t he understand that all my friends will be in a different ward? I’ve grown up with them. I can’t imagine going to church and not being with them. How could anyone take their place? This just isn’t fair.

    The new ward is so small. There are no girls my age, and no young men. I don’t know any of the people, and it’s not going to be easy to make new friends. I miss my ward and all my old friends already. I don’t know what I’m going to do. I wish things were back the way they were. I can’t handle this!

    February 14, 1990

    Two years ago today I wrote that entry in my journal. I remember how devastated I was when the ward split and I found myself in a ward full of strangers. I thought my life was over. I wanted God to intervene and change things back to the way they were, but he didn’t. And now I’m glad.

    At the time, I was too upset to realize that the Lord wasn’t doing this to hurt me. He knows what’s best for me even if I can’t always see things his way. Now I’m really thankful that I’m in this ward. The leaders and teachers are wonderful and have helped me in many ways. What would I do without Diane, my Laurel adviser, and all the other young women? With them behind me, I know I can do anything. I was meant to be in this ward!

    Most of all, I’ve grown to appreciate the Lord and the decisions his leaders make. Next time, I’ll have more faith in their judgment. Happy birthday, Tierra Bonita Ward!

    Photography by Steve Bunderson