At the most recent general conference of the LDS church, its leaders announced a drastic change with regard to student and young single adult (YSA) wards. Essentially any student wards not associated with an actual college campus (such as those at BYU) are to be dissolved along with all the current “singles” wards. These will be combined into new YSA wards that include both student and non-student singles. In UT, the 120 or so wards will be organized into new YSA stakes.
This is an effort to stem the loss of young members as they “ward hop” looking for a ward they like. In actuality (and this is from personal experience), most young adults do this in order to avoid callings and accountability. Ward hopping allows one the flexibility of attending church when he or she feels like it. As a result, they get to see how nice it is to avoid the drudgery and go inactive. The LDS church is hoping to stop that.
LDS apostle M. Russell Ballard recently spoke to a conference of young single adults about the change, telling them: “You have no option to bounce around. We know where you are. We’ve got our radar focused on you.”
Wow, what better way to truly feel like church attendance is of your own free will as an adult than to be told by some old white guy that you’re being watched?