When we first moved to our current ward, for an initial stay of only a year, I was asked to serve as a counselor in the elders quorum presidency before I had attended a single sacrament meeting here. A year ago, we returned to the same ward, and yesterday we discovered that that previous elders quorum president and my wife are eighth cousins. And all this time we had assumed we were the exceptions in a ward and stake where everyone seems to be related to each other.
[It occurs to me that this paragraph might be a bit of a challenge for non-Mormon readers, since the specific contextual meaning and actual significance of some or all of the following could be unclear:
ward stake counselor elder elders quorum elders quorum president/presidency sacrament sacrament meeting and, most importantly, the significance of discovering a distant kinship with a co-religionist in a foreign country.
I’ve even overheard non-Mormons totally freak out over Mormons’ inquiring about and sharing of genealogical trivia with each other. But for some Mormons, discussing distant ancestors from obscure corners of faraway countries is something like exchanging business cards or air kisses, a ritual that can signify anything from greeting a stranger to welcoming him or her into the family.]