Thursday, December 19, 2019

Could the Earth Be Square?!

See image info below footnotes
and circular? and flat? and spheric? and cubic? all at the same time?

It's interesting how sometimes an “either / or” question is asked of God and (in paraphrase) He answers: “Believe it or not, both / all are right.”1

To seriously consider the title question “Could the earth be square? would take far more than a blog post, but perhaps this question and a few quotes from
A Beginner's Guide to Constructing the Universe: The Mathematical Archetypes of Nature, Art, and Science: A Voyage from 1 to 10
by Michael S. Schneider
will open our eyes, ears, and minds to reconsider and ponder2
▪ the “science” of an oft-blind world,
▪ the myths, legends, and mathematics (both ancient and modern) that may carry hidden clues; and
▪ if God is more literal in His scriptures than we give Him credit for?
Concerning the Circle and the number One
To ancient mathematical philosophers, the circle symbolized the number one. They knew it as the source of all subsequent shapes, the womb in which all geometric patterns develop.3

The circle is a reflection of the world’s— and our own— deep perfection, unity, design excellence, wholeness, and divine nature.4

The circle accommodates all shapes within itself.5

We’ve seen the creating process emerge from the Monad’s point to the Dyad’s line and Triad’s surface, that is, from zero dimensions to one dimension to two dimensions. Our journey corresponds with the emergent structure of a plant: the point of the seed, the line of the stem, the surface of the leaf. We now come to three dimensions, to volume, to the fruit of our geometric plant.6

Concerning the Square (plus volume: sphere and cube, ...) and the number Four
The flat square or tetragon (Greek for “four sides”) has four equal sides. The tetrahedron (Greek for “four faces”) is a volume of four identical triangular faces. And the cube or hexahedron (“ six faces”), the most well known volume, is enclosed by six square faces.7

The ancient Greeks noticed that four is the first number formed by the addition and multiplication of equals (4 = 2 + 2 = 2 × 2) and so was considered the first even number and first “female” number.8

The planet earth below us, solid ground, terra firma, is the supreme symbol for substance, mass, volume, strength, and stability. We organize space on the ground by the four cardinal directions of the compass and our body, dividing the circle of the horizon around us into four quarters in front and back of us, to the left and right. The four-cornered cross in a circle has long been the astronomical symbol for planet Earth. The four traditional winds blow across the four corners of the globe. We quarter not only space but time, naturally dividing the year into four seasons based on the relationship of the sun with the earth around the two equinoxes and two solstices.9

Regardless of the culture, the square was the preeminent symbol for the ancient Earth Mother goddess. The association of the earth with the number four, femaleness, and justice is very ancient, far preceding recorded history.10

In the way that a mother provides nourishment for her developing child, the “world mother” is described in myths as nourishing the emergent archetypal patterns with matter, consisting of four types of food, called the four ancient elements: earth, water, air, and fire. These elements provided the mythopoeic way of referring to the modern scientific four states of matter: solids, liquids, gases, and plasma or electronic incandescence.11

Four shows up whenever there is reference to earth and matter.12

With our ability to construct a square we can bring the principles of the Tetrad to our universe. We can create volume and clothe it with the four elements, or states, of matter. The ancients symbolized this materialization process by weaving.13

Mathematicians have long known there can be only five possible “equal divisions” of three-dimensional space. Highly respected, discussed, and wondered at in ancient times, the construction and study of these five volumes were considered the ultimate goal toward which the elementary constructions built, the culmination and pinnacle of ancient geometric and esoteric knowledge.14

The first thing one might notice about these forms is that their faces are either triangles, squares, or pentagons. No other flat shape used alone will enclose a volume without gaps. These are the most economical expressions of space from which nature’s designs derive their characteristics.15

This simultaneity of three and four is a simple blueprint of ourselves: the triangle denoting a divine trinity “above,” or deep within, and below it a square unfolding the four elements of familiar human nature and body outward.16
The mathematics of “structure, function, order” are indeed amazing. The above quotes from Schneider hardly scratch the surface of his book, but for me the questions arise:
▪ if shapes and volumes unfold and interact in a mathematical sequence, why can't our world manifest in a “transcend and include” manner of structure-function-order just as it does in biology and communication?17
▪ where are the pillars and foundation of the earth?18
▪ don't pillars and foundation usually support a flat or triangular or spherical upper structure of floor or roof?
▪ if gravity is a weak force, how does it keep everything glued to a spherical ball including water that by all the laws of physics demands and seeks its own flat level?19
▪ could firmament20 be the capsule cover that insulates us from the forces of outside motion and energy, somewhat like a car, bus, plane, train, etc.?
▪ where are those four corners21 if the earth is really and only spherical?
▪ could we, in this 21st Century, be more gullible and unobservant than some of the ancients?
▪ why do we argue about points of view:
» when our reach, grasp, and personal experience of this world (elephant) is so limited?
» when too much of what we actually observe does not jive with what we have been told or what has been fogged-out by indoctrination?
» when we know that the god of this world22 is known as the “father of all lies”23 (and entrancing CGIs24)?
Of course, Michael S. Schneider does not posit (in any way) a square, flat land-and-ocean mass surrounded by an (Antarctic?) ice-circle arched over by a spherical, celestial firmament supported below by a series of pillars (foundation) which pillars / foundation are contained in a cubic space volumized below the flat square and contained within the bottom portion of the sphere. In other words, a flat square within a circle where we all live sustained by a foundation cube, all of which is contained within a protecting sphere.

Perhaps now, everyone can be calm and quit arguing about whether it's a snake or spear or fan or wall or tree-trunk or rope,25 or flat or round or square or spheric or cubic or spinning or not-spinning26!

If the above discussion leaves you fuming or fog-bound, try this as a distraction:

Multiply nine 1s X nine 1s. i.e.,
111111111 X 111111111 to find
__________ !?!27

Perhaps it all comes down to this:
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways [and designs] higher than your ways [and designs], and my thoughts [and views] than your thoughts [and views].28
1. Doctrine and Covenants | Section 77:3 ~ Q. Are the four beasts limited to individual beasts, or do they represent classes or orders? A. They are limited to four individual beasts, which were shown to John, to represent the glory of the classes of beings in their destined order or sphere of creation, in the enjoyment of their eternal felicity.
Book of Mormon | 1 Nephi 22:1-3 ~ AND now it came to pass that after I, Nephi, had read these things which were engraven upon the plates of brass, my brethren came unto me and said unto me: What meaneth these things which ye have read? Behold, are they to be understood according to things which are spiritual, which shall come to pass according to the spirit and not the flesh? And I, Nephi, said unto them: Behold they were manifest unto the prophet by the voice of the Spirit; for by the Spirit are all things made known unto the prophets, which shall come upon the children of men according to the flesh. Wherefore, the things of which I have read are things pertaining to things both temporal and spiritual; … [bold emphasis added]
Note: God’s replies were not confined to an "either / or" paradigm because a compound understanding was required. We encounter this all the time—people passionately defending their “theory” against some other “theory” when, in God’s comprehension, economy, and plan, dual or multiple explanations fit.  Not unlike the nature / nurture controversy; or the grace / works debate. (Do we not have to make it to the door with oil in our lamps (NT | Matthew 25) so we are there, ready to enter when the door is opened ONLY by and through His grace? See also
New Testament | James 2:14, 26 ~ 14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? ... 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
2. NOTE: If you and your family want an adventure for the year 2020, you might consider Schneider's  book. And remember, God has spoken to His children worldwide for generations, so there is much truth in all societies and cultures that must be gleaned from under the continual corruptions that man has overlaid in his so-called wisdom.  So as we pursue truth, let us not let the co-opting of God's design elements by opponents of the Good, blind us to the origins of all things and to the truth of:
New Testament | Colossians 1:15–17 ~ [His dear Son:] Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
3. Schneider, Michael S.. A Beginner's Guide to Constructing the Universe: The Mathematical Archetypes of Nature, Art, and Science: A Voyage from 1 to 10 (Kindle Locations 464-466). Harper. Kindle Edition.
4. Ibid., (Kindle Locations 463-464). Harper. Kindle Edition.
5. Ibid.,  (Kindle Locations 545-547). Harper. Kindle Edition.
6. Ibid.,  (Kindle Locations 1384-1387). Harper. Kindle Edition.
7. Ibid.,  (Kindle Locations 1390-1393). Harper. Kindle Edition.
8. Ibid.,  (Kindle Locations 1470-1471). Harper. Kindle Edition.
9. Ibid.,  (Kindle Locations 1477-1482). Harper. Kindle Edition.
10. Ibid.,  (Kindle Locations 1487-1488). Harper. Kindle Edition.
11. Ibid.,  (Kindle Locations 1496-1499). Harper. Kindle Edition.
12. Ibid.,  (Kindle Locations 1519-1520). Harper. Kindle Edition.
13. Ibid.,  (Kindle Locations 1567-1569). Harper. Kindle Edition.
14. Ibid.,  (Kindle Locations 1723-1726). Harper. Kindle Edition.
15. Ibid.,  (Kindle Locations 1728-1730). Harper. Kindle Edition.
16. Ibid.,  (Kindle Locations 1820-1822). Harper. Kindle Edition.
Three additional quotes:
● When either the radius or circumference is measurable in whole, rational units, the other is an endless, irrational decimal. Thus, a circle represents the limited and unlimited in one body. Ibid.,  (Kindle Locations 490-491). Harper. Kindle Edition.
● Symbolized in nearly every culture as a wheel, the circle represents nature’s universal cycles, circulations, circuits, orbits, periodicities, vibrations, and rhythms. Ibid.,  (Kindle Locations 620-621). Harper. Kindle Edition.
● A circle expresses the most practical and efficient geometric space for natural and human creations to occur. Of all shapes, a circle encloses the most space by the smallest perimeter. In other words, the most enclosure with least exposure. The Monad’s third principle is maximized efficiency.  Ibid.,  (Kindle Locations 684-686). Harper. Kindle Edition.
17. Transcend and Include: “A natural hierarchy is simply an order of increasing wholeness, such as: particles to atoms to cells to organisms, or letters to words to sentences to paragraphs. The whole of one level becomes a part of the whole of the next. ... Virtually all growth processes, from matter to life to mind occur via natural holarchies, or [nested] orders of increasing holism or wholeness—wholes that become parts of new wholes—and that’s natural hierarchy or holarchy [transcend and include].” From A Brief History of Everything by Ken Wilber, © 1996, Shambhala, p. 28.
18. Pillars / Foundation: All bold emphasis added.
Old Testament | 1 Samuel 2:8 ~ He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD's, and he hath set the world upon them.
Old Testament | Psalms 102:25 ~ Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands.
Old Testament | Isaiah 48:13 ~ Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens: when I call unto them, they stand up together.
Old Testament | Zechariah 12:1 ~ THE burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him.
New Testament | Hebrews 1:10 ~ And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:
Book of Mormon | 1 Nephi 20:13 ~ Mine hand hath also laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens. I call unto them and they stand up together.
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 45:1 ~ HEARKEN, O ye people of my church, to whom the kingdom has been given; hearken ye and give ear to him who laid the foundation of the earth, who made the heavens and all the hosts thereof, and by whom all things were made which live, and move, and have a being.
Pearl of Great Price | Moses 6:44 ~ The heavens he made; the earth is his footstool; and the foundation thereof is his. Behold, he laid it, an host of men hath he brought in upon the face thereof.
19. Gravity: If satellites, planes, birds, balloons, hang-gliders, etc., etc. can make it aloft for long periods, what keeps massively heavy water flowing obediently around a spinning or not-spinning ball in contravention of liquid properties? But then what do I know for sure? Not a lot. I mostly have questions and (sometimes wild?) suppositions.
20. Firmament: All bold emphasis added.
Old Testament | Genesis 1:6-8 ~ And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
Old Testament | Genesis 1:14-20 ~ And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day. And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
Old Testament | Psalms 19:1 ~ THE heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
Old Testament | Ezekiel 1:25-26 ~ And there was a voice from the firmament that was over their heads, when they stood, and had let down their wings. ¶ And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it.
Book of Mormon | 1 Nephi 1:10 ~ And he also saw twelve others following him, and their brightness did exceed that of the stars in the firmament.
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 76:70-71, 81 ~ These are they whose bodies are celestial, whose glory is that of the sun, even the glory of God, the highest of all, whose glory the sun of the firmament is written of as being typical. And again, we saw the terrestrial world, and behold and lo, these are they who are of the terrestrial, whose glory differs from that of the church of the Firstborn who have received the fulness of the Father, even as that of the moon differs from the sun in the firmament. ... And again, we saw the glory of the telestial, which glory is that of the lesser, even as the glory of the stars differs from that of the glory of the moon in the firmament.
Pearl of Great Price | Moses 2:6-8, 14-20 ~ And again, I, God, said: Let there be a firmament in the midst of the water, and it was so, even as I spake; and I said: Let it divide the waters from the waters; and it was done; And I, God, made the firmament and divided the waters, yea, the great waters under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament, and it was so even as I spake. And I, God, called the firmament Heaven; and the evening and the morning were the second day. ... And I, God, said: Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven, to divide the day from the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and for years; And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth; and it was so. And I, God, made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night, and the greater light was the sun, and the lesser light was the moon; and the stars also were made even according to my word. And I, God, set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, And the sun to rule over the day, and the moon to rule over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness; and I, God, saw that all things which I had made were good; And the evening and the morning were the fourth day. And I, God, said: Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl which may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
Pearl of Great Price | Abraham 3:13 ~ And he said unto me: This is Shinehah, which is the sun. And he said unto me: Kokob, which is star. And he said unto me: Olea, which is the moon. And he said unto me: Kokaubeam, which signifies stars, or all the great lights, which were in the firmament of heaven.
Pearl of Great Price | Abraham 1 Fac.:12 ~ Raukeeyang, signifying expanse, or the firmament over our heads; but in this case, in relation to this subject, the Egyptians meant it to signify Shaumau, to be high, or the heavens, answering to the Hebrew word, Shaumahyeem.
Pearl of Great Price | Abraham 2 Fac.:4 ~ Answers to the Hebrew word Raukeeyang, signifying expanse, or the firmament of the heavens; also a numerical figure, in Egyptian signifying one thousand; answering to the measuring of the time of Oliblish, which is equal with Kolob in its revolution and in its measuring of time.
21. All bold emphasis added:
Old Testament | Isaiah 11:12 ~ And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
New Testament | Revelation 7:1 ~ AND after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.
Book of Mormon | 2 Nephi 21:12 ~ And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 124:3 ~ This proclamation shall be made to all the kings of the world, to the four corners thereof, to the honorable president–elect, and the high–minded governors of the nation in which you live, and to all the nations of the earth scattered abroad.
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 124:128 ~ Which Twelve hold the keys to open up the authority of my kingdom upon the four corners of the earth, and after that to send my word to every creature.
22. New Testament | 2 Corinthians 4:4 ~ In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not,
23. All bold emphasis added:
New Testament | John 8:44 ~ Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
Book of Mormon | 2 Nephi 2:17–18 ~ And I, Lehi, according to the things which I have read, must needs suppose that an angel of God, according to that which is written, had fallen from heaven; wherefore, he became a devil, having sought that which was evil before God. And because he had fallen from heaven, and had become miserable forever, he sought also the misery of all mankind. Wherefore, he said unto Eve, yea, even that old serpent, who is the devil, who is the father of all lies, wherefore he said: Partake of the forbidden fruit, and ye shall not die, but ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil.
Book of Mormon | 2 Nephi 9:9 ~ And our spirits must have become like unto him, and we become devils, angels to a devil, to be shut out from the presence of our God, and to remain with the father of lies, in misery, like unto himself; yea, to that being who beguiled our first parents, who transformeth himself nigh unto an angel of light, and stirreth up the children of men unto secret combinations of murder and all manner of secret works of darkness.
Book of Mormon | Ether 8:25 ~ For it cometh to pass that whoso buildeth it [this secret combination] up seeketh to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries; and it bringeth to pass the destruction of all people, for it is built up by the devil, who is the father of all lies; even that same liar who beguiled our first parents, yea, even that same liar who hath caused man to commit murder from the beginning; who hath hardened the hearts of men that they have murdered the prophets, and stoned them, and cast them out from the beginning.
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 93:24–25 ~ And truth is knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come; And whatsoever is more or less than this is the spirit of that wicked one who was a liar from the beginning.
Pearl of Great Price | Moses 4:4 ~ And he became Satan, yea, even the devil, the father of all lies, to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken unto my voice.
24. CGI = Computer Generated Image
26. Could spinning or not-spinning, moving or not-moving entail another “either / or” scenario depending on circumstance and view? as in: Ship's captain (via the bridge surveillance intercom): “Is that saltshaker you just set down moving?” Diner: “No, not as far as I can see.” Captain: “As far as I can see, 'tis moving.”
Old Testament | Joshua 10:12–14 ~ Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day. And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the LORD hearkened unto the voice of a man:
Old Testament | Habakkuk 3:11 ~ The sun and moon stood still in their habitation: at the light of thine arrows they went, and at the shining of thy glittering spear.
Book of Mormon | Helaman 12:11-15 ~ Yea, by the power of his voice doth the whole earth shake; Yea, by the power of his voice, do the foundations rock, even to the very center. Yea, and if he say unto the earth—Move—it is moved. Yea, if he say unto the earth—Thou shalt go back, that it lengthen out the day for many hours—it is done; And thus, according to his word the earth goeth back, and it appeareth unto man that the sun standeth still; yea, and behold, this is so; for surely it is the earth that moveth and not the sun.
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 88:45 ~ The earth rolls upon her wings, and the sun giveth his light by day, and the moon giveth her light by night, and the stars also give their light, as they roll upon their wings in their glory, in the midst of the power of God.
27. Answer: “The ancient philosophers conceived that the Monad breathes in the void and creates all subsequent numbers (111111111 X 111111111 = 12345678987654321). Numbers only express different qualities of the Monad.” Schneider, Michael S.. A Beginner's Guide to Constructing the Universe ... (Kindle Locations 475-476). Harper. Kindle
28. Old Testament | Isaiah 55:8-9

Blind men & elephant Image Source: By Hanabusa Itchō - This is a retouched picture, which means that it has been digitally altered from its original version. Modifications: rotated, cleaned, cropped, centerline fold/crease removed (original Ukiyo-e print was on two pages), and scan fog haze removed., Public Domain, Edition.

Monday, December 9, 2019

A Plea to Church Authorities

Dear Authorities:

(Concerning ward realignments in long-established rural areas*)

Perhaps you have never considered that all things,1 even geophysical locations (like villages, towns, cities), might have been divinely appointed with one or more angels / spirits / servants having stewardship over “place” as invisible, spiritual interiorities as real as the visible, exterior features and infrastructures of those villages, towns, and cities.2

Perhaps you have never thought about the unique spirit of community — of place — of belonging — of destiny — that permeates every hamlet, village, town, city, or metropolis that exists.
Perhaps you have never considered that realigning rural ward boundaries3 might not always parallel urban realignments in that one can divide a town or city into multiple ward configurations without fracturing a member's sense of civic belonging to their town or city.

Perhaps you have never lived in a long-established RURAL ward long enough to appreciate:
● how often the ward is the community and the community is the ward4;
● how fractured from community and place many long-term historical ward members feel when they are aligned out of their rural  community to another distant community for statistical purposes;
● how almost immediately non-members of a realigned ward are viewed as guests when attending their community (home) ward;
● how busy one can become in serving in a realigned ward outside one's home community such that one has little time or energy left for home community;
● how often realigned- and home-ward events conflict so that one cannot attend or participate in both;
● how rural community events (above and beyond ward events) seem to fall to the ward for organization and funding — events that become known to non-ward members only through special invitation;
● how intrusive one feels to attend a “home-ward” function without invitation (like a form of ward double-dipping?);
● how artificial it feels to pretend one “belongs to” and must be committed to a distant community / ward where one has no history or heritage.
Of course, this appeal (and decade-old 15+ year-old complaint) will anger some. “Just do what you're told,” they say. “The authorities have their reasons. It is a test of faith and obedience. There are thousands of saints who have far greater trials and problems than yours, so get over it. And anyway, the idea of 'spirit' of place is not important, even questionable.”

To those persons, I say: We do not ask you to agree with those of us who feel alienated and fractured by being aligned out of our home community. We just ask you to hear us without scorning our right to think and feel as we do. We know that not everyone feels as strongly about place and belonging as we do. Some never question authority, but some of us have too much experience and knowledge about how easy it is for men and women to be persuaded by the doctrines / philosophies / ideas / agendas of the social sciences and the natural man,5 even when sincerely trying to do what's “right and best”; or even more common, to be caught in the grip of the spirit of power.6

So this is the plea. Please, remember:
▪ we are more than statistics.
▪ we are more than members of wards.
▪ we are members of heritage communities who feel alienated by insensitive or artificial alignments.
▪ the spirit of communities can differ greatly, as much as the spirit of nations do.
▪ the spirit of a community can be  wounded by domination.
▪ many of us need a sense of community that feels authentic, not artificial, not mandated by another's design ideas.
So please, align us back to our community ward. We are now 15+ years in mis-alignment (i.e., in missing our community ward). What a more appropriate year than 2020 to recognize how important the spirit of community, place, and belonging is in each and every life.

* Two local examples that I personally know that happened over a decade ago and are still impacting lives, involving:
a) the engineered mixing of rural and urban wards where a small, vibrant historical community ward was divided into parts and realigned with other distant wards in a town site. The idea seemed to be to mix the best of both worlds: “the spirit of the urban” with “the spirit of the rural.” The result has been devastating to the spirit of the rural community. It was as if the supposed “sword of Solomon” had no one to question or prevent the severing of the spirit of that unique historical place – that no one had the strength to question the “wisdom” of what was done without open consultation of those effected. A decade plus has passed and the spirit of the community remains fractured.
b) the engineered realignment of 30+ members of a long-established hamlet / village from their home community ward to another long-established, rural community ward (requiring 11X the travel distance on winter roads for now 15+ years).
The question is: How frequent is and has this been throughout the Church where the powers-that-be (in local, stake, or general leadership) have been persuaded to ignore or discount the spirit of belonging and place in order to achieve what they believed to be good or reasonable ends? (Though in one instance, the leader seemed, in his remarks, to take pride in breaking the community bond and compelling obedience.)

1. New Testament | Colossians 1:15-17 ~ For by him [the firstborn of every creature] were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. (Bold emphasis added.)
2. Walter Wink: “In Naming the Powers I developed the thesis that undergirds all three volumes of this work: that the New Testament’s “principalities and powers” is a generic category referring to the determining forces of physical, psychic, and social existence. These powers usually consist of an outer manifestation and an inner spirituality or interiority. Power must become incarnate, institutionalized or systemic in order to be effective. It has a dual aspect, possessing both an outer, visible form (constitutions, judges, police, leaders, office complexes), and an inner, invisible spirit that provides it legitimacy, compliance, credibility, and clout.” Wink, Walter; Collected Readings (p. 67). Fortress Press. Kindle Edition. (bold emphasis added.) See also footnote 4 herein.
3. Except in the case where realigning an existing rural community into two wards because of growth while respecting its community boundaries. Of course the realignment requires adjustment, but still leaves members with a sense of belonging to their hamlet / village.
4. Consider: Apostle John's detailing of the unique essence for each of the seven churches named by location in New Testament Revelation chapters 2 and 3: “[John, in addressing the seven churches] assumes always that the Church is, in a sense, the city. The local Church does not live apart from the locality and the population, amid which it has a mere temporary abode. The Church is all that is real in the city [town, village]: the rest of the city has failed to reach its true self, and has been arrested in its development. Similarly, the local Church in its turn has not all attained to its own perfect development: the “angel” is the truth, the reality, the idea (in Platonic sense) [the potentiality] of the Church. Thus in that quaint symbolism the city bears to its Church the same relation that the Church bears to its angel. But here we are led into subjects that will be more fully discussed in chapters 6 and 16. For the present we shall only review in brief the varied characters of the Seven Churches and the Seven Cities, constituting among them an epitome of the Universal Church and of the whole range of human life.” Ramsay, W. M.. The Letters to the Seven Churches: A History of the Early Church (Kindle Locations 688-694). Endeavour Compass. Kindle Edition.
5. Doctrine and Covenants | Section 46:7 ~ But ye are commanded in all things to ask of God, who giveth liberally; and that which the Spirit testifies unto you even so I would that ye should do in all holiness of heart, walking uprightly before me, considering the end of your salvation, doing all things with prayer and thanksgiving, that ye may not be seduced by evil spirits, or doctrines of devils, or the commandments of men; for some are of men, and others of devils. (Bold emphasis added.)
6. Doctrine and Covenants | Section 121:39–42 ~ We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion. Hence many are called, but few are chosen. No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile—