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The ask: specifically, what goes into redrawing boundaries, other than prayer?
Seems like critical mass of ward members and balancing of welfare needs, primarily.
Remember, good information leads to good inspiration. Though high school boundaries (and thus non-online seminary classes) don't' seem to be a consideration. My son will be starting seminary in a class that has no other youth from our ward in it, due to high school boundaries.
Friends of mine in the Greater Denver area recently had their ward and stake dissolved/absorbed by the three neighboring stakes.
The ward they'd attended for 40 years or so had a lot of welfare needs / bishop's storehouse needs (majority of the cases in the stake were from that ward) and had a large group of inactive and less active members - example: some active members had 10-15 hometeaching families / ministering families. For clarity, I'll call this the "needy ward."
No exceptions were made to those who requested to attend the ward that had the majority of "needy ward" members in it.
Temple recommends were going to not be issued if members continued attending the ward which absorbed most of the "needy ward" members.
My friends are now in a predominantly suburban ward with much less welfare need and more balance - though in their older age, the loss of existing social relationships is difficult.
A long time ago in a farming community in Utah, my family and I were in three wards in 2 years while never moving.
Some said it was the high count of Primary age kids that caused the boundary update.
Some said it was the higher welfare needs of part of the neighborhood that needed to be balanced amongst wards.
Either way, as a newly-wed couple, starting out and having known some of the people in the area from high school, loosing these relationships was challenging.
And, yes, my friends in Denver and in the farming area are able to remain friends and see each other; the challenge arises in finding the time after the kids, callings, commute, work, date night, FHE, etc.
By Bernard Gui
In 2 Nephi 2, Joseph, son of Lehi, is given this promise by his father:
There is some question who this "one mighty among them" will be. It's not Joseph Smith, because the one will be a descendant of Lehi. Joseph Fielding Smith and Spencer Kimball suggested it would be a future prophet to come out of the remnants of Lehi (a "Lamanite" or "Indian" prophet).
Let me propose another candidate, one who we all know well but perhaps take for granted.
He did much good in word and deed. He was an instrument in the hands of God. He had exceeding faith. He worked mighty wonders. He did that thing which is great in the sight of God in bringing restoration to the house of Israel and the seed of Lehi. 1. He did much good in word and deed.
2. He was an instrument in the hands of God.
3. He had exceeding faith.
4. He worked mighty wonders.
5. He did that thing which is great in the sight of God in bringing the restoration to the house of Israel and the seed of Lehi.
Yes, I'm talking about that giant of a Nephite, the Prophet Mormon. As a boy, he was a leader of men. As a man, he was one of the greatest prophets of God. As a prophet, he was fearless in his faith and secure in his knowledge. As a warrior, he gave his life in defense of his people. As a father, he inspired greatness in his son Moroni. As a historian, he was entrusted to make and preserve the record of his people that became the foundation of the Restoration. Truly, he was "one mighty among them."
Granted, some may point out that he claimed to be a descendant of Nephi, not Joseph, but it is reasonable to conclude that the descendants of the faithful Lehites (Nephi, Sam, Joseph, Jacob, and Zoram) intermarried and all could claim to be descended from Nephi. In fact, all the descendants of those Lehi sons became grouped under the head of Nephi. But is it not possible that this man was the one prophesied to come and bring restoration to Lehi's family?
Others may have come to this conclusion, but I'm not aware of any who have proposed Mormon. Feel free to burst that bubble of pride.
This morning I came across a notion expressed by an LDS member, positing that the poor have a better chance at learning wisdom and love because of their economic and social position.
I would like to respond to that idea here.
As much as the idea of the noble, happy poor is appealing to me and as much as I hope for the happiness of the vast majority of the world's population living in relative poverty, I think the idea that having no social or material capital helps us misses the fundamentals.
On the contrary, it is agency that opportunes us to choose wisdom and love, and in many cases poverty has a strong inverse relationship with agency.
Think about the majority of impoverished globally, who wash their own clothes by hand: what happens to the mother who can use a machine? She has more time, her family has more time. Maybe she can read and then change her world with what she reads.
Before she has a machine she has less choice and after she has a washing machine she has more choices. She now has to trade off less of material advantages and necessities if she chooses to spend time reading, to herself or anyone else.
Thus material advantages allow a person the chance to make more decisions, to exercise power in more ways, for good or bad. And the fruitful exercise of agency produced more opportunities for fruit-bearing agency.
In other words, without agency, the righteous exercise of power--or in other words, virtue--is impossible.
I believe that Christ expects us to love "the least" because, in part, He wants all of us to experience opportunities of power and thus develop virtuous personal qualities grown from righteous exercise of power, virtues by virtue of virtue.
From yesterday's Deseret News:
If that number is correct and if we assume that the Church's annual income is around $6 billion, than the Church's welfare and humanitarian aid averages about 0.7% of its annual income. Or, looking at it another way, it is averaging $2.67 per member in welfare and aid efforts.