Where the Pattern Comes From and Why it Matters

2 min read

In 1833, in Kirtland, Ohio, Joseph Smith, Frederick G. Williams, and Sidney Rigdon reported that they had received visions of a community plot and multipurpose building.

Williams documented the experiences in descriptive text and diagrams. According to the plot text, the community pattern is intended for “all” and is to “fill up the world” so all people can live in the communities, regardless of location, ethnicity, or religion.

The early Latter-day Saints didn’t have the time or capability to fully understand or implement these visionary 1833 documents. They did not triangulate other revealed community prescriptions with these documents, and they did not possess the technology or resources needed to fully realize the community pattern.

The two documents were not canonized in Latter-day Saint scripture. At NewVistas, we view this lack of canonization as appropriate because the pattern is meant for all people, not just members of one religion.

Original plat of Zion documents, June 1833

Indeed, the 1833 plot has received significant secular attention: in 1996, for example, the American Planning Association gave it a National Planning Landmark Award. And in 2010, architect and urban planner Andrés Duany referred to it when addressing a Utah civic group:

You have a Ferrari in the garage, and you have never taken it for a drive — you have never shown what it could really do… I am pretty convinced that however beautifully this plat of Zion worked — and remember, it did work — it has lost its way. Many of the things that make your suburban sprawl so easy were not the intention.1

Regardless of their source, the 1833 documents and associated community prescriptions comprise a remarkable world treasure. The plot and the community building plan together are the key documents, but other period documents are needed to flesh out the full community pattern — the plot refers to other Joseph Smith documents, the other documents refer to still others, and so on.

With the Joseph Smith Papers now publicly available online, anyone can examine and attempt to solve this intricate, complex, detailed, and all-encompassing puzzle by putting all the pieces together. The pattern makes complete sense, but it’s extremely hard to complete if you don’t have the original plot and building design in front of you.

For over 50 years, David Hall and his associates at NewVistas have analyzed and experimented with the community pattern, applying the latest advances in engineering, economics, organizational behavior, etc.

When triangulated with modern science and technology, the 1830s community prescriptions provide a precise guide for establishing the highest quality of life possible worldwide without overtaxing natural resources or the environment.

The pattern accomplishes this by recalibrating all aspects of human living at the most efficient and productive scales and proximities.

  1. See “Plat of Zion Recognized” transformplace.wordpress.com/plat-of-zion-recognized []
Sky Evans