Joe Alfandre Tours the Kentlands: One of the Most Successful Planned Communities in America

by Robert John Stevens, March 2, 2017

Joe Alfandre is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was in my ward in Potomac, Maryland. He created the Kentlands, one of the most successful planned communities in America and a model for all subsequent planned communities to study. In this interview he also describes subsequent mistakes:

Years ago I scheduled a time to visit with Joe and his wife. We met in Potomac Village at a restaurant. I complimented him for his great accomplishment and emphasized how the Kentlands was so often studied with great interest, and that was anxious to learn some of his insights. I was both amazed and disheartened by his response: He said the great thing about planning a community was that I could do it however I wished.

I don’t remember other comments but I do remember we discussed how planning urban communities was a function of inquiring what the people wanted and making it fit with the history and landscape of the area.

Building Zion: The Latter-day Saint Legacy of Urban Planning

by Robert John Stevens, February 28, 2017

Utah has won just one National Planning Landmark Award: Joseph Smith’s The Plat of the City of Zion (1833). At the time, Joseph Smith was 27 years old.

Craig Galli’s article, Building Zion: The Latter-day Saint Legacy of Urban Planning” is fascinating and worth your time to read.

Utah Mormons have deviated far from the original Zion plan and implementation, and from enjoying its benefits, and seem to have forgotten that outlying farmland is preserved not for the expansion of cities, but to sustain cities. When the population increases, the City of Zion plan was to be replicated.

In other words, Benjamin, Utah wasn’t supposed to be preserved for the expansion of Spanish Fork but to be its own city, designed after the City of Zion plan, with outlying farmland to sustain its own people.

Also, farmers were supposed to live in the cities where their families can be enlightened. I called Craig Galli the author and asked, “Where were farmers supposed to keep their equipment?” He said it was a great question and he didn’t know the answer.

David Hall’s slides on the City of Zion says the “Language of the plot is Tyndale’s 16th century English.” Was David influenced by Royal Skousen’s research or did David decide on his own that like the Book of Mormon, it was Tyndale-era English?

City of Zion Documents

Did the LDS Church Publicly Abandon Mentioning the U.S. Constitution?

by Robert John Stevens, August 8, 2016

Searching old LDS Conference Reports for the word constitution, the data shows the LDS Church abandoned mentioning the U.S. constitution in public:

1850s 1860s 1870s 1880s 1890s 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s
226 155 104 249 57 75 203 202 185 243 139 160 80 42 10 10  

However, search LDS.org for the word constitution and see many search results.


Related LDS Talks Mentioning the United States Constitution