jamesricks wrote:So, returning to the first question-what’s the objective? Administrative optimization, or supporting families in their efforts to engage with the Church?
We're not told. Any ideas are just speculation. Nor is this a forum to ask questions hoping for a change in policy as no decision-makers visit here.
Speaking for myself, I think we'd see significant problems if we just let everyone go where they want. Some wards with popular bishops would get to be large, with no real means of controlling ward size. A large ward will have a big budget, but a limited number of callings and opportunities for service. Other wards could fall in size and have a hard time functioning. It seems clear to me that we need to have some kind of control so that members go to the unit whose boundaries they're assigned to but allows exceptions for valid reasons. And that's pretty much what we have now.
If members lived the gospel, the need for exceptions would be minimal.