Act Well Thy Part

In the Museum of Church History in Salt Lake City there’s a stone on display with a curious assortment of shapes and an inscription which reads “WHAT E’RE THOU ART ACT WELL THY PART.”

David O. McKay, while serving a mission in Scotland, saw this stone above the entrance to a building and took the message to heart. The message is simple and profound. We are all unique, with unique abilities and skills, and we each need to act out our part to the best of our abilities along with others to accomplish a greater good.

The inscription on the stone is unique and interesting for its geometric properties which enhance the message at hand. The grid creates a magic square. If you take the number of sides on each shape, and add them up horizontally, vertically or diagonally, it will always equal 18. This magic square is also unique because it contains a sequence of numbers 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 which together form 1 united whole. The sum of all the parts in proper arrangement is Unity!

The arrangement is also interesting to create, because it requires the construction of 8 unique polygons, as well as the Yin, Yang (my interpretation of 2). Creating each of the 10 geometric constructions all in one composition is a challenge—keeping everything in line and clean can be difficult.

I love the message behind this, which is enhanced through the geometry and symbolism of the magic square.