It is my thought that this world and circumstance must be among the lowest in the domain of our Heavenly Father. There has always been stories of how this world was the only one in which the Christ would be crucified, but as I read scripture and view the expanse of history, I can come to the conclusion that righteousness is a very rare commodity here on Earth and often taken away from this place to find its promised thriving elsewhere.I think of the people of the city of Enoch, who built a Zion Society that lasted for perhaps 400 years and then "fled", literally taken off of the Earth. We also have a little reference to a group that was assembled at Salem, led by the great high priest Melchizedek, who are mentioned once and never heard of in scripture again, perhaps also removed from this sphere. We also have the case of the "lost" ten tribes of Israel, who legend says repented wholeheartedly of the behavior that led to their capture by the Assyrians and were eventually also taken from the Earth, perhaps. We have amazing satellite technology that has eliminated the thought that these people are hiding on some island or hitherto unknown place, so where did the larger part of Israel get to? It seems that when the righteous come together, they are taken from the Earth by the hand of God, presumably to somewhere distant, maybe off the sphere entirely, no matter how fanciful that might seem.
In the time of this planet, the surface of the Earth has been changed, separating one land mass into different continents. God says that he did this and proclaimed the land that we call North and South America as a chosen land for the righteous to dwell. The miraculous "bringing" of the Jaredite, Nephite, and Mulekite nations to this chosen land are documented to varying degrees in the Book of Mormon, adding credence to the idea that God regularly separates the righteous from others, often by divinely inspired migrations. It is no less telling that the seventeenth and eighteenth century Protestants braved the seas to come to the "New World" to practice a more biblical way of life and the nineteenth century Mormons fled Europe and the United States in order to pursue the restored Gospel in the Rocky Mountains.
Wherever the righteous are found, there always seems to be a migration and "gathering" involved, bringing them together. Righteousness in concentration seems to increase it, so-much-so that it seems the only thing for the Lord to do is to ultimately take it away from this telestial world altogether and let its righteousness continue elsewhere for a time. In our own time, instead of gathering to one locality or two, we are instructed by God to remain physically dispersed as we can gather together through technology. This time might be referred to as the Last Gathering, where the message of the Gospel will flood the whole earth and ultimately in no place will the words of God be inaccessible. Further, in no location will the authorized servants of God and the saving ordinances they provide be unavailable. It is an incredible time to live and to participate!
In the not-too-distant future, the chosen land of the Americas will be cleansed of unrighteous people, this time by plagues, famines, and such rather than a great flood, and the righteous of the Earth will be invited to migrate a "chosen land" once again, yet another enclave of righteousness. All of the "fled" righteous people, those of Enoch and Melchizedek and Israel and perhaps others that we have no record of, will return to this place of gathering and endure the final destruction of the wicked when the entire Earth and all its people are cleansed and promoted to a terrestrial status and the millennium beyond.