Archive for the ‘Prophecy’ Category

18
Oct

The Promised Land

   Posted by: John

It has been quite a while since I have written any essays of this type.  I think it is time that I start doing so again.  Writing is, after all, a skill that needs to be exercised and practiced.  It follows that old saying, use it or lose it.  I would rather not lose it.

I have been watching and listening to the current political situation and keep thinking of some parallels with some of the previous occupants of this land.  We know that around 2200 BC a group of people departed from the remains of the great Tower of Babel and were led to a land of promise.  It was a land choice above all other lands, a place where the people would be free so long as they served and worshipped God.  This group, known as the Jaredites, inhabited the land for many years.  They cycled through good and bad times, righteousness and wickedness, good kings and evil kings.  They prospered, warred and suffered over and over and over.  Eventually, they fought to the end in a great battle, and became extinct.  There is a record of their existence, highlights of which we can read in the Book of Mormon, specifically the Book of Ether. 

There was another group who were known as the Mulekites who were led to this promised land, except they had nothing to preserve their faith and language.  They did not prosper well.

Then we have the most well-known group, the people of Lehi.  They were led to the promised land, again with the assurance that so long as they served and worshipped God they would be free.  If you read the Book of Mormon, you can see that when they did worship God they were free, and when they fell into iniquity, they came under bondage.  Then they would repent and become free again.  The cycles take some years, but it is an easy pattern to see.

There were possibly other groups that we don’t know about.  North and South America cover a lot of territory.  The records we have comprise a 2500 year history packed into just over 500 pages. 

More recently, we have different groups of people coming to this land.  The pilgrims came over looking to separate themselves from the state church and persecution.  Like the Jaredites and Nephites, they left everything behind, believing they were heading for a better place.  More followed, many for the same reasons, others to escape poverty, tyranny, or oppression.  This land offered freedom, reward for hard work, incentive to excel. 

Many of these people worshipped God.  They laid the groundwork for a great nation with freedoms guaranteed by law.  When independence was declared and won by blood, the way was clear for the Constitution.  This great governmental framework is a remarkable achievement, still quite unique in this world.  However, it is under attack, and there are serious (and some successful) efforts to undermine and eliminate the Constitution.  It is the same cycle we read about in the scriptures, except we are living it day by day instead of reading about it over a few pages.  The phrase “history repeats itself” is absolutely true.

Joseph Smith prophesied about the Constitution (as told by Brigham Young):

“Will the Constitution be destroyed?  No; it will be held inviolate by this people; and, as Joseph Smith said, ‘the time will come when the destiny of the nation will hang upon a single thread.  At this critical juncture, this people will step forth and save it from the threatened destruction.’ It will be so.”[1]

Ezra Taft Benson clarified this further:

“In connection with the attack on the United States, the Lord told the Prophet Joseph Smith there would be an attempt to overthrow the country by destroying the Constitution.  Joseph Smith predicted that the time would come when the Constitution would hang as it were by a thread, and at that time, ‘this people will step forth and save it from the threatened destruction.’  It is my conviction that the Elders of Israel, widely spread over the nation, will, at that crucial time, successfully rally the righteous of our country and provide the necessary balance of strength to save the institutions of Constitutional government.  Now is the time to get ready.”[2]

It was prophesied, and it is happening. Today, we are experiencing bad government.  It has taken some years to get to this point, but we have corrupt “leaders” who are more interested in their well-being than that of the people.  They are driven by power and money.  Their current proposed legislation is designed to remove freedom and bring the people of this nation into bondage.  They think they are above the law and very often exempt themselves from the laws enacted on the citizens they claim to represent.  They are actively working on destroying the Constitution and the very freedoms it guarantees. 

How do we correct the situation?  In the scriptures, when the people humbled themselves (or in some cases were humbled by circumstances, many self-inflicted) they were able to turn bad governments back to good ones.  It was not an immediate process, but often took years and a lot of hard work to accomplish.  Ultimately, it will fall upon the Priesthood to provide the leadership to save the Constitution and restore the government to its proper place.  We should take comfort that Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and Ezra Taft Benson were all Prophets, and the words they spoke concerning the Constitution are prophecy.  And, as Elder LeGrand Richards would say, prophecy works every time.

This is a land of promise, a land of freedom and liberty, a land choice above all other lands.  The Lord has so declared many times.  No matter how bad things get, no matter how much freedom is lost and bondage brought upon the people, freedom eventually is restored.  Sometimes the cost is high, but so long as we follow the Lord and his prophets, we will succeed.