Quote Category: ‘Promised Land’
The Lord has also decreed that this land should be “the place of the new Jerusalem, which should come down out of heaven, and the holy sanctuary of the Lord.” (Ether 13:3.) Here is our nation’s destiny! To serve God’s eternal purposes and to prepare this land and the people for America’s eventual destiny, He “established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom [He] raised up unto this very purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood.” (D&C 101:80.)
It is a part of my religious belief that America is a land choice above all others, that we are not just another of the family of nations, but that we have been singled out to perform a divine mission for liberty-loving people everywhere. Those who founded this republic were wise men raised up by our Father in heaven to perform that very task, and the Constitution of this land was inspired by God. We have a divine duty — even a destiny — to preserve that Constitution from destruction and hold it aloft to the world.
I would to God that every citizen of this land might read the Book of Mormon prayerfully and learn something of the prophecies made regarding this land — the promises made and the conditions upon which they are made — that we might as an American people so live that these great promises could be fully realized; that we might come to know that the Constitution of this land has been established by men whom the God of heaven raised up unto that very purpose.
Free agency is an eternal principle vouchsafed to us in the perfect law of liberty — the gospel of Jesus Christ. Freedom of choice is more to be treasured than any earthly possession. It is guaranteed in our heaven-inspired Constitution. Yes, freedom is an inherited, inalienable, divine gift to men. . . .
The inspired founding fathers formulated a system of government with checks and balances protecting the freedom of the people. But even this was not enough. The first order of the new congress was to draw up a Bill of Rights — ten amendments guaranteeing for all time the fundamental freedoms that the American people insist are theirs by the will of God, not by the will of government.
Yes, the founders of this nation bequeathed to us a heritage of freedom and unity that is our most priceless political possession. . . .
. . . Under the constitutional concept, powers not granted to the federal government are reserved to the states or to the people [U.S. Const. Amend. X]. . . .
The founding fathers, inspired though they were, did not invent the priceless blessing of individual freedom and respect for the dignity of man. No, that priceless gift to mankind sprang from the God of heaven and not from government. Yes, the founding fathers welded together the safeguards as best they could, but freedom must be continually won to be enjoyed. Let us never forget these facts.
This is America — the land of opportunity! A land choice above all other lands. Let us keep it so! . . .
. . . It is my firm conviction that the Constitution of this land was established by men whom the God of heaven raised up unto this very purpose.
The days ahead are sobering and challenging and will demand the faith, prayers, and loyalty of every American. Our challenge is to keep America strong and free — strong socially, strong economically, and above all, strong spiritually, if our way of life is to endure. There is no other way. Only in this course is there safety for our nation.
My one fear, and my one anxiety is that I may inadvertently sometime do something or say something that will cast an unfavorable light or bring discredit upon the Church and kingdom of God and the people whom I love so dearly, and upon this great nation which we all love. I pray that this may never happen.
I love this nation of which we are a part. To me it is not just another nation, not just a member of a family of nations. It is a great and glorious nation with a divine mission and it has been brought into being under the inspiration of heaven. It is truly a land choice above all others. I thank God for the knowledge which we have regarding the prophetic history and the prophetic future of this great land of America. . . .
I am grateful for the Founding Fathers of this land and for the freedom they have vouchsafed to us. I am grateful that they recognized, as great leaders of this nation have always recognized, that the freedom which we enjoy did not originate with the Founding Fathers; that this glorious principle, this great boon of freedom and respect for the dignity of man, came as a gift from the Creator. The Founding Fathers, it is true, with superb genius welded together the safeguards of these freedoms. It was necessary, however, for them to turn to the scriptures, to religion, in order to have this great experiment make sense to them. And so our freedom is God-given. It antedates the Founding Fathers.
Twenty-five years later, another prophet [Jacob], son of the first one quoted [Lehi], was privileged to see into the future regarding this land and to proclaim that God would fortify the land against other nations; that he that fought against Zion would perish; that no king would ever be raised on these shores; that the Lord would be their king and be a light unto the people forever who accepted and listened to his words.
And so this great nation, has come into being under the inspiration of the Almighty to accomplish his purposes. Through modern revelation we have had made very plain to us something of the mission of America and the establishment of our national Constitution in this dispensation.
I have faith in the future of this promised land of America and in its institutions of representative government, but more than that, I have faith in you, the youth of America, to build even more securely on the foundations laid by the faith and devotion of your pioneer fathers. That you as the youth of the Church would have an important part to play in preserving the ideals of this great country as quoted by one who was very close to him. I quote the words of Eliza R. Snow: “I heard the Prophet Joseph Smith say ‘that the time would come when this nation would so far depart from its original purity, its glory, and its love of freedom and the protection of civil and religious rights, that the Constitution of our country would hang, as it were, by a thread.’ He also said that this people, the sons of Zion, would rise up and save the Constitution and bear it off triumphantly.” (Eliza R. Snow, 1870, Women of Mormondom by Tullidge.)
So today is no time for youth to whimper the refrain of the defeated and retire to the fancied security of the regimented state. Today is the day for youth to gird themselves with the armor of peace, having as their weapons “the shield of faith . . . and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Eph 6:16–17.)