America - The Land of Promise
It is a privilege to live in America. A nation established by God, not to follow the trends of the world, but the principles set forth by the Holy One of Israel. Since its founding, America has been a beacon of hope, light and righteousness. From the faith and fields of its founding farmers, America has grown to become the most powerful nation the world has ever seen. Through its example, power has been stripped from thrones, tyrants, and conspiring men in back rooms, and given to the people that were long subjects to oppressive rule. Our sons and daughters have bled out their lives on foreign soil, not for conquest and glory, as has been the pattern of every other nation on earth, but for the liberty and freedom of strangers.
When America has destroyed its enemies, it has not rubbed their faces in the charred remains of their smoldering lives. We fed and clothed their people, rebuilt their devastated lands, strengthened their economy, educated the populace, and turned the governance of the country into the hands of the people. They were not trophies of conquest. What other nation in the history of this blood soaked world can claim to have exercised so much power with such benevolence? Where is the equal to America?
Yet, for those with eyes to see, the real power of America has never been in its arsenal. This power has always stemmed from the Lord's ancient covenant with the House of Israel, that if we would keep His commandments we will prosper in the land. So long as we the people placed our trust in the hand of our Almighty Creator, we will be blessed, and more abundantly than any other nation on earth. Regardless of any other postulated theory for the rise and success of America, American's faith in God is the foundation upon which everything else has been built.
Even so, we the people have endured many trials of our own making. The civil war is perhaps the greatest example. In retrospect, did we expect that truly evil intolerance and bigotry could continue in this country without incurring the displeasure of a just God upon us? The humble and destitute Saints were driven from state to state to state. Their homes burned, their possessions stolen, their communities terrorized. This persecution was not inflicted by rag-tag mobs alone, but by state sponsored acts of terror. Such abuses went as far as to legalize the killing of these destitute disciples of Christ. In the land of "the free and the brave", no refuge from this brutality could be found. Therefore, like the pilgrims of old, the saints were driven from the country they loved to trek to the desolate saline valleys of the Great Basin. And what of the enslaving and ownership of men, women, children by Americans? Could Americans long expect to treat the sons and daughters of God like cattle beneath the stare of the Almighty God? No, divine correction was inevitable. The words of Abraham Lincoln, now engraved upon his memorial in Washington DC, testify that Lincoln saw the judgements of the Lord in the war that ravaged the country.
Fervently do we pray that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said 'the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether'.
Through the bitterness of war, America was humbled, suffering incredible loss. It has been estimated that there were more American casualties in the Civil War, than all other American casualties of war combined. The wrath of the Almighty God for our disregard of His laws, and the inalienable rights and liberties bestowed by our creator upon the heads of all men everywhere regardless of race, religion or creed, was felt by all Americans in that day. Throughout our history, since then, as a country there have been many other times that we have felt the strong reproving hand of the Lord, attempting to correct us, to turn us again unto Him, but we are slow to heed His warning voice. The booming voice of a thousand year drought now rings in the ears of the West Coast, coupled by thousand year floods in the East. America is different than the rest of the world, there is a higher standard for this land. It is a promised land with a covenant and a promise that rests upon it.
And if it so be that they [the inhabitants of America] shall keep his commandments they shall be blessed upon the face of this land, and there shall be none to molest them, nor to take away the land of their inheritance; and they shall dwell safely forever.
But behold, when the time cometh that they shall dwindle in unbelief, after they have received so great blessings from the hand of the Lord—having a knowledge of the creation of the earth, and all men, knowing the great and marvelous works of the Lord from the creation of the world; having power given them to do all things by faith; having all the commandments from the beginning, and having been brought by his infinite goodness into this precious land of promise—behold, I say, if the day shall come that they will reject the Holy One of Israel, the true Messiah, their Redeemer and their God, behold, the judgments of him that is just shall rest upon them.[i]
Today, more than any other time in our history, Americans, are turning away from the Lord. Large and influential portions of our society have recoiled away from the Lord, as if from the rotting flesh of a leper. Sadly, the majority of Americans now openly mock the law of chastity, with only 3% of the citizenry refraining from sexual activity until marriage. America draws near unto Him with its lips, but its heart and actions are far from Him. Horrific violence, once only reserved for the blood soaked coliseums of Rome, once again serves as a primary form of entertainment. Graphic violence, horrific and offensive, coupled with immorality and lust has been woven into almost every major network television program and Hollywood movie. Christians are being killed in large numbers and America stands silent. Our society has embraced secularism. Christianity is becoming a hiss and a byword. Hedonism is the rising religion of America's youth. The core building block of American society, the family, has been eroded and redefined by our judges – who fear men more than God. Since the 1970's. our government has allowed and or sponsored the killing of more than 58 million infants, in abortion clinics around the country. It is staggering to think that the equivalent of 20% of our present population has been sacrificed upon "the alter of this country's immorality and pride". Many of the rising generation are addicted to pornography, drugs, entertainment, alcohol and so forth, as a result many of our youth have become hollow, detached, and indifferent.
How much longer can this great nation turn its back upon Israel's God without thought of consequence? Are we so proud and so blind as to think that if we declare there to be no God, there will likewise be no consequence? Or perhaps even worse, believe that God exists but suppose that whatsoever thing that we choose to do is fine, regardless of His commandments. This land has a history - unambiguous and plain. Those who have been brought to its hallowed shores in the past have been charged to serve the living God, in the day that they wholly turned their backs on Him they were swept off of the land and replace by a people that would.
For behold, this is a land which is choice above all other lands; wherefore he that doth possess it shall serve God or shall be swept off; for it is the everlasting decree of God. And it is not until the fulness of iniquity among the children of the land, that they are swept off.[iii]
The Lord will not stay His hand forever against us and our rebellious society. When the Lord spoke to America's former inhabitants almost two-thousand years ago, He warned us against what would happen to America in the latter-days if we did not repent.
O ye Gentiles, how can ye stand before the power of God, except ye shall repent and turn from your evil ways? Know ye not that ye are in the hands of God? Know ye not that he hath all power, and at his great command the earth shall be rolled together as a scroll? Therefore, repent ye, and humble yourselves before him, lest he shall come out in justice against you—lest a remnant of the seed of Jacob shall go forth among you as a lion, and tear you in pieces, and there is none to deliver.
What is meant by this group of people, known as the remnant of Jacob that will tread down the unrepentant gentiles? The purpose of the book A Remnant Shall Return, available for free on this website, is to explore this singular questions. You can read the whole thing online if you would like.
May the Lord Bless you as we embark on this fascinating stage of His plan,
Michael B. Rush
[i] 2 Nephi 1:6;9-10
[ii] Psalms 34:21
[iii] Ether 2:10