I admit—I’ve developed a pessimistic view of America’s future in recent years. When the twin towers went down on 9-11-2001, I was amazed at the way American’s responded. Everywhere I looked people were flying our flag; in their cars, houses, and businesses. When President Bush went before congress for a televised speech it was a God touched moment. I felt it, as did many others.
Peggy Noonan, wrote:
“I find myself thinking in mystical terms of President Bush’s speech to Congress and the country, and I know from conversations with many people that I am not alone. It seemed to me a God-touched moment and a God-touched speech…” (God is Back, Friday, September 28, 2001, Wall Street Journal).
We were united for a moment, but then, we quickly forgot. When I saw this occurring I started to be discouraged. And then I observed an era of discord sweep over America as we sought to confront our enemies in Afghanistan and Iraq.
When I read the Book of Mormon and the warnings to America contained therein, I feel a deep concern for our country, our future, and our children ( Ether 2:7-11).
I’ve been making this a matter of prayer and fasting for awhile asking for guidance in preparing for what appears to be some difficult days just ahead for America. Recently I purchased a book, America in Peril—Ten Stages in the Destruction of a Promised Land, by Douglas E. Brinley. The title alone is discomforting, I assumed my state of pessimism would be confirmed as I began to read it. It was for first 200 pages. However, in chapter 14, America’s Hope, I was surprised as the author brought up some very important points that lifted my hopes for America. He pointed out something I was aware of, but haven’t focused on enough, “The sermons of recent presidents of the Church project an optimism that can only come through inspiration and revelation.” Brother Brinley quotes from the previous 5 prophets (President’s Lee, Kimball, Benson, Hunter, and Hinckley) and then summarizes their message as follows:
“The possibility of good news appears to be grounded in “if” clauses. If the Latter-day Saints follow their prophets, if divine laws embodied in constitutional principles are upheld, if the Church’s youth rise above the gross evils of immorality and continue to serve missions, if temples and temple work are used to redeem the dead, if the members of the Church live the principles of the gospel, share the message of the Restoration, marry in the temple, and so forth, then the judgments of God will be delayed (1 Nephi 22:17-20, 26), or the Saints will be preserved in the midst of the gathering evil. And if the honest in heart among the Gentiles, who fear God and understand biblical principles, respond to the message of the Restoration and join in the effort to restore decency among the people, there is hope for the future of our society. Latter-day Saints, obviously, have no small role to play in this winding-up scene. We must be models, individually and as families, to lead the Gentiles back to a state of goodness. We must light the way out of the present moral abyss and set this nation back on the path of righteousness. If this can be done in sufficient numbers, this nation will survive the severe tests and challenges that lie ahead.” (Page 222)
One day the prophet might be inspired to warn America in no uncertain terms—to repent or perish, but that day hasn’t come yet. The message of the prophets is that the Lord will continue to bless and preserve America because of the righteousness of Latter Day Saints and other good people who occupy this country. That doesn’t mean we won’t have some severe difficulties, but the Lord will not abandon America as long there is sufficient numbers of righteous people (Alma 62:40).
If the Latter Day Saints will do their part, then there is hope for America.