Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Do you believe that America is a chosen land and is protected by God? I do. The first reason for my belief is because I believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God - and this book explains that this land is a "land of promise; yea, even a land which I have prepared for you; yea, a land which is choice above all other lands" (1 Nephi 2:20). This book also tells us that "all the land, both on the north and on the south - A chosen land, and the land of liberty" (Alma 46:17). Again, this book teaches that "after the waters [of the Flood in Noah's time] had receded from off the face of this land it became a choice land above all other lands, a chosen land of the Lord" (Ether 13:2). The Book of Mormon also describes a vision given to a prophet named Nephi. In this vision Nephi saw a man [Columbus] who traveled across "the many waters" to the promised land. He was followed by others [Pilgrims] "who went out of captivity, upon the many waters" in "multitudes." The vision showed these multitudes in the promised land battling with their mother nation [Revolutionary War] and being "delivered by the power of God out of the hands of all other nations" (1 Nephi 13:12-19). When Jesus Christ visited the inhabitants of the Americas (3 Nephi 11-26), He gave them a sign of when the gathering of Israel would take place. He said, "… I give unto you a sign, that ye may know the time when these things [gathering] shall be about to take place …. When these things [Book of Mormon] … shall be made known …. For it is wisdom in the Father that they should be established in this land, and be set up as a free people by the power of the Father…." (3 Nephi 21:1-4). From these scriptures we know that God considers America to be a chosen land and wants the inhabitants of it to be free in order to bless all mankind. The second reason why I believe America to be a chosen land that is protected by God is found in the history of the United States of America. I believe - as did he - that Columbus was led by God to discover the New World. I believe that God raised up George Washington to lead our nation in its battle for independence. I also believe that God blessed Washington and his rag tag army to obtain victory over the greatest military on earth at the time. I believe that God prepared and raised up the men who wrote the United States Constitution. I believe that God provided leaders such as Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan to lead our nation during perilous times. I also believe that God brought victory to the United States at critical times during several wars - examples are the Battle of Gettysburg during the Civil War and Battle of Midway during World War II. I believe that God blesses America because there are millions of Americans who worship the God of this land, even Jesus Christ. I know that I am not alone in believing that there is something exceptional about the United States. Millions of people in this country think America is special, and many more millions across the world look to the United States for an example and for hope. "Belief in a nation's exceptionalism seems to be almost entirely an American trait. For example, as documented in a recent survey, nearly three-quarters of United States citizens say they are proud to be Americans. Fewer than a third of the people in France, Italy, Germany, or Japan feel the same about their country" (Chris Stewart and Ted Stewart, Seven Miracles That Saved America - Why They Matter and Why We Should Have Hope, p 3). The Stewarts listed the following principles which define "the idea of American exceptionalism": 1) "American's long-held belief that all of God's children are created equal …. All are equal before the law and all should have equal access to the protection of the law…." 2) "America's Constitution - the fact that the `highest law of the land' emphasizes individual rights and decentralization of power…." 3) "The American belief that personal liberty and freedom is the highest priority…." 4) "A belief in a meritocracy - that we should be judged by what we accomplish and what we can do, not by our family lineage…." 5)"Adherence to private morality - a belief that there can be no public virtue without private morality, and that public virtue is essential to the success of our government and the preservation of individual liberty and freedom." 6) "Cultural make-up - Americans are inherently more patriotic, religious, independent, and inventive." 7) "Social integration - a commitment to the social integration of individuals from various racial, religious, and ethnic groups…." 8) "Geographical - recognition that our geography, climate, and abundant natural resources provide us an enormous opportunity for material well-being" (pp 4-5). The Stewarts' book, Seven Miracles That Saved America," is a wonderful explanation of seven different times that God intervened to help keep America free. It is an interesting book to read. It added to my belief that America is a choice nation and will remain choice and blessed as long as its citizens are righteous and worship Jesus Christ.