I received the following quote in an email today and felt compelled to post it. It was entitled “Obituary”. The theory is eerily reminiscent of the pride cycle in the Book of Mormon thus I’ve included a talk by an apostle on the same subject. I would love to hear your enlightening thoughts.
“A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse over loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a dictatorship.”
“The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:
From bondage to spiritual faith;
From spiritual faith to great courage;
From courage to liberty;
From liberty to abundance;
From abundance to complacency;
From complacency to apathy;
From apathy to dependence;
From dependence back into bondage.”
By Marion G. Romney, an apostle, 1975, courtesy http://www.lds.org
Among the questions frequently raised in connection with our upcoming national bicentennial is “Can we maintain our basic freedoms, peace, and prosperity for another 200 years?”
The answer to this question is yes, if we shall individually repent and conform to the laws of the God of this land, who is Jesus Christ.
He has stated the basics of his laws in the Ten Commandments, the Sermon on the Mount, and in the two great commandments:
“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. …
“And … thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” (Matt. 22:37, 39.)
Millennia ago he declared: “There shall none come into this land [he was speaking of America] save they shall be brought by the hand of the Lord.
“… this land is consecrated unto him whom he shall bring. And if it so be that they shall serve him according to the commandments which he hath given, it shall be a land of liberty unto them.” (2 Ne. 1:6–7.)
Lehi Coming to the Promised Land, courtesy http://www.lds.org
Another ancient prophet said,
“This is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ.” (Ether 2:12.)
It is my purpose in making these remarks to point out from the record of ancient inhabitants of America that the foregoing decrees have been carried out.
In the western part of the state of New York near Palmyra is a prominent hill known as the “hill Cumorah.” (Morm. 6:6.) On July twenty-fifth of this year, as I stood on the crest of that hill admiring with awe the breathtaking panorama which stretched out before me on every hand, my mind reverted to the events which occurred in that vicinity some twenty-five centuries ago—events which brought to an end the great Jaredite nation.
You who are acquainted with the Book of Mormon will recall that during the final campaign of the fratricidal war between the armies led by Shiz and those led by Coriantumr “nearly two millions” of Coriantumr’s people had been slain by the sword; “two millions of mighty men, and also their wives and their children.” (Ether 15:2.)
Thus perished at the foot of Cumorah the remnant of the once mighty Jaredite nation, of whom the Lord had said, “There shall be none greater … upon all the face of the earth.” (Ether 1:43.)
As I contemplated this tragic scene from the crest of Cumorah and viewed the beautiful land of the Restoration as it appears today, I cried in my soul, “How could it have happened?”
The answer came immediately as I remembered that some fifteen to twenty centuries before their destruction, as the small group of their ancestors was being divinely led from the tower of Babel, the Lord “would that they should come forth even unto [this] land of promise, which was choice above all other lands, which the Lord God had preserved for a righteous people.
Pursuant to this decree concerning the land of America, the Jaredites were swept off in the manner we have reviewed, because, rebelling against the laws of Jesus Christ—the God of the land—they “ripened in iniquity.”
Nor were they the only people who anciently were divinely led to this choice land to grow in righteousness to be a mighty nation and then to deteriorate in wickedness until they ripened in iniquity and were, pursuant to God’s decree, swept off.
I emphasize “divinely led” because, as above indicated, the Lord told them that they were being so led, and “that there shall none come into this land save they shall be brought by the hand of the Lord.
“Wherefore, this land is consecrated unto him whom he shall bring. And if it so be that they shall serve him according to the commandments which he hath given, it shall be a land of liberty unto them; wherefore, they shall never be brought down into captivity; if so, it shall be because of iniquity; for if iniquity shall abound cursed shall be the land for their sakes, but unto the righteous it shall be blessed forever.” (2 Ne. 1:6–7.)
This second civilization to which I refer, the Nephites, flourished in America between 600 B.C. and A.D. 400. Their civilization came to an end for the same reason, at the same place, and in the same manner as did the Jaredites’. From the account of their death struggle, I quote:
The tragic fate of the Jaredite and the Nephite civilizations is proof positive that the Lord meant it when he said that this “is a land of promise; and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall serve God, or they shall be swept off when the fulness of his wrath shall come upon them. And the fulness of his wrath cometh upon them when they are ripened in iniquity.” (Ether 2:9.)
This information, wrote Moroni, addressing himself to us who today occupy this land, “cometh unto you, O ye Gentiles” (now, Gentiles is the term used by the Book of Mormon prophets to refer to the present inhabitants of America and to the peoples of the old world from which they came), “[this] cometh unto you, O ye Gentiles, that ye may know the decrees of God—that ye may repent, and not continue in your iniquities until the fulness come, that ye may not bring down the fulness of the wrath of God upon you as the inhabitants of the land have hitherto done.
“Behold, this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ.” (Ether 2:11–12.)
In 1492, in harmony with the Lord’s statement heretofore quoted, “that there shall none come into this land save they shall be brought by the hand of the Lord” (2 Ne. 1:6), Columbus was divinely led to America.
Away back between 590 and 600 years B.C., Nephi, looking in vision down the stream of time, “beheld a man among the Gentiles [that is, among the nations of Europe], who was separated from [this promised land] by the many waters; and I beheld,” said he, “the Spirit of God, that it came down and wrought upon the man; and he went forth upon the many waters, even unto … the promised land.
“And it came to pass that I beheld the Spirit of God, that it wrought upon other Gentiles; and they went forth … upon the many waters.
“And it came to pass that I beheld many multitudes of the Gentiles upon the land of promise.” (1 Ne. 13:12–14.)
Columbus himself corroborated the fact that he was divinely led to this land.
“In the royal presence of Isabella, Irving [his biographer] says: ‘He unfolded his plans with eloquence and zeal for he felt himself, as he afterwards declared, kindled as with a fire from on high, and considered himself the agent chosen of heaven to accomplish the grand design. …
“His son Fernando, in the biography of his father quotes him as saying on one occasion: ‘God gave me the faith and afterwards the courage so that I was quite willing to undertake the journey.’
“And the will of Columbus reads:
“ ‘In the name of the … holy trinity, who inspired me with the idea and afterwards made it perfectly clear to me that I could navigate and go to the Indies from Spain, by traversing the ocean westward.’ ” (Nephi Lowell Morris, Prophecies of Joseph Smith and Their Fulfillment, Deseret Book, 1945, pp. 289, 294–95; italics added.)
Because Columbus was led, we are here in this choice land.
God gave us victory in the Revolutionary War. We are indebted to him for our nation’s independence. He has prospered us in every righteous endeavor. He established the Constitution of the United States “by the hands of wise men whom [he] raised up unto this very purpose.” (D&C 101:80.)
He himself with his Beloved Son appeared to the Prophet Joseph Smith to open a new dispensation of the gospel of Jesus Christ here in this land. He has established his Church here and has sent and is sending representatives thereof into every nook and corner of the land—and as far as possible to all the earth—to declare and teach the laws of Jesus Christ, the God of this land.
He has revealed anew and repeated over and over again the ancient decree: “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” concerning this land. (Ether 2:10.)
This knowledge has been revealed to us that we “may know the decrees of God—that [we] may repent, and not continue in [our] iniquities until the fulness come, that [we] may not bring down the fulness of the wrath of God upon [us] as the inhabitants of the land have hitherto done.” (Ether 2:11.)
We are living in the dispensation of the fulness of times, which will be climaxed by the second advent of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now my beloved brethren and sisters everywhere, both members of the Church and nonmembers, I bear you my personal witness that I know that the things I have presented to you today are true—both those pertaining to past events and those pertaining to events yet to come. The issue we face is clear and well defined. The choice is ours. The question is: Shall we of this dispensation repent and obey the laws of the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ, or shall we continue to defy them until we ripen in iniquity?
That we will repent and obey and thereby qualify to receive the blessings promised to the righteous in this land, I humbly pray in the name of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer. Amen.