Mar, 1, 2013
The December 2012 issue of the Ensign magazine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints published an article derived from a devotional address by Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to students at BYU-Idaho on January 24, 2012. The Ensign article, The Tradition of Light and Testimony, which begins on page 29, shares profound insights relating to the significant role of the United States in bringing to pass the restoration of the gospel. Within it is one of the most succinct and straight-forward statements by Church leadership to date in identifying and quantifying the “promised land” of the Book of Mormon. Where is that “promised land” today and what significance does this have to the Heartland Model Geography?
The Ensign magazine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints published an article, in the December 2012 issue, which originated from a transcription of a devotional address by Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to students at BYU-Idaho on January 24, 2012.
The resulting Ensign article, The Tradition of Light and Testimony shares profound insights relating to the role of the United States in bringing to pass the restoration of the gospel.
Wrote Elder Perry, "The Church of Jesus of Latter-day Saints is truly a world-wide Church. Nevertheless, it is important to realize that the Church could never have become what it is today without the birth of a great nation, the United States of America. The Lord prepared a new land to attract the peoples of the world who sought liberty and religious freedom."
Elder Perry began by explaining that while the latter day Church is “truly a worldwide Church,” we should never forget that the Lord prepared a great latter day nation of liberty and religious freedom which made it possible for the restoration of the true gospel of Jesus Christ. Then Elder Perry declared in as clear a description as is possible...,
"The United States is the Promised Land foretold in the Book of Mormon—"
Continuing, he wrote, "...a place where divine guidance directed inspired men to create the conditions necessary for the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was the birth of the United States of America that ushered out the Great Apostasy, when the earth was darkened by the absence of prophets and revealed light. It was no coincidence that the lovely morning of the First Vision occurred just decades after the establishment of the United States."
An interesting excercise is to insert the words "United States" into prophetic passages from the Book of Mormon regarding the latter-day "promised land" or "land of promise" as indicated by Elder Perry. In doing so, note how this effects the significance and clarity of the passage.
"And it came to pass that the angel said unto me: Look, and behold thy seed, and also the seed of thy brethren. And I looked and beheld the United States (land of promise); and I beheld multitudes of people, yea, even as it were in number as many as the sand of the sea."
"And it came to pass that I beheld many multitudes of the Gentiles upon the United States (land of promise); and I beheld the wrath of God, that it was upon the seed of my brethren; and they were scattered before the Gentiles and were smitten."
"And harden not their hearts against the Lamb of God, they shall be numbered among the seed of thy father; yea, they shall be numbered among the house of Israel; and they shall be a blessed people upon the United States (promised land) forever; they shall be no more brought down into captivity; and the house of Israel shall no more be confounded."
"But, said he, notwithstanding our afflictions, we have obtained [the] United States (land of promise), a land which is choice above all other lands; a land which the Lord God hath covenanted with me should be a land for the inheritance of my seed. Yea, the Lord hath covenanted this land unto me, and to my children forever, and also all those who should be led out of other countries by the hand of the Lord."
"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 United States (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."
"And he had sworn in his wrath unto the brother of Jared, that whoso should possess this United States (land of promise), from that time henceforth and forever, should serve him, the true and only God, or they should be swept off when the fulness of his wrath should come upon them."
The Book of Mormon prophets included 36 specific prophecies and promises relating to this "nation" that would be established on their lands in the latter days. The only nation in the Americas that qualifies in each of these prophecies is, as Elder L. Tom Perry has pointed out, the United States of America...a covenant and promised land of God.
To learn more about these prophecies and their importance...
read the article The Scriptural Basis for the Heartland Model Geography HERE
by Rod Meldrum and Bruce Porter
which is also available for purchase from the Bookstore HERE.