Saturday, July 4, 2009

Liberty and the Spirit

In 1 Nephi 13, Nephi sees the discovery and colonisation of America, and tells us of a remarkable, divine involvement in this process. The following are descriptions of the Lord’s part in the establishment of America:

A. (13:11,14) He disperses the Lamanites
B. (13:12) He inspires Columbus
C. (13:13) He inspires other Gentiles
D. (13:13) His Spirit helps the Gentiles prosper
E. (13:16-19) God helps them win the Revolutionary War
F. (13:30) They are lifted by the power of God above all other nations.

Orson Pratt spoke of an even more dramatic divine involvement in the journeys of Columbus:

In those early and perilous times, our men were few, and our resources limited. Poverty was among the most potent enemies we had to encounter; yet our arms were successful; and it may not be amiss to ask here, by whose power victory so often perched on our banner? It was by the agency of that same angel of God that appeared unto Joseph Smith, and revealed to him the history of the early inhabitants of this country, whose mounds, bones and remains of towns, cities and fortifications speak from the dust in the ears of the living with the voice of undeniable truth. This same angel presides over the destinies of America, and feels a lively interest in all our doings. He was in the camp of Washington; and, by an invisible hand, led on our fathers to conquest and victory; and all this to open and prepare the way for the Church and kingdom of God to be established on the western hemisphere, for the redemption of Israel and the salvation of the world.

This same angel was with Columbus, and gave him deep impressions, by dreams and by visions, respecting this New World. Trammelled by poverty and by an unpopular cause, yet his persevering and unyielding heart would not allow an obstacle in his way too great for him to overcome; and the angel of God helped him was with him on the stormy deep, calmed and troubled elements, and guided his frail vessel to the desired haven. Under the guardianship of this same angel, or Prince of America, have the United States grown, increased, and flourished, like the sturdy oak by the rivers of water.
(Journal of Discourses, Vol.6, p.368, Orson Hyde, July 4, 1854).

Just as the Lord guided Columbus to discover a land where the Gospel could grow, so will the Spirit guide us as we seek to cultivate environments that bring about change, and foster love, “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty”
(2 Corinthians 3:17).

I hope you have a wonderful day.

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