24) DIVINE PROTECTION: When will God protect the righteous? What must we do to enjoy the providential care of deity?

Prophetic Statements

John Taylor

We have no fault to find with our government. We deem it the best in the world…. We will contend, inch by inch, legally and constitutionally, for our rights as American citizens…. We stand proudly erect in the consciousness of our rights as American citizens, and plant ourselves firmly on the sacred guarantees of the Constitution…. We need have no fears, no trembling in our knees, about these attempts to deprive us of our God-given…liberties. God will take care of His people, if we will only do right. [1]

Ezra Taft Benson

It was here under a free government and a strong nation that protection was provided for His restored Church. Now God will not permit America, His base of operations, to be destroyed. He has promised protection to this land if we will but serve the God of the land [2]. He has also promised protection to the righteous even, if necessary, to send fire from heaven to destroy their enemies [3]. [4]

We live in a great and glorious land. We have been the beneficiaries of great blessings from heaven. We must not ever forget the blessings that have been bestowed upon us. Our nation is still in deep need of the help of the Almighty. We need His inspiration. We need His guidance. We need His protection. When we as a people not only desire to do His will, but determine we will do it, we can expect that help from our God. [5]

There are some in this land, among whom I count myself, whose faith it is that this land is reserved only for a righteous people, and we remain here as tenants only as we remain in the favor of the Lord, for He is the landlord as far as this earth is concerned. If we are to remain under heaven’s benign protection and care, we must return to those principles which have brought us our peace, liberty, and prosperity. Our problems today are essentially problems of the Spirit.

The solution is not more wealth, more food, more technology, more government, or instruments of destruction-the solution is personal and national reformation. In short, it is to bring our national character ahead of our technological and material advances. Repentance is the sovereign remedy to our problems. [6]

There are principles that may bring us back into heaven’s favor again. The Ten Commandments came from God Himself to Moses, and form the foundation of civilized society. Designed by the Almighty, these laws plumb the depths of human motives and urges, and, if adhered to, will regulate the baser passions of mankind. No nation has ever perished that has kept the commandments of God. Neither permanent government nor civilization will long endure that violates these laws. The conscience of all right-thinking people declares this to be so. “America cannot remain strong by ignoring the commandments of the Lord” [7]. [8]

The prophet of the Jaredite colony, Mahonri Moriancumer, commonly referred to as the brother of Jared, spoke of this land as a choice land, a land choice above all other lands. He indicated that those people who live here should worship the God of this land if they were to enjoy the blessings of freedom and liberty and be free from bondage. Otherwise, if they failed, they were to be swept off. And he proclaimed that this is the everlasting decree of God. [9].

Sixteen hundred years later the prophet Nephi was privileged to see a large part of the history of the establishment of this great nation. He spoke in no uncertain terms regarding its mission. He told that the Spirit of the Lord came down and wrought upon a man upon foreign shores, and that he went forth and discovered this land. He also saw other Gentiles follow to these shores under the influence of that same Spirit. And he saw that the Spirit of the Lord was here and that multitudes of people came to these shores and that God prospered them because they humbled themselves before Him; that He was with them and that His power was here, and that during times of struggle and conflict-referring to the Revolutionary War-that the Lord was with them and sustained them and bore them off victorious. [10]. He further saw that this land was consecrated to those whom the Lord should bring and who would serve Him and keep His commandments; that it should be a land of liberty; that it should never be brought down into captivity unless it be because of the iniquity of the people. [11]. [12]

Here then is the key—Look To The Prophets for the words of God, that will show us how to prepare for the calamities which are to come. The days ahead are sobering and challenging. Oh, may we be prepared spiritually and temporally! [13]

The Founding Fathers understood the principle that “righteousness exalteth a nation” (Prov 14:34), and helped to bring about one of the greatest systems ever used to govern men. But unless we continue to seek righteousness and preserve the liberties entrusted to us, we shall lose the blessings of heaven. Thomas Jefferson said, “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.” The price of freedom is also to live in accordance with the commandments of God. The early Founding Fathers thanked the Lord for His intervention in their behalf. They saw His hand in their victories in battle and believed strongly that He watched over them.

The battles are not over yet, and there will yet be times when this great nation will need the overshadowing help of Deity. Will we as a nation be worthy to call upon Him for help? 1

Spencer W. Kimball

Men depend on armaments as on idols. O foolish men who think to protect the world with armaments, battleships, and space equipment, when only righteousness is needed! We look to foreign programs, summit conferences, land bases. We depend on fortifications, our gods of stone; upon ships and planes and projectiles, our gods of iron–gods which have no ears, no eyes, no hearts. We pray to them for deliverance and depend upon them for protection–like the gods of Baal. [14]


Psalm 33:12

Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD.

Nephi 10: 10-15

And after he had baptized the Messiah with water, he should behold and bear record that he had baptized the Lamb of God, who should take away the sins of the world.

And it came to pass after my father had spoken these words he spake unto my brethren concerning the gospel which should be preached among the Jews, and also concerning the dwindling of the Jews in unbelief. And after they had slain the Messiah, who should come, and after he had been slain he should rise from the dead, and should make himself manifest, by the Holy Ghost, unto the Gentiles.

Yea, even my father spake much concerning the Gentiles, and also concerning the house of Israel, that they should be compared like unto an olive tree, whose branches should be broken off and should be scattered upon all the face of the earth.

Wherefore, he said it must needs be that we should be led with one accord into the land of promise, unto the fulfilling of the word of the Lord, that we should be scattered upon all the face of the earth.

And after the house of Israel should be scattered they should be gathered together again; or, in fine, after the Gentiles had received the fulness of the Gospel, the natural branches of the olive tree, or the remnants of the house of Israel, should be grafted in, or come to the knowledge of the true Messiah, their Lord and their Redeemer.

And after this manner of language did my father prophesy and speak unto my brethren, and also many more things which I do not write in this book; for I have written as many of them as were expedient for me in mine aother book.

Words of Mormon 1: 14

And in the strength of the Lord they did contend against their enemies, until they had slain many thousands of the Lamanites. And it came to pass that they did contend against the Lamanites until they had driven them out of all the lands of their inheritance.

Mosiah 2: 4

And also that they might give thanks to the Lord their God, who had brought them out of the land of Jerusalem, and who had delivered them out of the hands of their enemies, and had appointed just men to be their teachers, and also a just man to be their king, who had established peace in the land of Zarahemla, and who had taught them to keep the commandments of God, that they might rejoice and be filled with love towards God and all men.

Mosiah 2: 35

And also, all that has been spoken by our fathers until now. And behold, also, they spake that which was commanded them of the Lord; therefore, they are just and true.

1 Nephi 13: 16-20

And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld that the Gentiles who had gone forth out of captivity did humble themselves before the Lord; and the power of the Lord was with them.

And I beheld that their mother Gentiles were gathered together upon the waters, and upon the land also, to battle against them.

And I beheld that the power of God was with them, and also that the wrath of God was upon all those that were gathered together against them to battle.

And I, Nephi, beheld that the Gentiles that had gone out of captivity were delivered by the power of God out of the hands of all other nations.

And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld that they did prosper in the land; and I beheld a book, and it was carried forth among them.

1 Nephi 14

An angel tells Nephi of the blessings and cursings to fall upon the Gentiles—There are only two churches: the Church of the Lamb of God and the church of the devil—The saints of God in all nations are persecuted by the great and abominable church—The apostle John shall write concerning the end of the world. Between 600 and 592 B.C.

Mosiah 12: 15

And behold, we are strong, we shall not come into bondage, or be taken captive by our enemies; yea, and thou hast prospered in the land, and thou shalt also prosper.

Mosiah 21: 11

And it came to pass that their continual cries did stir up the remainder of the people of Limhi to anger against the Lamanites; and they went again to battle, but they were driven back again, suffering much loss.

Mosiah 9: 17-19

Yea, in the strength of the Lord did we go forth to battle against the Lamanites; for I and my people did cry mightily to the Lord that he would deliver us out of the hands of our enemies, for we were awakened to a remembrance of the deliverance of our fathers.

And God did hear our cries and did answer our prayers; and we did go forth in his might; yea, we did go forth against the Lamanites, and in one day and a night we did slay three thousand and forty-three; we did slay them even until we had driven them out of our land.

And I, myself, with mine own hands, did help to bury their dead. And behold, to our great sorrow and lamentation, two hundred and seventy-nine of our brethren were slain.

Mosiah 10: 10-11, 19-20

And it came to pass that we did go up to battle against the Lamanites; and I, even I, in my old age, did go up to battle against the Lamanites. And it came to pass that we did go up in the strength of the Lord to battle.

Now, the Lamanites knew nothing concerning the Lord, nor the strength of the Lord, therefore they depended upon their own strength. Yet they were a strong people, as to the strength of men.

And now I, Zeniff, after having told all these things unto my people concerning the Lamanites, I did stimulate them to go to battle with their might, putting their trust in the Lord; therefore, we did contend with them, face to face.

And it came to pass that we did drive them again out of our land; and we slew them with a great slaughter, even so many that we did not number them.

Mosiah 11: 18-19

And it came to pass that king Noah sent his armies against them, and they were driven back, or they drove them back for a time; therefore, they returned rejoicing in their spoil.

And now, because of this great victory they were lifted up in the pride of their hearts; they did aboast in their own strength, saying that their fifty could stand against thousands of the Lamanites; and thus they did boast, and did delight in blood, and the shedding of the blood of their brethren, and this because of the wickedness of their king and priests.

Mosiah 21: 14

And they did humble themselves even in the depths of humility; and they did cry mightily to God; yea, even all the day long did they cry unto their God that he would deliver them out of their afflictions.

Mosiah 23: 2

And the Lord did strengthen them, that the people of king Noah could not overtake them to destroy them.

Alma 2: 18-19, 27-28, 30-35

Nevertheless the Lord did strengthen the hand of the Nephites, that they slew the Amlicites with great slaughter, that they began to flee before them.

And it came to pass that the Nephites did pursue the Amlicites all that day, and did slay them with much slaughter, insomuch that there were slain of the Amlicites twelve thousand five hundred thirty and two souls; and there were slain of the Nephites six thousand five hundred sixty and two souls.

And behold, as they were crossing the river Sidon, the Lamanites and the Amlicites, being as numerous almost, as it were, as the sands of the sea, came upon them to destroy them.

Nevertheless, the Nephites being strengthened by the hand of the Lord, having prayed mightily to him that he would deliver them out of the hands of their enemies, therefore the Lord did hear their cries, and did strengthen them, and the Lamanites and the Amlicites did fall before them.

And it came to pass that Alma, being a man of God, being exercised with much faith, cried, saying: O Lord, have mercy and spare my life, that I may be an instrument in thy hands to save and preserve this people.

Now when Alma had said these words he contended again with Amlici; and he was strengthened, insomuch that he slew Amlici with the sword.

And he also contended with the king of the Lamanites; but the king of the Lamanites fled back from before Alma and sent his guards to contend with Alma.

But Alma, with his guards, contended with the guards of the king of the Lamanites until he slew and drove them back.

And thus he cleared the ground, or rather the bank, which was on the west of the river Sidon, throwing the bodies of the Lamanites who had been slain into the waters of Sidon, that thereby his people might have room to cross and contend with the Lamanites and the Amlicites on the west side of the river Sidon.

And it came to pass that when they had all crossed the river Sidon that the Lamanites and the Amlicites began to flee before them, notwithstanding they were so numerous that they could not be numbered.

Founders Statements

George Washington

It is indeed a pleasure, from the walks of private life, to view in retrospect all the meanderings of our past labors, the difficulties through which we have waded, and the fortunate haven to which the ship has been brought! Is it possible after this that it should founder? Will not the all-wise and all-powerful Director of human events preserve it? I think he will. He may, however (for wise purposes not discoverable by finite minds), suffer our indiscretions and folly to place our national character low in the political scale; and this, unless more wisdom and less prejudice take the lead in our governments, will most assuredly be the case. [15]

The citizens of America, placed in the most enviable condition as the sole lords and proprietors of a vast tract of continent, comprehending all the various soils and climates of the world and abounding with all the necessaries and conveniences of life, are now, by the late satisfactory pacification, acknowledged to be possessed of absolute freedom and independence. They are, from this period, to be considered as the actors on a most conspicuous theater, which seems to be peculiarly designated by Providence for the display of human greatness and felicity. Here they are not only surrounded with everything which can contribute to the completion of private and domestic enjoyment, but Heaven has crowned all its other blessings by giving a fairer opportunity for political happiness that any other nation has ever been favored with. [16]

It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor. 2

Patrick Henry

An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us!… Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power… Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the
destinies of nations and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us… Is life so dear, or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death! 3

I’ve lived, sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth: That God governs in the affairs of men. If a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We’ve been assured in the sacred writings that unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it. I firmly believe this, and I also believe that without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel. 4

Supporting Statements

J. Reuben Clark, Jr.

We heard him reply in answer to a question as to why he had put his life savings into his presently-owned Grantsville ranch: “This is all I have to leave to my family when I die, and if they are not too lazy to work it, they won’t starve. I have told them that when the first atomic bomb is dropped here in America, that they are to go out there on the ranch and stay until it is over.” This last seemed not only to be wise council, but also a prophecy. His only son, J. Reuben Clark III, is the family steward of this practical and foresighted legacy. [17]

  1. John Taylor, Journal of Discourses, 23:65-67
  2. Ether 2:12
  3. 1 Nephi 22:17
  4. Ezra Taft Benson, Title of Liberty, pp. 88-91; Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 571
  5. Ezra Taft Benson, “Righteousness Exalteth a Nation,” Provo Utah Freedom Festival, 29 June 1986; The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 578
  6. Ezra Taft Benson, “A Promised Lord-A Promised Land-A Promised People,” Wichita, Kansas, 11 November 1976; The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1988], 580
  7. President Spencer W. Kimball, 3 June 1976
  8. Ezra Taft Benson, This Nation Shall Endure, p. 105; Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 577
  9. Ether 2:8-10
  10. 1 Nephi 13:12-19
  11. 2 Nephi 1:6-7
  12. Ezra Taft Benson, CR April 1948, Improvement Era 51 [May 1948]: 283; Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 575
  13. Ezra Taft Benson, Conference Report, October 1973
  14. Spencer W. Kimball, Conference Report, April 1960
  15. George Washington, To Jonathan Trumbull. Fitzpatrick 27:399; The Real George Washington p. 639
  16. George Washington, Circular to the States. Fitzpatrick 26:484; The Real George Washington p. 638
  17. J. Reuben Clark, Jr. quoted by Harold B. Lee, Improvement Era, September 6, 1961
  1. Ezra Taft Benson, Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson 601; from an address given at the Provo Freedom Festival, Provo, UT, 29 Jun 1986
  2. George Washington: Commander-in-Chief in the American Revolution;
    Signer of the Constitution; First President of the United States. Thanksgiving Proclamation, New York, 3 October 1789
  3. Patrick Henry, Liberty or Death speech.
  4. Benjamin Franklin, Speech to the Constitutional Convention (28 June 1787); Manuscript notes by Franklin preserved in the Library of Congress
Filter by Categories

Explore our newest project!

Unlock a treasure trove of FREE resources! Dive into engaging videos, lesson plans, activities, and much more—all perfectly aligned with Come Follow Me 2024.

Join our email newsletter!
Latest News