GOVERNMENT: Will the government of the United States fail and collapse?

Prophetic Statements

Joseph Smith


While discussing the petition to Congress, I prophesied, by virtue of the holy Priesthood vested in me, and in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that, if Congress will not hear our petition and grant us protection, they shall be broken up as a government, and God shall damn them, and there shall be nothing left of them — not even a grease spot. 1


I prophecy in the name of the Lord God of Israel, unless the United States redress the wrongs committed upon the Saints in the state of Missouri and punish the crimes committed by her officers that in a few years the government will be utterly overthrown and wasted, and there will not be so much as a potsherd left for their wickedness in permitting the murder of men, women and children, and the wholesale plunder and extermination of thousands of her citizens to go unpunished, thereby perpetrating a foul and corroding blot upon the fair fame of this great republic, the very thought of which would have caused the high-minded and patriotic framers of the Constitution of the United States to hide their faces with shame. Judge [Stephen A. Douglas], you will aspire to the Presidency of the United States; and if you ever turn your hand against me or the Latter-day Saints, you will feel the weight of the hand of the Almighty upon you; and you will live to see and know that I have testified the truth to you; for the conversation of this day will stick to you through life. 2


Even this Nation will be on the very verge of crumbling to pieces and tumbling to the ground and when the constitution is upon the brink of ruin this people will be the Staff up[on] which the Nation shall lean and they shall bear the constitution away from the very verge of destruction.

Then shall the Lord say go tell all my servants who are the strength of mine house my young men and middle aged &c come to the Land of my vineyard and fight the battle of the Lord . . . [then] the Foreign saints shall come to fight for the Land of my vineyard for in this thing shall be their safety and they will have no power to choose but will come as a man fleeth from a sudden destruction . . . I know these things by the visions of the Almighty.3

Brigham Young


The whole government is gone; it is as weak as water. I heard Joseph Smith say nearly thirty years ago, “They shall have mobbings to their hearts’ content, if they do not redress the wrongs of the Latter-day Saints.” Mobs will not decrease but will increase until the whole government becomes a mob, and eventually it will be State against State, city against city, neighborhood against neighborhood. 4


The nation that kills the prophets of God in any age must expect to reap cursings instead of blessings, unless it speedily repent. Judgment must begin at the house of God first, and we are perfectly willing it should…. I told General Kane that the Government of the United States would be shivered to pieces. 5


God Almighty will give the United States a pill that will puke them to death, and that is worse than lobelia. I am prophet enough to prophesy the downfall of the government that has driven us out. Eighteen years ago I told them of it. Wo to the United States! I see them going to destruction. I see them greedy after death and destruction. 6


The blood of prophets, apostles and righteous men and women has been spilled upon the ground in this, our country, and when county, state, and federal officers turn a deaf ear to the cry of the oppressed and will not be swayed by the spirit of the heaven-inspired constitution of the land, it is not hard to believe that mene mene tekel upharsin is written upon the wall. (Brigham Young, December 29, 1876, Letter to Alfales Young, see My Dear Son: Letters of Brigham Young to His Sons, Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book 1974, pg. 238.)

John Taylor


We had a great war upon this continent some years ago; but there will yet be wars pass through these United States, and through other nations, until it will be mournful to hear the report of the bloodshed, the sorrow and trouble that will be caused thereby, as also by pestilence, famine and earthquake, and the waves of the sea heaving themselves beyond their bounds, and storms and tempests, etc., etc. We have been gathered together from among the nations of the earth in order that God might have a people who would obey His law; 7


And when the nation with which we are associated is shaken to its centre and crumbles to pieces . . . it will continue to fall and to crumble, until it is no more, and by and bye there will be an end of it. Not so with the kingdom of God; it will stand, and continue to exist and spread and go forth. . . . 8


The sins of this nation, the licentiousness, the debauchery, the murders are entering into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, and I tell you now, from the tops of these mountains, as a humble servant of the living God, that unless these cries and infamies are stopped, this nation will be overthrown and its glory, power, dominion and wealth will fade away like the dews of a summer morning. I also say to other nations of the earth, that unless they repent of their crimes, their iniquities and abominations, their thrones will be overturned, their kingdoms and governments overthrown, and their lands made desolate. This is not only my saying, but it is the saying of those ancient prophets which they themselves profess to believe; for God will speedily have a controversy with the nations of the earth, and, as I stated before, the destroyer of the Gentiles is on his way to overthrow governments, to destroy dynasties, to lay waste thrones, kingdoms and empires, to spread abroad anarchy and desolation, and to cause war, famine and bloodshed to overspread the earth. 9


God will lay his hand upon this nation, and they will feel it more terribly than ever they have done before; there will be more bloodshed, more ruin, more devastation than ever they have seen before. Write it down! You will see it come to pass; it is only just starting in. And would you feel to rejoice? No; I would feel sorry. I knew very well myself when this last war was commencing, and could have wept and did weep, over this nation; but there is yet to come a sound of war, trouble and distress, in which brother will be arrayed against brother, father against son, son against father, a scene of desolation and destruction that will permeate our land until it will be a vexation to hear the report thereof. Would you help to bring it about? No, I would not; I would stop it if I could. 10

Wilford Woodruff


When I contemplate the condition of our nation, and see that wickedness and abominations are increasing, so much so that the whole heavens groan and weep over the abominations of this nation and the nations of the earth, I ask myself the question, can the American nation escape? The answer comes, No; its destruction, as well as the destruction of the world, is sure; just as sure as the Lord cut off and destroyed the two great and prosperous nations that once inhabited this continent of North and South America, because of their wickedness, so will he them destroy, and sooner or later they will reap the fruits of their own wicked acts, and be numbered among the past. 11


I will here say that God has inspired me to keep a journal and write the history of this Church, and I warn the future historians to give credence to my history; for my testimony is true, and the truth of its record will be manifest in the world to come.

All the words of the Lord will be fulfilled upon the nations, which are written in this book. The American nation will be broken in pieces like a potter’s vessel, and will be cast down to hell, if it does not repent, and this, because of murders, whoredoms, wickedness, and all manner of abominations, for the Lord has spoken it. 12

Ezra Taft Benson

Concerning the United States, the Lord revealed to his prophets that its greatest threat would be a vast, world-wide secret combination which would not only threaten the United States but seek to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations and countries. In connection with the attack on the United States, the Lord told his prophet there would be an attempt to overthrow the country by destroying the Constitution. Joseph Smith predicted that the time would come when the Constitu­tion would hang, as it were, by a thread, and at that time this people will step forth and save it from the threatened destruc­tion. It is my conviction that the Elders of Israel, widely spread over the nation, will at that crucial time successfully rally the righteous of our country and provide the necessary balance of strength to save the institutions of constitutional government…. The prophets in our day have continually warned us of these internal threats-that our greatest threat from Socialistic Communism lies within our country. . . . As the First Presidency pointed out in a statement signed in 1936, if we continue to uphold Communism by not making it treasonable, our land shall be destroyed, for the Lord has said that whatsoever nation shall uphold such secret combinations to get power and gain until they shall spread over the nation–behold, they shall be destroyed. The Lord has declared that before the second coming of Christ, it will be necessary to destroy the secret works of darkness in order to preserve the land of Zion- the Americas. The world-wide secret conspiracy which has risen up in our day to fulfill these prophecies is easily identified.” 13

There is little doubt that the leaders of Red China view war as inevitable and await only the propitious moment in which to strike.” 14


D&C 87:6

And thus, with the sword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn; and with famine, and plague, and earthquake, and the thunder of heaven, and the fierce and vivid lightning also,
shall the inhabitants of the earth be made to feel the wrath, and indignation, and chastening hand of an Almighty God, until the consumption decreed hath made a full end of all nations;

Jeremiah 46:28

Fear thou not, O Jacob my servant, saith the Lord: for I am with thee; for I will make a full end of all the nations whither I have driven thee: but I will not make a full end of thee, but correct thee in measure; yet will I not leave thee wholly unpunished.

Jeremiah 30:11

For I am with thee, saith the Lord, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.

Supporting Statements

Mosiah Hancock

There will be two great political parties in this country. One will be called the Republican, and the other the Democrat party. These two parties will go to war and out of these two parties will spring another party which will be the Independent American Party. The United States will spend her strength and means warring in foreign lands until other nations will say, “Let’s divide up the lands of the United States”, then the people of the U. S. will unite and swear by the blood of their fore-fathers, that the land shall not be divided. Then the country will go to war, and they will fight until one half of the U. S. army will give up, and the rest will continue to struggle. They will keep on until they are very ragged and discouraged, and almost ready to give up-when the boys from the moun­tains will rush forth in time to save the American Army from defeat and ruin. And they will say, ‘Brethren, we are glad you have come; give us men, henceforth, who can talk with God’. Then you will have friends, but you will save the country when it’s [sic] liberty hangs by a hair, as it were. 15

Moses Thatcher

“Would to God we had statesmen with eyes clear enough to see!…. the day is not far distant, unless the Democratic and Republican parties open their eyes to the situation, when desolation and war will be in this government.

I will say when this nation, having sown to the wind, reaps the whirlwind; when brother takes up sword against brother; when father contends against son, and son against father; when he who will not take up his sword against his neighbor must needs flee to Zion for safety—then I would say to my friends come to Utah; for the judgments of God, commencing at the house of the Lord, will have passed away, and Utah, undisturbed, will be the most delightful place in all the Union. When war and desolation and bloodshed, and the ripping up of society come upon the nation, I have said to such, “Come to Utah and we will divide our morsel of food with you, we will divide our clothing with you, and we will offer you protection.” I will tell you, my brethren and sisters, the day will come, and it is not far distant, when he who will not take up his sword against his neighbor, will have to flee to Zion for safety; and it is presupposed in this prediction that Zion will have power to give them protection. We are not going to do it outside of the government, either; we are going to do it inside the government. There is no power in this land to turn this people against the government of the United States. They will maintain the Constitution of this country inviolate, and although it may have been torn to shreds they will tie it together again, and maintain every principle of it, holding it up to the downtrodden of every nation, kindred, tongue and people, and they will do it, too, under the Stars and Stripes. They will stand with their feet firmly upon the backbone of the American continent and maintain the principles which cost their fathers so much, and those principles cannot be taken away by men who violate their oath of office, and betray their trust.

I tell you that there are boys growing up in these mountains who have the principles of human liberty grounded deep in their hearts, and they will maintain them, not only for themselves, but for others. God speed the day I say—if the nation pursues its downward course and tears up these fundamental principles of government which have made them strong—when the Constitution may be rescued and all men and women shall be free again.” 16

  1. Joseph Smith, Millennial Star, Vol. 22, p. 455. See also History of the Church (HC), vol. 6, p. 116.
  2. Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 volumes, edited by Brigham H. Roberts, (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1957), 5:394.
  3. Joseph Smith, Sermon delivered at Nauvoo, Illinois July 19, 1840, Source: Howard and Martha Coray Notebook)
  4. Brigham Young, Deseret News, Vol. 9, p. 2, May 1, 1861. (Gerald N. Lund, The Coming of the Lord [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1971], 68.)
  5. Brigham Young, JD 12:119, 1867.
  6. Brigham Young, August 26, 1849, The Complete Discourses of Brigham Young 1:349
  7. John Taylor, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 24, pg. 200.
  8. John Taylor, JD 11:26, 1864.
  9. John Taylor, JD 23:62-63, 1882.
  10. John Taylor, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 20, pg. 318.
  11. Wilford Woodruff, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 21, pg. 301.
  12. Wilford Woodruff, Matthias F. Cowley, Wilford Woodruff, p.500.
  13. Ezra Taft Benson, General Conference Address, October 7, 1961.
  14. IE, December, 1960, p. 944.
  15. Mosiah Lyman Hancock, Life Story of Mosiah Lyman Hancock, p. 29. A typewritten copy of the original manuscript is available in the Brigham Young University library.
  16. Elder Moses Thatcher JOD 26:36
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