Wednesday, October 14, 2009

God Bless America!

Please write 500-600 words on the Book of Mormon description of the founding of America.

I guess this response is supposed to focus on a piece we read for class, though I can’t remember much of that piece now, or what we said in class about it. [Sorry about that part. I’m usually much better at this kind of thing, but I won’t go into my excuses for not being better this time.]
If I do remember one thing though, it is that the Book of Mormon constantly says that this land will be a choice land. It is the promised land, the land of the New Jerusalem. God will not allow an unrighteous people to inhabit and rule over it because that would prevent his work from going forward. There is evidence of this in the Nephites being wiped out because of their iniquitous behavior only a few generations after Christ’s coming to the Americas
About the founding of this new nation, let’s start with the beginning. The Book of Mormon has reference to the discovery of the New Land or the Americas. In 1 Nephi 13: 10 Nephi describes how there are no Gentiles on the land inhabited by his people yet because they are separated by “many waters,” which is presumably the Atlantic Ocean. A few verses on Nephi says, “And I looked and beheld a man among the Gentiles, who was separated from the seed of my brethren by the many waters; and I beheld the Spirit of God that is came down and wrought upon the man; and he went forth upon the many waters, even unto the seed of my brethren, who were in the promised land” (1 Nephi 13: 12). This verse is widely accepted as describing Christopher Columbus’s journey across the Atlantic Ocean. [What a coincidence. October 12, this past Monday was Columbus Day.] I find it really interesting that Nephi says the Spirit wrought upon him. This implies not only that discovering America was inspired of God, but also that God had a time frame for doing do. He did not inspire men to journey in this direction before. [All right, so we all know that the Vikings did in fact find America long before Columbus did, but they were unable to establish a settlement like the ones that came as a result of Columbus’s excursion.]
In verse 13 Nephi talks about the establishment of colonies by those who sought to escape from captivity. Much of this is actually probably a religious captivity. With the different Protestant groups forming after the creation of the Church of England there was definitely some clashing. Many religious groups [including the Pilgrims] left England with hopes to establish “a city on a hill” as an example to the world. Once again Nephi notes that God inspired these people to come to the America’s. Nephi sees God’s hand in all of this, which is something that is become highly devalued today.
Nephi even got to see the Revolutionary War, of which he said, “And I beheld 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” (1 Nephi 13:17-18).
The thing that I believe is most important in all of this is the fact that, not only was God involved every step of the way, but that he had this planned from the beginning. It was planned so well with so much detail that he was able to show Nephi the process millennia before it happened.
God made America and may he continue to bless it.

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