Lessons on Freedom and Patriotism
Lesson No. Fifteen
The Restoration of the Gospel Required a Free Nation
Our nation was founded so the gospel could be restored - “The crowning event recorded in the Book of Mormon is the personal ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ to the Nephites soon after his resurrection” (Introduction to the Book of Mormon). There Jesus taught that it was necessary for the United States to be founded by the wisdom and power of God so the Book of Mormon could go forth and the gospel be restored: "For it is wisdom in the Father that they should be established in this land, and be set up as a free people by the power of the Father, that these things (Book of Mormon) might come forth from them unto a remnant of your seed, that the covenant of the Father may be fulfilled which he hath covenanted with his people, O house of Israel" (3 Nephi 21:4).
Nephi’s Vision of the founding of America – 1 Nephi 13 outlines the founding and establishment of the United States which brought the freedom necessary for the gospel to be restored. Nephi saw that the “Spirit of God, that it wrought upon [Columbus]; and…that it wrought upon other Gentiles; and they (pilgrims) went forth out of captivity.” He “beheld the Spirit of the Lord that it was upon the Gentiles (colonists), and they did prosper and obtain the land for their inheritance” (Vs 12-15).
He “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. He “beheld that their mother Gentiles (England) were gathered together…to battle against them (Revolution). 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” (Vs 16-19).
Nephi “beheld that they did prosper in the land, and he beheld a book (the Bible)” but “there many plain and precious things taken away from the book” insomuch “that an exceedingly great many do stumble…Nevertheless, [Nephi beheld] that the Gentiles who had gone forth out of captivity [were] lifted up by the power of God above all other nations, on the face of the land which is choice above all other lands” (Vs 20, 28-30). Nephi was told of the coming forth of latter day scripture to restore what had been lost, and that the Bible and these scriptures would become one. (See Vs 34-42)
Nephi’s description of the restoration and its consequences – 1 Nephi 14 describes the restoration of the gospel “as a great and marvelous work…which shall be everlasting... either to the convincing of them of peace and eternal life, or unto the deliverance of them to…destruction” (Vs 7). As missionaries know, the doctrine of the restoration is the sieve that separates the elect who will receive the gospel and those who will not. It separates the saints, who are relatively few in number and scattered on the earth, from worldly people who have dominion among all nations and who fight against the Lord. (Vs 10-13)
The Lord established freedom and He will protect His people – 1 Nephi 13 affirms that the power of God established freedom so the gospel could be restored. 1 Nephi 14 tells of the contest between good and evil. Then Nephi prophesies of the temple and how temples bless people of our day:
“And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the power of the Lamb of God, that it descended upon the saints of the church of the Lamb, and upon the covenant people of the Lord, who were scattered upon all the face of the earth; and they were armed with righteousness and the power of God in great glory” (1 Nephi 14:14).
I rejoice every time a temple is built as I know that this will further preserve freedom and protect his people throughout the earth.