To us, this is not just another nation, not just a member of the family of nations. This is a great and glorious nation with a divine mission and a prophetic history and future. It has been brought into being under the inspiration of heaven.
. . . God has kept this great nation, as it were, in the hollow of his hand in preparation for its great mission.
Yes, the Lord planned it all. Why? So America could serve as a beacon of liberty and in preparation for the opening of a new gospel dispensation—the last and greatest of all dispensations in preparation for the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. To achieve his purposes the Lord had to have a base of operations.
. . . The establishment of this great Christian nation, with a spiritual foundation, was all in preparation for the restoration of the gospel, following the long night of apostasy.
This then becomes the Lord’s base of operations in these latter days. And this base will not be shifted out of its place, the land of America. This nation will, in a measure at least, fulfill its mission even though it may face serious and troublesome days. The degree to which it achieves it full mission depends upon the righteousness of its people. God has, through his power, established a free people in this land as a means of helping to carry forward his purposes.
Yes, it is here under a free government and a strong nation that protection was provided for his restored Church. Now, God will not permit his base of operations—America—to be destroyed. He has promised protection to this land if we will but serve the God of the land. He has also promised protection to the righteous even, if necessary, to send fire from heaven to destroy their enemies. (Ether 2:12, 1 Nephi 22:17)
No, God’s base of operations will not be destroyed. But it may be weakened and made less effective. One of the first rules of war strategy—and we are at war with the adversary and his agents—is to protect the base of operations. This we must do if we are to build up the kingdom throughout the world and safeguard our God-given freedom.
How will we protect this base of operations:
We must protect this base of operations from every threat—from sin, from unrighteousness, immorality, from desecration of the Sabbath day, from lawlessness, from parental and juvenile delinquency.
We must protect it from dirty movies, filthy advertising, from salacious and suggestive TV programs, magazines, and books.
We must protect this base from idleness, subsidies, doles, and soft governmental paternalism which weakens initiative, discourages industry, destroys character, and demoralizes people.
We must protect this base from complacency—from the dangerous feeling that all is well—from being lulled away into a false security. We must protect this American base from the brainwashing, increasingly administered to our youth in many educational institutions across the land, by some misinformed instructors and some wolves in sheep’s clothing. Their false indoctrination, often perpetrated behind the front of so-called aca demic freedom, is leaving behind many faithless students, social-ist-oriented, who are easy subjects for state tyranny.
“At what point, then, is the approach of danger to be expected?” Asked Abraham Lincoln, and answered, . . . “if it ever reaches us, it must spring up among us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher; as a nation of freeman, we must live through all time or die by suicide.” (Springfield, Ill., Jan. 27, 1837)
The only threat to the liberty and independence of the American people from abroad is the threat of world communism spreading from its base in the Soviet Union. But the best authorities are confident that the Soviets will not provoke a major war. Their economy would not support it.
The soundest strategy in war is to postpone operations until the moral disintegration of the enemy renders the mortal blow possible and easy.
Commenting on Lenin’s statement the Indianapolis Star adds:
Where then does the real danger lie? It lies with us—the American people . . . .
To protect this base we must protect the soul of America—we must return to a love and respect for the basic spiritual concepts upon which this nation has been established. We must study the Constitution and the writings of the founding fathers.
Yes, we must protect the Lord’s base of operations by moving away from unsound economic policies which encourage creeping socialism and its companion, insidious, atheistic communism. If we are to protect this important base, we must as a nation live within our means, balance our budgets, and pay our debts. We must establish sound monetary policies and take needed steps to compete in world markets.
If we are to protect this American base, we must realize that all things, including information disseminated by our schools, churches, and government, should be judged according to the words of the prophets, especially the living prophet. This procedure coupled with the understanding which will come through the Spirit of the Lord, if we are living in compliance with the scriptures, is the only sure foundation and basis of judgment. Any other course of action leaves us muddled, despondent, wandering in shades of gray, easy targets for Satan.
Excerpt from Ezra Taft Benson General Conference Address, April 1962 (see p. 103-6). Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994) served as thirteenth President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and as Secretary of Agriculture for both terms of Dwight D. Eisenhower’s presidency.