Essential Takeaway: Kneeling down is standing up
Good, humble people have made covenants with God throughout our nations history. A covenant is a solemn promise. America has been a covenant land (pre-United States) and later a covenant nation. 2Nephi 1:5 “The Lord hath covenanted this land unto me, and to my children forever and also all those who should be led out of other countries by the hand of the Lord.”
John Winthrop, leading 700 Puritans to Massachusetts in 1631, said it like this: “‘Others may come to the New World for wealth and furs.’ He said, ‘We have another goal, another end. We have entered into an explicit covenant with God to be His people in this New World.’ And they wanted to be that city on a hill. They wanted to be a model of Christianity for the rest of the world to see.” David Barton (whom I’m a fan of) said these early settlers wrote out their covenants, “They were very cognizant of the fact that we answer to God. We need to get God at the center of what we do. If we do, He’ll bless us. If we don’t, we’re in trouble.”
April 30, 1789 when George Washington was inaugurated as our first President of the United States. Directly after taking the oath of office, Washington and his cabinet walked a couple of blocks to a small church. Washington spent four hours in prayer and made a covenant with God in behalf of our new county. Washington said: “He will be our God and we shall be His people.”
Later, Lincoln also made a covenant with the Lord. “I went into my room one day and locked the door and got down on my knees before Almighty God and prayed to Him mightily for victory at Gettysburg. I told Him this was His war and our cause, His cause, but that we couldn’t stand another Fredericksburg or Chancellorsville. And I then and there made a solemn vow to Almighty God that if He would stand by our boys at Gettysburg, I would stand by Him. And He did, and I will. And after that, I don’t know how it was and I can’t explain it, but soon a sweet comfort crept into my soul that things would go all right at Gettysburg.”
Keeping a covenant with God is a very serious and eternal thing. The Lord will always keep His promises. The blessings promised are peace and wealth. The consequences will be serious, and also eternal.
Still in 2 Nephi 1:7 “and if it so be that they shall serve him according to the commandments which he hath given, it shall be a land of liberty until them.”
2Nephi 1:9 “And if it so be that they shall keep his commandments they shall be blessed up the face of this land….” We are given a warning 2Ne 1:7 “for if iniquity shall about cursed shall be the land for their sakes, but until the righteous it shall be blessed forever.” Am I one encouraging iniquity by not standing up for what is righteous?
On Sunday October 20, 2019 Elder Ballard spoke to a group a saints in Boston MA. He said the United States is at a “crossroad”. It is no secret our country is in trouble. We have forgotten God. We have forgotten the covenants that were made in our behalf. What can we do? Elder Ballard gives us a couple of suggestions: “Invite your neighbors, your colleagues, your friends on social media to pray for this country,” he said. “Let it begin today that we take leadership … to pray for this country that we all love much.”
Elder Ballard also said “Our nation was founded on prayer, it was preserved by prayer, and we need prayer again. I plead with you this evening to pray for this country, for our leaders, for our people and for the families that live in this great nation founded by God. Remember, this country was established and preserved by our founding fathers and mothers who repeatedly acknowledged the hand of God through prayer.”
STAND UP KNEEL DOWN! We can pray for our county no matter our political persuasion. It does not matter who is president or who is running for president. The country as a whole has forgotten God. President Ballard said he “PLEADS” with us to pray. I can do that. You can do that. It is time to get to work.