God Bless America (1 Nephi 13)
It was early March, 1776. The British General decided to attack the Americans at night. His troops were all ready. But the battle never happened. God had intervened!
During the previous day, the weather had been very pleasant; it was even abnormally warm. But by nightfall a storm raged. Hail mixed with snow and sleet, and the wind blew with almost hurricane force. Windows were smashed and fences were blown over. One American lieutenant called it the worst storm that he was ever exposed to.
The next morning, the wind continued to blow, and the snow and sleet changed over to a driving rain. The British general had no choice. He could not fight in those conditions. So instead, the entire British army evacuated the city of Boston without a fight. If it wasn't for that blizzard, American history could have been very different.
This is one of many examples of God’s intervention that changed the course of American history. When God intervenes in anything on earth, He always has a reason to do so. Why would God intervene on behalf of America? The Book of Mormon tells us that God considers America a “land of promise.” In 1 Nephi 13, various specific events in American history are revealed to Nephi:
- The voyage of Christopher Columbus (verse 12)
- The arrival of the Pilgrims (verses 13-14)
- The persecution of the Native Americans (verse 14)
- The Revolutionary War (verses 17-19)
Since God foretold these events, it should be no surprise that He would be part of them coming to pass. Here’s a quote from someone involved with one of the events:
“It was the Lord who put into my mind…the fact that it would be possible to sail from here to the Indies. There is no question that the inspiration was from the Holy Spirit, because He comforted me.” – Christopher Columbus
The Pilgrims reportedly left England to seek religious freedom. The persecution of the Native Americans, as mentioned many times in The Book of Mormon, was a result of the Lamanite people disobeying God. The account at the beginning of this article was from a history of the Revolutionary War, and there are other similar accounts. God has been very involved in American history!
What is our role in American history? A key part of our beliefs is that we, as The Church of Jesus Christ, will play a key role in the future of the native people of this land. The accomplishments for which God uses us may well be written in an American history book some day.
Even if we’re not at the forefront of fulfilling prophecy, hopefully “history” will recall us individually as someone who:
- Followed the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in our lives (like Columbus)
- Stood up for our beliefs (like the Pilgrims)
- Was obedient to the will and word of God (unlike the Lamanites)
- Recognized the intervention of God in our lives (like those who fought the American Revolution)
If someone was writing the history of our lives, what would they be writing today?
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.