Like many of you, I have been following the actions of our nation’s leaders over the past year or two as they have struggled to find an adequate response to the economic distress in which we are now embroiled. At times I have wondered if the financial crisis has been painted to be worse than it actually is until I read reports of those added to the monthly unemployment rolls.
I had to stop and think for a minute if I knew of anyone in my immediate circle of associates who had lost their job. I couldn’t think of any, but Carol reminded me of two or three. In each case the reason given by the employer was “the recession.” I also remember that the usual cost of living raise granted by my own employer at the end of each year was not offered last year.
I think there can be no doubt that we are passing through some perilous and uncertain times. There are many doom and gloom prophets having a field day with this hue and cry, and in spite of the title of this essay, I don’t want to join their ranks. I am fundamentally an optimist and believe that given America’s freedom and opportunity, we will rise above this current situation.
A large part of my optimism about the immediate future of the United States comes from my religious beliefs. I follow closely the words of the leaders of my church whom I believe are prophets and seers. While they continue to teach us about personal righteousness, I do not find their conference addresses to be full of dire warnings or immediate calls for drastic action.
Don’t get me wrong. They have been warning us for many years to be prepared for emergencies, specifically by making sure that we have sufficient food, water and supplies on hand to last for many months. Mormons are well known for storing a year’s supply of such items in their homes and I am no different. I am confident that we could last several months without replenishment.
I am also confident that the time has not yet arrived for the catastrophic events that we usually associate with the end of the world scenario that can best be found in the Book of Revelation. However, I do not dismiss the possibility that the United States may pass through something similar to what happened in Russia when the former Soviet Union collapsed back in 1991.
Is it possible that the government of the United States could collapse? If so, what could bring that on and what would be the outcome? If you have studied the collapse of the Soviet Union, you know that a large part of the cause there was economic in nature. The government owned all property and businesses, subsidized money-losing farms and factories and controlled prices.
I am not the first to point out the similarities to the collapse of the Soviet Union with what is happening in the United States right now. The United States government is moving into a very similar position of becoming the owner of our highest financial institutions, subsidizing many of the money-losing enterprises. This draws us closer to socialism and away from a free market.
I am among the ranks of those who believe that the stimulus bill about to be passed is not a good thing for our nation. I am appalled by the cost of the measures being considered. I do not see how we can go into debt like this and not be burned in the long run. Will China continue to buy our debt and if so, what will they require in return for their huge investment in the United States?
Prophecies of early LDS leaders
We don’t hear much any more about what some of our early Mormon leaders said when they spoke of the future destiny of the United States. A lot of time has passed since these statements were uttered and I suspect that most members of the church have discounted them as being made without the benefit of the additional century of history now passed, giving us added perspective.
Joseph Smith stated on several occasions that, “the government will be utterly overthrown and destroyed,” and that “Congress…shall be broken up as a government.” In addition the prophet Joseph is quoted as saying, “A terrible revolution will take place in the land of America, such as has never been seen before; for the land will be literally left without a supreme government…”
President Woodruff was more emphatic when he asked, “…can the American nation escape? The answer comes, No; its destruction, as well as the destruction of the world, is sure…Sooner or later they will reap the fruits of their own wicked acts, and be numbered among the past.” On another occasion he said, “The American nation will be broken in pieces like a potter’s vessel…”
A nation in pieces
You may have read the predictions of the Russian academic Igor Panarin. From the Wall Street Journal we read, “…economic decline, and moral degradation will trigger a civil war next fall and the collapse of the dollar. Around the end of June 2010, or early July, he says, the U.S. will break into six pieces.” Can you imagine a civil war here in the United States in the fall of 2009?
Perhaps you recall this statement by Orson Pratt, an early LDS apostle. “State will be divided against state, city against city, town against town, and the whole country will be in terror and confusion; mobocracy will prevail and there will be no security, through this great Republic, for the lives or property of the people.” This statement was made after the Civil war of 1861-65.
Referring to the Civil war of 1861-65, President John Taylor said, “We had a great war upon this continent some years ago; but there will yet be wars pass through these United States…” He also said, “You will see worse things that that, for God will lay his hand upon this nation, and they will feel it more terribly than even they have done before. There will be more bloodshed…”
The coming civil war
“Their great and magnificent cities are to be cut off. New York, Boston…and numerous other cities will be left desolate…the whole nation will be broken up. There shall be a fleeing from one city to another, from one state to another, from one part of the continent to another, seeking refuge, from the devastations of bandits and armies; then shall their dead be left unburied.”
The above quote is from Orson Pratt, who left us the best descriptions of the great American civil war of the last days, a prophecy yet to be fulfilled. He said, “It will be a war of neighborhood against neighborhood…they will go forth destroying and being destroyed…going forth in bands and destroying and pillaging the land…the whole country…will be wasted away…”
“The time will come when there will be no safety in carrying on…peaceable pursuits…these will be neglected and the people will think themselves well off if they can flee from city to city, from town to town and escape with their lives.” In one particularly foreboding statement, Brigham Young agreed with Orson and said that the whole government will become a mob. Hmmm…
Summary and conclusion
Yes, I believe that the government of the United States will collapse and that we will then see another American civil war. I also believe that the government will become much larger before that day arrives. I am opposed to government growth and more government indebtedness. But it seems clear that we have started down that path and nothing seems to keep us from following it.
I am not so sure that Igor Panarin was that far off in his predictions of how America would become split up into six pieces. It may not happen as soon as he foretells, but the scenario he describes seems plausible. I am also fairly confident that his reasons offered for the collapse are accurate – economic decline and moral degradation. It is obvious that they are both happening.
This was all foretold by the Prophet Joseph Smith and other leaders of the LDS Church over 160 years ago. The fact that it is not being emphasized by our current leaders leads me to believe that it is not as eminent as Mr. Panarin believes. I am hopeful that we yet have time to accomplish much good before these terrible prophesied catastrophic events of the last days come upon us.
For additional information, including the sources of the quotes from Joseph Smith, Orson Pratt, Brigham Young and John Taylor, see “The United States in Prophecy,” chapter four from The Coming of the Lord by Gerald N. Lund. Also see “Internal Wars and Collapse of the United States Government,” chapter IV from Prophecy – Key to the Future by Duane S. Crowther.
Credit for the graphic of America in six parts goes to the Wall Street Journal