Thursday, February 9, 2012

Lands of Promise

Some thoughts I wrote about in my journal this week, and have now revised for publication: mentions the blessing of living in this promised land... and I wondered why America/the US is a promised land and a blessing to those who live there. Then I had the thought that it became a land of promise because of the promise of the events to transpire there. It isn't because of a superiority hierarchy which makes the US special. It's special because of its heritage with the Book of Mormon and its people, and because of the Restoration and establishment of the Latter-Day Saints that took place here. Other countries can be, and I'm sure are, blessed and promised to their inhabitants on the condition of coming unto God, like for us. If the Abrahamic Covenant is renewed with each individual or married couple [including blessings of a promised land of inheritance], then why would other individuals not also be recipients of a covenant of righteousness and prosperity with God, even if we don't have records of a formal agreement with a particular ancestor? God loves each of His children, and will bless and prosper them as they come unto Him, be it from whatever circumstance they may be in.
In the scriptures we read about various "promised lands." For Moses and the Israelites, it was the land of Canaan. For people who read the Book of Mormon, we read a LOT about how for the Jaredite and Lehite people, it's the Americas. Combining native patriotism with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints being restored in America as well, sometimes people get fixed on the idea that the United States of America is THE promised land for all the righteous in our time. Since my experience getting out of the US last summer, the thought of America's superiority has been thrown into question, and I think this epiphany is my answer.

Here's a couple scriptures from the Book of Mormon:
For none of these iniquities come of the Lord; for he doeth that which is good among the children of men; and he doeth nothing save it be plain unto the children of men; and he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile. (2 Nephi 26:33)
Behold, the Lord esteemeth all flesh in one; he that is righteous is favored of God. (1 Nephi 17:35) 
Living in a certain place or belonging to a particular family is no guarantee that we'll get to heaven or merit all of the possible blessings. We're all given various life circumstances that will best promote our growth and potential for happiness, but ultimately, where we end up comes down to what we decide: are we going to make the individual choice to follow Christ, or not.

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