One Nation Under God

McNaughton_OneNationUnderGodA Land of Destiny

Many years ago I had a dream or a vision about the destiny of this nation. I’d like to share it with you. It has some unique elements I have not found in prophetic statements that others have given us, be they prophet or scholar. By the time you finish this post, I hope to persuade you to take another look at how we view what I believe will shortly come to pass here in our great nation.

Jon McNaughton Painting

This afternoon I was sitting in my rocking chair soaking up some afternoon sun here in my California home. Next to me is a painting from controversial artist Jon McNaughton. Since we hope to retire there someday, we visit the St. George area Parade of Homes every year. A local art dealer was in the garage of one of the houses displaying and selling McNaughton prints.

Separation of Church and State

The painting is entitled “One Nation under God.” My friend Seth Adam Smith created a video that explains the background of the painting. So far, it has garnered some 3.4 million views. That’s not too shabby. The painting is about our founding fathers and the separation of church and state. Many found the painting to be divisive. We found it to be inspiring so we bought it.

We Live in a Beautiful Country

As I sat and rocked, reading and thinking, I thought how beautiful it was and how blessed we are to live where it’s warm most of the time. OK, Camarillo can get cold at night in the winter but it’s nothing like the temperatures in the middle of the United States. As I write this, it’s 17 below zero in Montana. Current temperature outside is 55 degrees. California truly is the golden state.

A Dream of What Could Possibly Happen

I thought upon the painting and the message it portrayed. I got to thinking about the future and what’s in store. Now, of course, nobody can know the future unless it’s revealed to them by the Lord, so take what I say with that in mind. What I’m about to relate was a dream, more of a feeling, really, that has been growing on me over the years, each time I ponder on the subject.

Prompted by Study of Prophecy

This dream or vision came to me during an intense period of studying the signs of the last days, especially as they relate to this nation. For my study texts I was using 1) the scriptures, ancient and modern, 2) Prophecy: Key to the Future by Duane S. Crowther, 3), The Coming of the Lord by Gerald Lund and 4) The Prophecy Trilogy of books from my friend Anthony Larson.

Gangs of Roving Thieves

A major component of the dream was the idea that the government of the United States had been broken up. The government of this golden state was also no more. In fact, much of the state had been obliterated by earthquakes, fires and yes, even volcanoes in the Northern parts of the state. But the most memorable images were the bands of roving thieves or thugs. They were merciless.

Caused by Natural Destruction

Somehow, I knew that this break-up of our great nation and my home state was of a two-fold nature. Although the state suffered tremendous damage along the coastline, the majority of the damage was from the slide of the tectonic plates that separate the Pacific Plate to the West and the North American Plate to the East. As everyone knows, they meet at the San Andreas Fault.

Firestorms, Burning Hail, Whirlwinds

The earthquakes, and there were many, were not the only thing that caused the destruction. There were an exceeding number of fires, not just the kind that came from broken gas mains, but those caused by, yes, burning hail falling from the sky. There were also great whirlwinds of fire that swept across the land, literal firestorms, burning everything in their path moving East to West.

A Worldwide Calamity

The other part of the breakup was indeed economic. It was entirely related to the overwhelming destruction caused by the natural catastrophes. California was not the only place suffering. These scenes of burning hailstorms, earthquakes and volcanoes were happening all across this great nation, indeed, all over the world. There was no nation that could cope. No place was untouched.

Sudden and Unexpected Destruction

Dreams are hard to explain. Somehow I knew this worldwide destruction was unexpected. It came upon us suddenly, without warning from scientists, government leaders or even spiritual leaders other than the same generalized warnings we have been hearing ever since Christianity has been preached and the vivid messages in the Bible and Book of Mormon have been shared.

All is Well in Zion

The natural calamity caused the economic collapse and thus the failure of government. It was sudden. Up until the day it occurred, the powers that run our nation, indeed this world, continued their message: “All is well. There was nothing to worry about.” In effect, it was the same scene found described in the bible before the great flood. Very few believed it could possibly happen.

Our Attitude About Future Events

Those who take the time to research, learn about and share the Lord’s message of catastrophe are called crackpots. People respond with a shrug of the shoulders, saying, “There’s nothing we can do. Everyone knows the end of the world is coming.” These comments and attitudes come from good people who believe in God. Those who don’t believe in God usually scoff at such talk.

Not Total Destruction

In my dream I saw the world was in chaos after the initial destruction had passed. There were no more organized nations, no governments, no police forces, no banking system. Most of the infrastructure was destroyed. The means to move armies or weapons of destruction around was destroyed. In other words, warplanes, military ships and missiles had all been rendered useless.

Life Continues for Many People

Yet people survived. They learned to live without electricity that was no longer available in most places. If this sounds like what Spencer saw in his book Visions of Glory as told to John Pontius, you’re right, which is why I was so intrigued by that book. Again, my dream seemed to focus on gangs of roving men looking for food, weapons that worked, ammunition and places of refuge.

Not Quite the End of the World

Those who survived this first initial onslaught of the natural catastrophes from the skies were stunned to realize this was not the end of the world, nor had the Savior returned as promised. Those who believe in God began to take a more serious look at the prophecies. They came to realize they had not understood the prophets, especially John’s view of what would happen.

The Nations Were Destroyed

They saw clearly these things had been foretold but not understood. There was more to come. This was just the first round. This was just the Lord getting the people ready for his return. It’s at this point that I woke up and recorded the dream in my journal. What impressed me most about my dream was clearly the timing. The world changed dramatically but it didn’t end at the time.

Waiting Upon the Lord

Because of this dream my passion for studying the signs of the last days increased. I discovered many quotes from early leaders of this church that we seem to have forgotten. Time does that to a people. We wait and we wait and we wait. Finally we say to ourselves, “Every generation has been told the same thing, to be ready. Yet nothing happened. It will not happen in my lifetime.”

Returning to the Center Place

The Lord said, “I come quickly.” He taught us parables in Matthew 24 about the importance of being ready. The prophets over the years have counseled us to be prepared with food and fuel storage. We do not hear much anymore about the idea of returning to Jackson County Missouri, but it remains in our history – the idea that we need to be prepared to walk there from where we are.

Western Missouri Swept Clean

I’ve often thought about that long walk. Spencer described in his vision one possibility of how that may come about. If you have studied the subject, you know about the “yellow dog” quote thus: “The western boundaries of the State of Missouri will be swept so clean of its inhabitants that … when we return to that place there will not be as much as a yellow dog to wag his tail.”

Mormon Stories of the Last Days

I suggest we all do ourselves a favor and look up some facts regarding these two points – the long walk to Missouri and the “yellow dog” quote. I have, but won’t take the time to comment more on them here other than to say you may be surprised at how they got started and continue to be retold. We have dozens of stories like that in our collective lore of signs of the last days.

Zion in the Tops of the Mountains

While I do believe there is to be a temple complex built up in Zion, I’m not so sure exactly where that is to be. Will it be in Independence or perhaps in some other place that is more in line with the words of the Old Testament prophets that Zion will be in the tops of the mountains? I’ve written about this in the past if you care to refer to that for a bit more detail on that subject.

Constitution Hanging by a Thread

Back to my dream: We’re all familiar with the White Horse prophecy and the quote that the Elders of Israel will save the constitution when it is hanging by a thread. In my dream, it was clear this great nation – the United States was no more. The roving bands were everywhere. However, as prophesied, they would not go up to Zion, which was in the tops of the mountains.

Day of the Gentiles Over

WashingtonKneelinginPrayerYes, I believe the constitution was and is an inspired document. That’s why Carol and I bought the McNaughton painting. We originally intended to hang it next to the painting of Washington kneeling in prayer beside his horse. Instead, it sits in my study, where I see it every day. To me, it is a reminder the day of the Gentile is almost over. Does that seem a strange interpretation?

One Nation Under God

I have come to realize those who believe as I do are in the minority. I know the phrase “under God” was added to the pledge of allegiance by Eisenhower in 1954. He was the president of my very early childhood. I was named after him (my middle name is Dwight). I have watched with sadness as this phrase has been challenged again and again. I hope and pray it is never removed.

God Will Destroy All Nations

I realize I have rambled a bit in this post. My intention in writing this has simply been to get us thinking about how we feel about the destiny of this nation. It has been prophesied to fail. God will destroy all nations before he comes, and that includes the United States. How is He going to accomplish this? It will be through natural means – the calamity of destruction from the skies.

Only the Father Knows When

I do not know if the prophesied catastrophes will occur in my lifetime. It doesn’t matter. I have found great solace in simply knowing the destruction of nations is foretold. In other words, if it does happen in my lifetime, I have the comfort of knowing the advent of the Lord is near. I will continue to ponder my dream that the second coming is AFTER the cosmological upheavals.

Interest in Establishing Zion is High

After all, it’s simply a dream, a vision, that until this day I have kept mostly private. I repeat what I said in the beginning. It goes right along with what I said in my review of Visions of Glory. What Spencer saw was one possibility. Even Joseph spoke with some uncertainty when he said, “one way I see this happening…” after he was asked how we would gather to Zion.

Much Remaining to be Accomplished

I know there are people who are adamant they know how these things are going to come about. I don’t hear the Brethren saying much by way of prophecy as to how current events relate to the coming of the Lord. In my mind, it seems there is much remaining to be done before Zion can be established. God bless us to focus on preparing our hearts to be a people worthy of that blessing.

Invitation to Discuss

I know this is not a forum. It is a blog. But the comments are wide open – always have been. What do you think? I’d love to hear from you. I’ve touched on a lot of ideas in this post. I know I’ve probably struck a nerve in someone who feels strongly about something I’ve written here. Are you convinced the United States will survive or will it soon come to an end as prophesied?

10 thoughts on “One Nation Under God”

  1. thanks for your teestimony. i enjoyed it.

    An end of all nations.

    D&C 87: 6 And thus, with the sword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn; and with famine, and plague, and earthquake, and the thunder of heaven, and the fierce and vivid lightning also, shall the inhabitants of the earth be made to feel the wrath, and indignation, and chastening hand of an Almighty God, until the consumption decreed hath made a full end of all nations;

    Its decreed, an end of all nations.

    Also end of the gentiles.

    3 nephi 16:

    10 And thus commandeth the Father that I should say unto you: At that day when the Gentiles shall sin against my gospel, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, and shall be lifted up in the pride of their hearts above all nations, and above all the people of the whole earth, and shall be filled with all manner of lyings, and of deceits, and of mischiefs, and all manner of hypocrisy, and murders, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, and of secret abominations; and if they shall do all those things, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, behold, saith the Father, I will bring the fulness of my gospel from among them.

    11 And then will I remember my covenant which I have made unto my people, O house of Israel, and I will bring my gospel unto them.

    I enjoy your observations.

  2. The description of destruction of the great cities in the Book of Mormon is a clear warning to us. This is a choice land but it will only be protected and sustained if the people who posess it and govern it are righteous. The Book of Mormon is the sad tale of what happens when wickedness reigns on this land. Our society is deteriorating at an alarming pace. It is our responsibility as members of the Church of Jesus Christ in these latter days to rise up and become a Zion people. I pray we can do so. It is my greatest desire. I think of 1 Nephi 14:14,
    And I Nephi, beheld the power of the Lamb of God, that it descended upon the saints of the church of the Lamb, and upon the covenant people of the Lord, who were scattered upon all the face of the earth; and they were armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory. So while the prophecies of destruction are frightening, it is invigorating and comforting to know that God will send his power to the righteous. It has so been my experience in the name of Jesus Christ.

  3. Great insights Tim, thank you for sharing. I have have similar spiritual confirmations. I spent the last several years teaching americans about the founders and the events that led up to the foundation of the United States. After years of study regarding the modern and near-historical arts and politics of war I was led to ponder and pray about my place my future. I have been moved by the Holy Spirit to recognize that the hearts of the american people are much different today than they were in the 1770’s. Zion will not be redeemed by the force of arms. The GOD of Israel will fight our battles and he commands us to seek peaceful lives. This is major change of heart that goes against all that I was told I am and I have even begun selling my implements of war and seeking a spiritual rebirth. It is difficult, there are decades of programming that will be burned away by the Holy Spirit. I will patiently wait upon the LORD…

  4. All I know, is that lately, as I drive around the Wasatch Front in Northern Utah, I am struck by the immense peace that we are enjoying. After that feeling, I usually get a sense of massive destruction – crumpled buildings, impassible roads (like after a large earthquake,) and the presence of many, many deaths.

    Oh, and as far as divine discontent – no, it is not just a “man” thing. I have felt that discontent ever since I finally started reading the Book of Mormon about 14 years ago.

    1. LT, I agree.

      I get the same feeling as I drive down i-15 or look out the window at our valley (Cache Valley). I look at everyone going about their business, worrying about whatever it is we think we have worry about–Going about in our peaceful, relatively predictable society. Then the feeling comes – this can’t last. Something is going to shake all this up. (literally).

      Though the Lord’s catastrophes will shake to pieces all of our worldy institutions and governments, I pray that change will come to individual hearts through it all. I believe that is the primary purpose.

  5. Sometimes you might be tempted to think as I did from time to time in my youth: “The way things are going, the world’s going to be over with. The end of the world is going to come before I get to where I should be.” Not so! You can look forward to doing it right—getting married, having a family, seeing your children and grandchildren, maybe even great-grandchildren.

    President Boyd K. Packer, Counsel to Youth, October 2011

    1. Tom, I like this quote. I think of it as having a couple of interpretations –
      1. He is being literal and prophetic- we have quite a while still until “the end” and that we should continue on as normal and not worry. We’ll have great-grandchildren before everything comes to head that the scriptures describe.

      2. He is teaching where our focus should be. He isn’t saying “The end isn’t close,” but he’s teaching us not to worry. Not to let fear of the “the end” determine our life philosophy and decisions. I see it as “continue with your plans and life and when things happen, they happen.”

      What do you think?

      I’m young, just having my first child. I look forward to a happy life. I have felt for quite a while that things will happen before I’m a grandpa. Maybe I’m wrong. People in the NT thought Christ’s second coming was really soon. People in the early church quit their jobs, planning on Christ ushering in the millennium.

      So I guess inside I have two different timelines playing out and they conflict in my decision making – one says we’ve got a few years and things as we know it will change. The other says I better keep contributing to my Roth if I want to live when I’m 60-something.

      Elder Packer’s quote tells me to prepare and live ready for whatever may come, rely on the Spirit, but not to let “the end” govern my life, my hopes and plans for the future. (ie. hanging around in fear and anticipation waiting for the end).

  6. Just for the record about President Boyd K. Packer’s comments, He said “maybe” great-grandchildren. He was speaking to the youth two years ago. So let’s do the math. A 17 year old young man and a 15 year old young woman in 2011. A year later, Oct 2012 the young man then 18 would be allowed to submit papers for a full time mission under the new guidelines. He would presently be on that mission. He returns in 2014 at 20 and she is then 18 years old. A year later 2015 they marry in the temple at 21 and 19 respectfully. Two years later, 2017, they have a baby girl. Twenty years later in 2037, this girl, then 20 marries in the temple and two years later in 2039 she and her husband have a baby girl. The youth that President Packer spoke of would realistically would fulfill his prophecy by 2039, just 26 years from now. Christ will come in my lifetime, for I WILL be alive when He does come. I am 54 years old. I do not know the day nor the hour, for no man does. But it will be soon after these youth mentioned by President Packer become grand parents as I explained. The great earthquake of the sixth seal will lower every mountain in the western hemisphere for the land will be flat like Kansas. That will be followed by Adam-Ondi-Ahman which is the opening of the seventh seal. Then the half hour of silence which would be slightly over 20 earth years but Christ will cut His work short in righteousness. How short we do not know. Thanks Tim for your comments. I am a California native too and finished at Mt. Sac as well.

  7. I wonder if Pres. Eisenhower could have been influenced by any of his Cabinet members, say his Secretary of Agriculture, in deciding to add the phrase “under God” to the Pledge?

    Oh, yes I feel greatly blessed for the peace and security I currently enjoy here in the Pacific Nothwest, but also a sense of alarm and danger about what could happen in the future, and especially to the children that are now growing up.

  8. Pingback: Thoughts on the End of the World – Latter-day Commentary – Last Days – Signs of the Times

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: