After describing the journey of Jared and his family and friends from the Tower of Babel to the ocean, Moroni breaks the narrative to deliver a warning to his modern readers. The American continent, where they were headed, is a special place. “This is a land which is choice above all other lands,” he said; “wherefore he that doth possess it shall serve God or shall be swept off” (Ether 2:10). He went on to promise that “whatsoever nation shall possess [this land] shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ” (Ether 2:12).
Those words may sound ominous to some, but to me they are reassuring. God is mindful of us. Surely that is true of all of His children everywhere in the world, but Moroni makes this particular promise to those who live in the Americas: If we will choose to serve God, He will protect us and preserve our freedom. The choice is ours.
On October 7, 2001, less than a month after the September 11 terrorist attacks, President Gordon B. Hinckley stood to speak in general conference. He began his remarks by saying, “I have just been handed a note that says a U.S. missile attack is under way. I need not remind you that we live in perilous times.” But he advised us to be prudent and not to panic.
“Great are the promises concerning this land of America,” he reminded us. He then quoted Moroni’s promise above and said, “This is the crux of the entire matter—obedience to the commandments of God…. God our Eternal Father will watch over this nation” (“The Times in Which We Live,” General Conference, October 2001).
Today, as we remember the veterans of our country with gratitude for their sacrifices and service, I will also remember the hand of the Lord which has preserved our freedom and independence for more than 200 years. I will remember His promise, that if we will obey His law, He will continue to bless and preserve us.