The Lord does not leave the progress of His Church to chance. For thousands of years the continent of North America was being prepared and preserved by our Heavenly Father as a land of liberty, a land where freedom of religion made it possible for the boy Joseph Smith to pray sincerely to his Father in heaven. Joseph asked if any of the churches on earth were true. The boy, his mission, and even the name of the boy’s father, were known anciently by the prophet Joseph in Egypt. (See 2 Ne. 3:15–16.)

Speaking of the land of liberty where the Lord’s church would prosper, the prophet Nephi, in writing about the Lord’s covenant people (those descendants of Abraham who inherited his promise) 600 years before Christ, said, “And this land shall be a land of liberty unto the Gentiles, and there shall be no kings upon the land. …

“And I will fortify this land against all other nations.” (2 Ne. 10:11–12.)

Ether, who was an earlier prophet than Nephi, wrote about his people, the Jaredites, living on the American Continent. Ether foresaw that our Heavenly Father had a special purpose for their land at a future time and that “after the waters [of the great flood] had receded from off the face of this land it became a choice land above all other lands, a chosen land of the Lord; wherefore the Lord would have that all men should serve him who dwell upon the face thereof;

“And that it was the place of the New Jerusalem, which should come down out of heaven, and the holy sanctuary of the Lord.” (Ether 13:2–3.)

How important it is to know that there is a land that was blessed and protected to allow the true church of Jesus Christ (that had become lost) to be restored. And how equally important it is to remember that only by our righteous living will that land be saved to further the Lord’s work as He planned and as was prophesied thousands of years ago:

“For behold, this is a land which is choice above all other lands; wherefore he that doth possess it shall serve God or shall be swept off.

“… whatsoever nation shall possess it 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, who hath been manifested by the things which we have written.” (Ether 2:10, 12.)