I came across a copy of this article, "God's Hand in the Founding of America" amongst my old college papers. It is an address delivered to BYU by Elder L. Tom Perry in February of 1976, celebrating America's bicentennial, that was later printed in the July 1976 New Era. Here are some of my favorite quotes:
"Why is it so important to know and understand America's past? We know that history provides important lessons and warnings for today- lessons about God and his interest in the affairs of men; and warnings in the form of destructions that come to early American civilizations when they lost their reverence for family, morality, or God."
"We know a land of liberty and religious freedom was a necessary ingredient in the plan of God. Thus, Columbus and others, particularly those seeking religious freedom, were led to the shores of America."
"The success of the Declaration of Independence and the Revolutionary War came about through men who were raised up by God for this special purpose. You must read the Declaration of Independence to feel its inspiration. You merely need to study history to recognize that a group of fledgling colonies defeating the world's most powerful nation stemmed from a force greater than man."
"Today we are fortunate to live in a choice and promised land. It will remain free and blessed as long as its people remember the God who gave them life and this free land. We must remember that the family is the basic unit of a strong society. We are all a part of God's family; and as our Father, he expects us to build strong family units. It is in the family that the basic morality and righteousness should be taught that will keep America free. Each member of every family plays an important role in America. For several thousand years throughout this land the great fathers and mothers, noble sons, the patriot sons, the choice daughters have forged America into what we have today.
It is America's conscience that has preserved her. America is beautiful only when she is good, when children are laughing in her streets, and love abounds in her families. Without this conscience, civilization crumbles, as it has before on this continent. We are all part of America's future. Our job is to remember the lessons of the past, to patch up the mistakes and the sins of everything that has gone before. The place to start is within our own families..."
"The adversary knows all too well that a weak America will literally stop this building process and thwart the work of God."
"This is the time for you to be bold enough to stand up for what you believe, to let the world know that God still blesses this great land of America- if we will live righteously, according to that which he has commanded."