In October 1979, President Ezra Taft Benson spoke to the members of the Church in General Conference. He said:
"This consecrated land has been placed under the everlasting decree of God. That decree is recorded in the sacred Book of Mormon, a new witness for Christ, in these words:
'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; for it is the everlasting decree of God. ...
'Behold, this is a choice land, and 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.'
"Never before has the land of Zion appeared so vulnerable to so powerful an enemy as the Americas do at present. And our vulnerability is directly attributable to our loss of active faith in the God of this land, who has decreed that we must worship Him or be swept off. Too many Americans have lost sight of the truth that God is our source of freedom--the Lawgiver--and that personal righteousness is the most important essential to preserving our freedom. So, I say with all the energy of my should that unless we as citizens of this nation forsake our sins, political and otherwise, and return to the fundamental principles of Christianity and of constitutional government, we will lose our political liberties, our free institutions, and will stand in jeopardy before God."