"Men may fail in this country, earthquakes may come, seas may heave beyond their bounds, there may be great drought, disaster, and hardship, but this nation, founded on principles laid down by men whom God raised up, will never fail.
"This is the cradle of humanity, where life on this earth began in the Garden of Eden. This is the place of the new Jerusalem. This is the place that the Lord said is favored above all other nations in all the world. This is the place where the Savior will come to His temple. This is the favored land in all the world. Yes, I repeat, men may fail, but this nation won't fail.
"I have faith in America; you and I must have faith in America, if we understand the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are living in a day when we must pay heed to these challenges.
"I plead with you not to preach pessimism. Preach that this is the greatest country in all the world. This is the favored land. This is the land of our forefathers. It is the nation that will stand despite whatever trials or crises it may yet have to pass through."
- Harold B. Lee, Ricks College Devotional, “Have Faith in America,” October 26, 1973; see also Ye Are the Light of the World [Deseret 1974], pp. 350-351
In recent times, there have been plenty of natural disasters in America, including hurricanes, earthquakes, droughts, flooding, temperature extremes, fires, etc. And "men may fail" reflects concerns that many share in areas of crime, politics, leadership, and social issues. But President Lee declares his conviction that in spite of any of those challenges, "this nation, founded on principles laid down by men whom God raised up, will never fail." And so he encourages hope and optimism, to have faith in our country and its divinely-appointed role, and not to be caught up in discouragement or pessimism about the future:
It's surprising how many in our day "preach pessimism" about the country's future due to concerns over leadership, upcoming elections, and political disagreements. As President Lee teaches, we need to remember that our nation "will stand despite whatever trials or crises it may yet have to pass through."