This week it was my pleasure to finish reading the third in a series of books about God’s ancient covenants with Israel, and how they are being realized in the Americas.
Tim Ballard is the founder of Operation Underground Railroad, an organization that hunts down slavers and sex traffickers all over the world. To date, OUR has helped capture or convict 2,000 sex traffickers, and rehabilitated thousands of rescued slaves.
This is a man who has stared evil in the face countless times in order to rescue the most helpless victims in the world. He has a unique perspective on the role of divinity and miracles – and has written extensively about the miracles of early American history.
The above books, called The Washington Hypothesis, The Lincoln Hypothesis, and The Pilgrim Hypothesis, are the result of his personal research into Old Testament covenants between God and the children of Israel. Several passages of Book of Mormon scripture also play a role in illuminating the connections between God and these historical figures.
As you read these titles, you’ll come to appreciate the detailed research Ballard did, and the interesting chain of facts he put together, such as:
• Why the Pilgrims came to America, also in fulfillment of Book of Mormon prophecies
• How John Howland, a Pilgrim who fell off the Mayflower on its Atlantic crossing, was miraculously saved…and would become a direct ancestor of Joseph Smith
• George Washington taking the first oath of office with his hand on a very specific Old Testament chapter, and why
• The role of Washington’s faith in establishing a free and God-fearing nation, and how his victory was foretold in the Book of Mormon
• Abraham Lincoln borrowing a copy of the Book of Mormon from the Library of Congress for eight months, right around the time his personal conversion to a more practical brand of Christianity
• Why the Civil War had to drag out for four years, and exactly how it fulfilled modern prophecy as recorded in Doctrine and Covenants
• And much, much more.
Ballard does open the books with forewords reminding the reader that the books, while based on revealed facts and doctrine, are merely the result of his personal studies and experiences, hence the hypotheticals in the titles.
Nevertheless, in keeping with the righteous endeavor to recognize God’s hand, it’s hard not to see how He has guided the builders of this nation to make it a place where a worthy people could thrive, raise up temples, and build His kingdom–especially in a way that would have been impossible anywhere else.
I highly recommend this trio of books and the centuries of history and doctrine they summarize.
Given that 2020 is the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s voyage, The Pilgrim Hypothesis is a very timely title. All three of these books are available as ebooks or audiobooks on the Deseret Bookshelf app. Check them out!
- “Our Divine Constitution” -President Ezra Taft Benson, October 1987
- “Joseph Smith: Prophet to Our Generation” -President Ezra Taft Benson, October 1981
- “Miracles of the Restoration” -Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, October 1994