LDS Church President Gordon B. Hinckley said Saturday he feels "sorrow in my heart for the president of the United States."
President Clinton has damaged, if not destroyed, the trust of the American people. He's forsaken self-discipline, President Hinckley said.But Clinton's problems are only symptomatic of the troubles sickening his country, said President Hinckley during his keynote address to the General Society of Mayflower Descendants.
Americans are forgetting God, said the leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Divorce, teenage pregnancies, fatherless children, increased prison populations and a general lack of self-discipline "are the fruits of increasing secularization of our society," President Hinckley said.
"I believe it is happening because we, as a nation, are forsaking the Almighty - and He is forsaking us," he added.
A sickness has spread across the land, "but I'm an optimist," said President Hinckley, adding a remedy is available if Americans look to the virtues and values that made the country great.
"There's still a tremendous goodness in America," he said.
The wounds afflicting the country, he added, can be healed when a "good father" and "special mother" is found in every household, living together with love and appreciation.
"The roots of civility are planted in the soil of the home," President Hinckley said.
A descendent of Mayflower passenger Stephen Hopkins, President Hinckley expressed pride in his heritage and recounted the Mayflower's harrowing journey to the New World in 1620.
That historic voyage was made with an unusual amount of faith, courage and fortitude, President Hinckley said.
Before reaching land, he recalled, the men of the Mayflower signed the Mayflower Compact - the first governing document instituted by voluntary agreement by men accepting equal rights.
"They put their trust in the Almighty and worked endlessly to make their dreams come true," President Hinckley said.
President Hinckley marveled that when the Mayflower departed home for England, none of its passengers returned despite Plymouth's harsh environment.
"They put their faith in God and stayed to establish this outpost in the land of America," he said.
Some 200 delegates from the General Society of Mayflower Descendants are holding their annual Board of Assistants meeting for the first time ever in Utah this weekend.
There are about 160 members of the Utah Mayflower Society, as well as more than 24,000 in North America.