Ezra Taft Benson, thirteenth president of the Church, said of the Book of Mormon's prophetic value, "The record of the Nephite history just prior to the Savior’s visit reveals many parallels to our own day as we anticipate the Savior’s second coming” (Conference Report, Apr. 1987, 3; or Ensign, May 1987, 4).
I believe we're experiencing one such parallel right now. As many have observed, the U.S. Congress is operating—or rather, not operating—at near historic levels of dysfunction, culminating in the current "fiscal cliff" debacle. (Today, three days before the cliff, the Capitol is empty. Really?) If no deal is struck, as the Economist notes, the ensuing spending cuts and tax increases could easily push a weak economy back into recession.