Wilkinson based his address largely on the words of Mormon leaders from Joseph Smith to the current church president and ardent cold warrior, David O. McKay. In particular he emphasized a "prophecy attributed to the Prophet Joseph that the Constitution of the United States would hang by a single thread, but be saved by the Elders of Israel," meaning church leaders and Mormon men generally. Having failed in his bid for public office, Wilkinson sought to act on "the duty of a university president" in "times of national and world crisis ... to speak forth boldly in behalf of what he considers to be the truth." Confessing his belief that "my generation has failed you [graduates] in preserving and strengthening the Constitution," Wilkinson vowed that he would mail copies of his talk, along with a compendium of anti‑communist "prophetic utterances," to every graduate, "with the hope that you may help stem the tide that is now engulfing our country."
, The Lord's University: Freedom and Authority at BYU, December 15, 1998