When it comes down to it, the prayers and presence of righteous people are the only thing standing between many of our neighbors and total destruction. It is yet another discomforting warning to us all; we must choose what side are we on and how God feels about us.
God definitely rewards those that turn to him and do his will, which will always lead us to our happiness, betterment, fulfillment, and glory. If we disobey him and turn away from him, our actions will lead us toward misery and pain, often by our own hand and the evil actions of our wicked friends.
There is a natural incentive toward righteousness that comes from the promise of punishment for our evil doings. Although it is very popular to say that there should never be punishments for people acting as they choose, we already see the terrible influence, heartache, and suffering caused by wicked people who behave without restraint among us.
Let's review a good summary of what we can expect from an unrepentant future.
The Book of Mormon's Alma Chapter 10, verses 22 and 23:
Yea, and I say unto you that if it were not for the prayers of the righteous, who are now in the land, that ye would even now be visited with utter destruction; yet it would not be by flood, as were the people in the days of Noah, but it would be by famine, and by pestilence, and the sword.
But it is by the prayers of the righteous that ye are spared; now therefore, if ye will cast out the righteous from among you then will not the Lord stay his hand; but in his fierce anger he will come out against you; then ye shall be smitten by famine, and by pestilence, and by the sword; and the time is soon at hand except ye repent.
According to this, we would be seeing God's hand sweeping off millions of people right now if it wasn't for those petitioning God, through prayer, to stay his wrath a little longer. God doesn't like the wicked polluting others with their vile ideologies and intrigues. He can be a very wrathful God and his promises are very sure to both punish the wicked and bless the righteous.
When there are times and places where the wicked finally drive the righteous out from among them, it will be a terrible day for them: no longer will prayers protect them and God will execute his vengeance upon them without restraint. My thought is that wicked folks have a bit of time to turn their lives toward God and that this time is bought for you by the presence of the righteous among you.
It has become fashionable to destroy religion and ridicule those who practice a religion. Many perverse people don't like good people telling them that what they are doing is wrong and destructive to themselves and society, so they drive those good people away. The prophecy above warns us what will happen if Godly people are effectively pushed away and silenced.
My advise to each of us is to keep righteous neighbors close and to repent of our wickedness and turn to God while we still have some time. We will enjoy his blessings far more than we will like his punishments.