In 1 Nephi 7, verse 14, it says, “For behold, the Spirit of the Lord ceaseth soon to strive with them; for behold, they have rejected the prophets, and Jeremiah have they cast into prison.” This refers to Jerusalem. What follows are statements that the city is about to be destroyed and that anyone in it is at risk of life and freedom.
So the progression is established: when a nation/kingdom/government forgets to tend to the welfare of its citizens, when it ceases to protect the powerless and poor, the prophets speak against such situations. When the nation rejects the prophets, soon the Spirit of the Lord loses its influence upon people to do good. Following that, the nation is ripe for destruction, and the scriptures say in more than one place that the wicked are used to destroy the wicked.