My Title of Liberty

     "In Memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children." - Alma 46:12    

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What is the Title of Liberty?

In the first century before the common era, on this, the American continent, were a group of people called Nephites. They had become a constitutional government, thanks to the generosity of their last king. Their government was based on elected judges who saw to it that the laws which they had inherited from the kingdom were upheld.

Another group of people, called Lamanites, sought to conquer the Nephites, by force of arms. The Lamanites were being stirred up to hatred of the Nephites by a small but vocal minority. The goal was to enslave the Nephites, those they did not kill. As they were preparing for war, the Nephites saw the danger, and their leaders, notably a young Captain Moroni, who was called to lead the armies at the age of 25, began to arm them for defense.

Moroni trusted in God, and sought only for the security of his people, their lands, and their freedom. He had his people armed, not only with weapons, but with protective armor, as they were to face superior numbers. Moroni received direction from God through the prophet Alma, and also gained information gathered by spies, and was able to head off the Lamanites before they entered the land of the Nephites.

After a great battle where many of the Lamanites were killed, and the rest were doomed, Moroni offered them peace if they would surrender their weapons and make a covenant with them that they would no longer come to war against the Nephites. The Lamanite leader was willing to surrender, but not make the covenant, but some were willing to covenant. After further battle and bloodshed, the Lamanite leader finally surrendered with the last of his people and made the covenant of peace.

The Nephites were very thankful to God for their victory and the peace that followed. They soon became prosperous in peacetime. Faith also grew for a while afterward, but they began to be proud. Dissentions soon developed, and wicked men began to oppose the truth and the people of God. A leader arose who wanted make himself king (after nearly 20 years without a king in the land), and to suppress the liberties of the people. He sought and received the support of many of the judges of the land who saw a chance to gain better positions in his government, seeking to serve themselves instead of the people.

Now when Moroni learned of this conspiracy, he was angry. He rent his coat, an action of sorrow and of covenant. He took a piece of the garment and wrote upon it these words:

In   memory   of
our God, our religion, and
freedom,   and  our  peace,
our wives, and our children.

He fastened this banner on the end of a pole. He put on his armor, raised the banner, which he called "The Title of Liberty," knelt, and prayed to God for his people. And having done so, he bore this banner about among the people and cried out, "Behold, whosoever will maintain this title upon the land, let them come forth in the strength of the Lord, and enter into a covenant that they will maintain their rights, and their religion, that the Lord God may bless them." Many of the people came out to him having donned their armor and carrying rent garments (a token that God should do the same to them if they did not keep the covenant). To the best of my knowledge, the Title of Liberty was the first American flag, and though it would not have looked like ours does today, it stood for the same things.

When the man who would make himself king saw the response of the people, he fled, and many of his supporters also rethought their positions. Most of those who went with him, were captured, and those few who would not covenant to maintain the people's freedom were killed for their treason.

You may read about this in more detail in the Book of Mormon, Book of Alma, chapter 46.

 

[ From My Point of View ... ]

The world has changed immensely since I left home in the 60's. Advances in technology have accounted for some of it, but the changes that trouble me have to do with our forgetting our spiritual roots. The tares were planted among the wheat early on, but it seems they have begun to ripen exponentially in the last century. Wives and mothers left the home to work, in support of the war effort. Many stayed because they liked the work, or the extra money. Now it takes two or more incomes in most cases to support a family. About the time I entered a Christian High School, prayer was banned from Public schools. Bible reading was removed soon after. I missed the effect of this, since I was in a Christian private school. There have been other things I've missed because I was caught up in caring for my family, and some I have not. Divorce has become too easy, though it's consequences remain. Now that I am on my own again, I am seeing the Ten Commandments being removed from some government buildings, and a movement to legalize marriage between couples of the same sex. This seems to be happening in spite of public opinion to the contrary. This "government of the people, by the people, and for the people" is getting out of control of the people.

We cannot put on our armor and prepare to do battle in the sense that Captain Moroni did, at least not physically, for this is a spiritual battle, one of ideas and principles, not of metal weaponry. The situation is just as serious, for destruction will come as surely if we do not alert ourselves to the danger. we need to put on the whole armor of God, and rouse our neighbors to do the same. It is a battle that will be won only by exercising our faith in God, and loving our neighbors, even those who do not believe the same as we. This website has become my "Title of Liberty."   May God bless you all.

I feel I need to amend my last paragraph, noting that, while I and others may not be able to put on armor, many thousands of our men and women (mostly young) are indeed battling with armor and weaponry and even dying around the world to protect the principles of Freedom for ourselves and those of other nations. While this is primarily a spiritual battle, we must have our whole selves, body and soul, involved.
- des 1-12-07

Again, May God bless you all.

David E. Sawyer