Lessons on Freedom and Patriotism
Lesson No. Two
The Flag of the United States is Our Title of Liberty
Our flag represents the same things as the title of liberty did in the Book of Mormon.
God, Family, and Freedom – Captain Moroni wrote on the title of liberty the words “In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children" (Alma 46:12). I have written the same words around the outside perimeter of the reverse side of my military coin as shown on the back cover. They speak of things that are dearer than life itself.
Prosperity – "Now the Nephites were taught to defend themselves against their enemies, even to the shedding of blood if it were necessary; yea, and they were also taught never to give an offense, yea, and never to raise the sword except it were against an enemy, except it were to preserve their lives. And this was their faith, that by so doing God would prosper them in the land, or in other words, if they were faithful in keeping the commandments of God that he would prosper them in the land" (Alma 48:14-15). This promise is repeated numerous times in the Book of Mormon.
Protection – The Lord would "warn them to flee, or to prepare for war, according to their danger. And also, that God would make it known unto them whither they should go to defend themselves against their enemies, and by so doing, the Lord would deliver them" (Alma 48:15-16). The Lord has promised us protection and “freedom from bondage, and captivity…if we will but serve the God of the Land, who is Jesus Christ” (Ether 2:12).
The pledge of our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor - John Hancock was president of the First Continental Congress and his signature on the Declaration of Independence is the most prominent one. He spoke to the people of Boston using almost the same words written on the title of liberty:
"When a country is invaded, [patriots] are ready to appear in its defense... they fight for their houses, their lands, for their wives, their children…for their liberty, and for themselves, and for their God.” (Quoted in Samuel Adams, A Life by Ira Stoll at p. 118).
It is clear the Founders believed in the principles represented by the title of liberty. They believed these principles were so precious that they must be defended. They were willing to pay any price to do so. The Declaration of Independence concludes:
"And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."
Freedom is as important now as when the Declaration of Independence was signed - The enemies of freedom are different, more subtle, but just as real. Like the Founders we must pledge "our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor" in defense of our families and freedoms.