One of the common threads that unites the chapters of this week’s “Come, Follow Me” lesson is Paul’s celebration of the freedom the Gospel brings. In these six chapters, he uses the words “liberty” or “free” six times, variously emphasizing the importance of not allowing our freedom to get in the way of others practicing their beliefs, how our freedom makes us servants to all, and our freedom to be judged by God’s commandments rather than the edicts of men. Living and teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ was a liberating experience for Paul—his life epitomizes Christ’s teaching that “if ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed. And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32).
This same feeling is true of Captain Moroni, a Nephite general in the Book of Mormon. When a wicked man conspired to take away the Nephites’ freedoms, Moroni tore his coat to create a flag, writing a rallying cry that echoed appeals he had previously made to the Nephites to remind them what they were fighting for. This Title of Liberty, as it became known, read: “In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children” (Alma 46:12). Captain Moroni’s charge proved effective, inspiring the Nephites through the next 15 years of warfare until they finally drove their enemies out of their lands.
Elena Alvaro’s “Captain Moroni” attests to the legacy of the Title of Liberty. Alvaro includes the Title of Liberty in two places within the composition. She features it most prominently behind Moroni as he engages with the leader of the enemy’s forces. The red flag stands boldly against the blue background, wrapping around Captain Moroni as he prepares to fight. In this way, Alvaro depicts the Title of Liberty not only as a statement of Captain Moroni’s beliefs but as a stand-in for Moroni himself—the work of his life is truly summed up in the words he wrote on the flag, standing boldly against tyranny to protect the freedoms with which God had blessed his people.-Emma Belnap, Research Assistant