What’s happening? Amalickiah attempts a political coup. Captain Moroni unfurls a title of liberty.
Why does it matter? Sometimes it takes only one person to stand of up for right or wrong and it can change history. In this case, we have an example of both Amalickiah and Moroni standing up–one for self-gain and the other for the good of the people.
Between the lines: This is a wake up call for the Nephites and an echo of our day as well. There are those who want authority over us for selfish reasons and those who stand up and say it isn’t right. We have to cling to truth to know what to do. As Thomas Jefferson said, “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free … it expects what never was and never will be” (Letter to Colonel Charles Yancey, 6 Jan. 1816).
Quote of the day: “Of course, the war in heaven over free agency is now being waged here on earth, and there are those today who are saying ‘Look, don’t get involved in the fight for freedom. Just live the gospel.’ That counsel is dangerous, self-contradictory, unsound…Now, part of the reason we may not have sufficient priesthood bearers to save the Constitution let alone to shake the powers of hell, is because unlike Moroni, I fear, our souls do not joy in keeping our country free, and we are not firm in the faith of Christ nor have we sworn with an oath to defend our rights and the liberty of our country.” ~ ET Benson, October Conference Report, 1966
46:1-2 Why were there people threatening Helaman’s life? See also Mark 12:1-10.
46:3 Who was Amalickiah and what did he do?
“Amalickiah, a wicked and ambitious dissenter, was seeking to destroy the homes and families and country of the righteous Nephites. Captain Moroni took his coat and tore it to make a banner…. It was hoisted upon every tower which was in all the land—a reminder to protect their families from wicked intruders.” ~ SG Larsen, 1998, Young Women–Titles of Liberty
46:7-10 Why were there so many wars among the Nephites at this time?
46:11-13 What difference can one person make?
“While the Savior taught us the importance of the one, He also taught us of the power of one. He showed us the power and influence He alone possessed as our Savior, Redeemer, and Judge. He was alone in Gethsemane when He offered Himself as the sacred offering in that great atoning sacrifice—a sacrifice which He sealed at Golgotha with His freely given life…. The power of one person is apparent throughout the scriptures as we see the influence of an Abraham, of a Joseph, a Moses, of Peter and Paul, of a Nephi, of Abinadi, Alma, and Ammon, and of Mormon and Moroni. There were Sarah and Rebekah and Esther and Hannah, and Sariah and Mary and so many more—even Joseph and Emma. Yes, these were mighty men and women of God; but they were often alone, standing as one, even as each of us on occasion must stand alone in a sometimes hostile world. Yet as these valiant servants of the Lord were not entirely alone, neither will we be, if we are worthy of His companionship and the companionship of the Holy Spirit.” ~ WR Kerr, 1996, The Power of One
46:12 Why is freedom also a spiritual issue?
“Freedom and liberty are part of the gospel plan. Any program or philosophy that would destroy a person’s free agency is not of God….” ~ ET Benson, Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, pg. 573
46:20-27 Why was ripping clothes apart a symbol of a sacred oath?
46:36-38 What symbols do we have today that act as our titles of liberty?
“Today I call upon members of the Church and on committed parents, grandparents, and extended family members everywhere to hold fast to this great proclamation [to the world on the family], to make it a banner not unlike General Moroni’s “title of liberty,” and to commit ourselves to live by its precepts. As we are all part of a family, the proclamation applies to everyone.” ~ MR Ballard, 2005, What Matters Most Lasts the Longest