Liberty. Exactly what does that term mean? In the college application process, I described the term in the phrase, 'Freedom Is Not Free.' I believe that sacrifice makes this quality of the life which we enjoy possible. The term sacrifice is also broad-it can be applied to anything you can imagine, since everyone has a different path, perspective, and upbringing then the next person.
In Alma 46, Moroni watches as a wicked plot spreads among the people, besting the government and the very laws which were set up in order to prevent animosity-these laws were established to enhance peace and Christ-like actions in the community. The people fall among the disarray, clinging to flattering words and a lack of responsibility for their actions, whether in this life or the next.
Moroni pours out his soul, and in turn "rent his coat; and he took a piece thereof, and wrote upon it-In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children-and he fastened it upon the end of a pole."
He carries this pole throughout the city-crying with a loud voice, "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."
An amazing event then takes place. Why is it amazing? Read and see for yourself. I want you to imagine that you believe so strongly in the words which Moroni has spoken of that you in turn would do the same:
"And it came to pass that when Moroni had proclaimed these words, behold, the people came running together with their armor girded about their loins, rending their garments in token, or as a covenant, that they would not forsake the Lord their God; or in other words, if they should transgress the commandments of God, or fall into transgression, and be ashamed to take upon them the name of Christ, the Lord should rend them even as they had rent their garments."
The next verse (23) describes the covenant that the people specifically made with the Lord, should they not follow His ways-that, as it mentions in the previous verse, He 'should rend them even as they had rent their garments.'
The parallel in our situation today: I believe many things. One of my beliefs lies upon the important status of marriage-I believe that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children. I believe that upon entering the waters of baptism, I have covenanted with the Father that I would take upon myself the name of Christ, to try each day to become more like Him. When I fail, I believe that I have access to His Atonement, that I may repent of my sins, and be forgiven in the blood of the Lamb. I also believe that in taking His name upon me, I bear the responsibility of proclaiming, under the banner of religious freedom, of the truths which I know to be sacred and true-of the truths which I know will bless the lives of our children and our grandchildren. In making covenants with the Lord, I know that I will stand accountable for my time here upon the earth-I will make an account of what I did to further the kingdom of God and preserving the sanctity of marriage and of the family.
I know that God lives, and that His son, even Jesus Christ, stands, also living, at His right side. I know that they appeared to the Prophet Joseph Smith, restoring the true and living gospel once again upon this earth. I believe that God loves His children and would have them return to Him in righteousness. I know that I cannot stand by silent, and movable-I must be honest and immovable in the truths of which I have a testimony. I declare my testimony, in memory of our God, our religion (whichever it may be), and freedom, and our peace, our wives (or husbands), and our children. This is my title, posted on my little blog, for all the world to see.