1: a conspicuous object (such as a banner) carried at the top of a pole and used to mark a rallying point, especially in battle
2: something established by authority, custom, or general consent as a model or example
3: substantially uniform
4: having recognized and permanent value
In Alma 46, Moroni, the leader of the Nephite army, sets up a standard to rally the Nephite people around some common causes. He creates the flag or banner by ripping up his coat and writing the message on a piece of it. Here is the message:
“In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives and our children” (Alma 46:12)
The above is known as the “title of liberty,” and when it later catches on and is placed upon every tower in the land, it becomes known as the “standard of liberty.”
Depending what you’re talking about, it can be very important to understand what constitutes a standard. For example, when you buy a car, there will typically be certain features that are referred to as standard equipment. This means that every car carries those features, so you know that you’ll get those features regardless of which car you buy. Additional features may be added to make that car unique, but the standard equipment will always be there.
When you have a standard cause as the Nephites did in the story above, it means that everyone in the group agrees on the cause, however different the people may be otherwise. In this particular case, everyone can agree that it’s worth fighting to defend their God, religion, freedom, peace, wives and children — this allows sufficient enthusiasm to be generated for everyone to participate in the battle. The standard of liberty reminds everyone what they are fighting for.
The Church of Jesus Christ today has its own set of standards that we expect (hope) each of our members has incorporated into their own belief system and is willing to stand up for. These standard beliefs are referred to as the Faith & Doctrine and are summarized here.
Beyond these beliefs, there is plenty of room for individuality, but these particular beliefs should be considered “standard equipment” for the members of the Church. It’s interesting that some of these beliefs fall into the same categories that Moroni included in the title of liberty:
- God — We believe in God the Father, Jesus Christ His Son, and the Holy Spirit.
- Religion — The beliefs of our religion include the following: Jesus Christ is the Savior through which salvation is made available to mankind; the gospel of Jesus Christ once fell away and was later restored; the Bible and the Book of Mormon are the inspired Word of God.
- Freedom — We value the freedom to operate the Church according to the Word of God, not according to the dictates of society.
- Peace — We believe that a time of peace, referred to as Zion or the Peaceful Reign, is in our future.
- Wives — We believe that marriage between a man and a woman is a holy institution.
- Children — We believe that children are born innocent in the sight of God and should be blessed (not baptized) and then raised to know the Lord such that they can eventually make their own decision to be baptized and serve God.
We understand that each of these beliefs is disputed to some degree — some by other Christian people and some by non-Christians. Some of these beliefs are fully under attack today. Nonetheless, these are our standards. If we were to create our own title of liberty today, this is what would be written on it. Are we willing to raise up this standard, or do we want to let others decide what we should believe?
Raise up the standard of The Church of Jesus Christ! Let’s stand together and do what needs to be done to build the kingdom of God.
Second Verse of “The Standard of Liberty” from the Songs of Zion
Strong soldiers needed to raise up the Standard,
The Title of Liberty lift to the sword.
Stand for your country, and stand for your fam’ly,
But surely and foremost, son, stand for the Lord.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.