Moroni was just twenty-five years old when he was appointed chief captain over all the Nephite armies. He was a strong and mighty man with a firm faith in Jesus Christ. Moroni rejoiced in the liberty and freedom of his country. He did not delight in bloodshed, but had sworn an oath to defend his people and their freedom, even to the loss of his own blood.
There was in the land another man by the name of Amalickiah who wanted to be king of the Nephites. Strong and large in stature, Amalickiah above all wanted honor and power over other people. Already he was the leader of a group of Nephites who had become proud because of their riches. They would no longer listen to the words of their church leaders nor would they obey Heavenly Father’s commandments. Under Amalickiah’s wicked influence, they had grown to hate the Church and even wanted to kill some of its members.
Through lying and deceit, Amalickiah convinced his followers that the Nephite form of government was wrong. He told the people they would be happier if they were ruled by a king instead of a chief judge. He promised that if they would appoint him their king, he would give each of them important positions of honor. Amalickiah soon had great support for his wicked plan to take over the Nephite government.
Moroni knew that a king would destroy the precious freedoms for which the Nephite people had fought so long, especially if the government were lost to a selfish, evil king. Then the righteous would no longer be able to worship God as they desired. He also knew that their wives, their children, and their homes would be in grave danger.
Moroni determined to do something about Amalickiah. Finally he removed his coat, tore off a piece, and on it he wrote a message: “In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children.” Then he fastened it to the end of a pole and called it the “title of liberty.”
Girding himself in his armor and carrying the title of liberty, Moroni “bowed himself to the earth, and he prayed mightily unto his God for the blessings of liberty to rest upon his brethren, so long as there should [be] a band of Christians … to possess the land.”
After he had poured out his heart in prayer, Moroni went forth among the people, waving the banner high in the air so that everyone could see the message written on it. While waving it, he cried in a loud voice, “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.”
The message was sent forth throughout the land, and from every direction people gathered themselves together, put on their armor, and were ready to fight for the cause of freedom.
When Amalickiah saw that most of the Nephites had chosen to join Moroni to preserve the government, he became frightened. He knew his cause was unjust and that he would be defeated if he went to battle against Moroni and his people. In desperation he took what followers he could and fled to the land of the Lamanites.
Moroni’s title of liberty had awakened in the hearts of the Nephite people a renewed love for their country. As a reminder of their great blessings, Moroni caused “the title of liberty to be hoisted upon every tower … which was possessed by the Nephites.”