The Title of Liberty
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“The Title of Liberty,” Ensign, Sept. 1973, 31

The Title of Liberty

For our tenth-year day I made for my love

A coat of finest skins.

How proudly he wore it

And how I delighted in him,

His head held high.

He was wearing it when he led our warriors

In the defense of Manti;

My heart, my hopes, and my arms were my gift

Encircling him;

Hourly he was in my eyes.

I felt the coat’s smooth front against my cheek

When, magnanimous in victory,

My love returned

And lifted me to his kiss.

Then when Amalickiah

Contended for the judgment seat,

Promising peace, rapport with the enemy,

And a lowering of taxes,

And only subtly suggesting monarchy,

Himself the king;

And many of our friends,

Grown tired of wars,

With loss of husbands, fathers, sons,

Lent listening ears,

For most of a day

My husband sat hunched in the sun,

His coat tight across his back,

Head bowed, eyes brooding.

At dawn I heard the clank of metal

And shivered in my nightdress as I knelt

To share his fervent prayer.

My eyes were wide as he took his cimeter

And rent asunder the coat,

Then wrote upon it his loves:

God, the church, freedom, his wives, our children,

And raised it upon a pole.

How glorious there in that early morning light

The rent coat, making my husband,

And all who repaired to it, whole.

(See Alma 46–51.)