What is the Title of
The following account from the
And now it came to pass that when Moroni, who was the chief
commander of the armies of the Nephites, had heard of these dissensions, he
was angry with Amalickiah.
And it came to pass that he 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.
(Alma 46:11 - 12) …
And it came to pass that when he had poured out his soul to God, he
named all the land which was south of the land Desolation, yea, and in fine,
all the land, both on the north and on the south—A chosen land, and the land
(Alma 46:17) …
And when Moroni had said these words, he went forth
among the people, waving the rent part of his garment in the air, that all
might see the writing which he had written upon the rent part, and crying
with a loud voice, saying:
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
(Alma 46:19 - 20) …
Now this was the covenant which they made, and they cast their
garments at the feet of Moroni, saying: We covenant with our God, that we
shall be destroyed, even as our brethren in the land northward, if we shall
fall into transgression; yea, he may cast us at the feet of our enemies,
even as we have cast our garments at thy feet to be trodden under foot, if
we shall fall into transgression.
Moroni said unto them: Behold, we are a remnant of the seed of Jacob;
yea, we are a remnant of the seed of Joseph, whose coat was rent by his
brethren into many pieces; yea, and now behold, let us remember to keep the
commandments of God, or our garments shall be rent by our brethren, and we
be cast into prison, or be sold, or be slain.
Yea, let us preserve our liberty as a remnant of Joseph; yea, let us
remember the words of Jacob, before his death, for behold, he saw that a
part of the remnant of
the coat of Joseph
was preserved and had not decayed.
And he said—Even as this remnant of
garment of my son
preserved, so shall a remnant of the seed of my son be preserved by the hand
of God, and be taken unto himself, while the remainder of the seed of Joseph
shall perish, even as the remnant of his garment.
(Alma 46:22 - 24)
… [Note: Hebrew scripture does not explicitly
say that Joseph's coat was of
many colors. The garment may have been made of strips, such that it extended
to the palms of his hands, and to his feet.]
And now it came to pass that when Moroni had said these words he went
forth, and also sent forth in all the parts of the land where there were
dissensions, and gathered together all the people who were desirous to
maintain their liberty, to stand against Amalickiah and those who had
dissented, who were called Amalickiahites.
And it came to pass also, that he caused the title of liberty to be
hoisted upon every tower which was in all the land, which was possessed by
the Nephites; and thus Moroni planted the standard
of liberty among the Nephites.
Where is the covenant land of
the Title of Liberty?
The blessed and cursed covenant land of the
of Liberty resides, of course, in land occupied by the prophetic
United States of America!
(1 Nephi 13:14-20,
2 Nephi 10:10-14,
LDS Doctrine and Covenants 10:48-51;
Too far south, or too far north and the Nephiim (how
you really say
would not have had the right seasons to keep the Law of Moses
in all things”
(2 Nephi 5:10)
What is pre-exilic Hebrew?
Pre-exilic Hebrew is
Hebrew language and writing that was in use before the Babylonian exile. It
is Hebrew familiar to the Book of Mormon patriarch Lehi and his son Nephi. One of the things distinguishing pre-exilic
or paleo Hebrew
from post-exilic and Modern Hebrew is that paleo Hebrew is written using
Phoenician like letters - letters similar to those inscribed on the
Tennessee Mound Tablet. The Phoenicians were ancient seafaring K’na’anim (Canaanites)
who interacted with Yisra’El (Israel).
How does one translate the Title of Liberty into authentic Hebrew?
order to translate into language and letters
recognizable to Nephiim (Nephites),
memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and
I turned to the Hebrew Bible! I wanted to avoid anachronistic vocabulary!
After finding the appropriate language I converted the biblical Hebrew
letters back into their more ancient pre-exilic form.
First of all, I searched for occurrences of the expression
in the Bible.
I found that the expression
1 Corinthians 15:2
(King James Version);
but this verse in New Testament Greek doesn't really say
Even if it did, Moroni did not write the Title of Liberty
in New Testament Greek. A Hebrew translation of this verse uses another word
Greek behind the
KJV NT verse,
“…keep in memory
preached …” is rendered “…be strong in the word of my exhortation …”
KJV Old Testament we find the expression “…in
(2 Samuel) 18:18) But the preposition
“in” before the word translated
“remembrance” isn’t really there in the Hebrew Masoretic text from which the
was translated. The same is true for
“…in remembrance” translated from other Hebrew verses;
Yesha’Yahu (Isaiah) 43:26. Much of the English
Book of Mormon has been translated into the imperfect but dignified language of the King James Bible.
I searched the words of Yesha’Yahu (Isaiah)
and felt impressed to use the
Hebrew plural imperative (command)
“remember (second person
in the following verse:
Remember the former things of
old: for I am God, and
there is none else; I am
God, and there is none like me,
Yesha’Yahu (Isaiah) 46:9)
imperative plural form of the Hebrew verb
“remember” is more fitting than the familiar Gentile
expression “In memory”,
which comes across more like an epitaph for the departed.
imperative form of the verb “remember”
appears in the writing of YirmeYahu (Jeremiah) a contemporary of Lehi.
YirmeYahu (Jeremiah) 51:50.
In this verse the command “remember”
is followed by the Hebrew direct object indicator or particle
“et”. The verse literally reads,
“...remember you (plural) ... et the LORD
(the Eternal, Tetragrammaton)”.
Because “et” has no equivalent in English it is left out of the
KJV translation, just as it is in the English translation of the Book of
An example of the Hebrew “et” being used in connection
with “our God”
is found in
Shofetim (Judges) 10:10.
literally means “our Elohim”,
and can be translated “our GOD”,
or “our Godhead”;
“Elohim” is really plural. The
word is usually translated “God” singular in English. Levels of Hebrew meaning are often lost in translation
- even inspired translation.
We must be careful not to use the Modern Hebrew word for
which is “dat”. This Persian loanword, also translated “law”, “decree”, “edict”,
“commission” came into use in Hebrew scripture after Lehi
left Yerushalayim (Jerusalem). It is uncertain that the Nephiim (Nephites)
were aquainted with this word. Its apparent use in
Devarim (Deuteronomy) 33:2 is controversial and disputed.
New Brown, Driver, Briggs, Gesenius Hebrew-Aramaic Lexicon,
,1881, pg. 206)
I favor translating
using a more ancient Hebrew
(The New Brown, Driver, Briggs, Gesenius
תוֹרָה ,8451, pp. 435-436)
The ancient Hebrew word for
is given in
Vayyiqra (Leviticus) 19:20
– the word is
comes directly from the Messianic verse
Yesha’Yahu (Isaiah) 53:5. The expression is
“…our wives (women)”
is found in
Bemidbar (Numbers) 14:3 – and
“...nasheynu”. The expression translated “our children”
in the same verse, is “tapenu”. It is more appropriately translated “our
little ones” or “tripping ones”, since very little children tend to trip as
they step. A more inclusive expression translated
which literally means
Devarim (Deuteronomy) 29:29. A group of boys and girls, regardless of their ages, are always
referred to in the masculine in Hebrew.
This completes the Hebrew translation of the Title
How do you correctly say the ancient words of the Title of Liberty?
What follows is a “close enough” pronunciation key for the
transliterated Hebrew Title
i as “ee”
- as in “free”!
u as “oo”
- as in “Nauvoo”.
e as “eh”
- as in “red”.
o as “oh”
- as in “Ohio!”
ey as “ay”
- as in “ray”.
- as in “Nephihah”.
kh as if your clearing you throat while
making a “k” sound; otherwise just make a “k” sound
- as in “kiss”.
h the same as
kh, or if that’s difficult, just make an “h” sound
- as in
Pronounce all other consonants below phonetically.
In Hebrew, the words of the Title of
Liberty are poetic. Transliterated into English they read:
Please read them aloud! Hear the words
of chief commander Moroni!
(LDS Doctrine and Covenants 84:54-59)
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