“That They Might Preserve Their . . .”

Alan C. Miner

According to Thomas Valletta, first-time readers of the Book of Mormon are often surprised at the number of references to "freedom" and "liberty." Actually, "freedom" appears 26 times in Alma, all between chapters 43 and 63. There are only three other direct references in the entire Book of Mormon. The term "liberty" or its derivative appears thirty-three times in these same Alma chapters, more than the rest of the Book of Mormon put together. . . . Both "freedom" and "liberty" (Hebrew: deror and hopsi) have their Hebrew roots in emancipation from slavery. As is true of [Moroni] as an individual and [the Nephites] as a nation, freedom and liberty came because of making and keeping covenants with God. [Thomas R. Valletta, "The Captain and the Covenant," in The Book of Mormon: Alma, The Testimony of the Word, pp. 236-237]

Step by Step Through the Book of Mormon: A Cultural Commentary