One of the major themes of the Book of Mormon is the importance of remembering the captivity of our fathers as seek our own deliverance from captivity and sin through the power of the Messiah. It is interesting that the angel who appeared to rebellious Alma and the sons of Mosiah instructed the shocked son of the prophet to “Go, and remember the captivity of thy fathers in the land of Helam, and in the land of Nephi, and remember how great things he has done for them. . . .” (Mosiah 27:16) Ninety-seven pages later, in that masterpiece of Semitic literature, the powerfully chiastic Alma 36, Alma begins and ends his account with a plea for his son to “do as I have done, in remembering the captivity of our fathers” (Alms 36:2), noting that he had (since his conversion) “always retained in remembrance their captivity (Alms 36:29). And of course, the focal point of that chiasm was his own deliverance from captivity as he turned to Christ for deliverance.
May we always treasure the liberty that Christ offers us, and the freedoms our other fathers have provided (Founding Fathers, “religious fathers” like Joseph Smith, etc.) . We must never take these things for granted, but must actively work to preserve them.