O Captain My Captain


Essay by
Sarah Emily Jordan


October 2010


Heads up, this one is going to have religion in it.

I want to tell you about three of my favorite soldiers. First off, one of my favorite people in the Old Testament is a soldier: his name is Jonathan. Jonathan was the son of a King, Saul, and by human understanding would rightfully have had claim upon the throne. But Jonathan was a man who trusted in the Lord. He trusted in the Lord in battle and in life. In 1 Samuel 14:6, Jonathan says to his armor bearer, "it may be that the Lord will work for us: for there is no restraint to the Lord to save by many or by few." That was the way he operated, trusting that the Lord would be there to assist His people constantly even in circumstances when they were outnumbered. Jonathan is famous for his friendship with David. He understood that the Lord had anointed David to be the next king of Israel, and supported his friend and the Lord in that anointing. He is an amazing example to me of faith and friendship and loyalty.

Ask a Mormon kid, or adult for that matter, who is their favorite person in The Book of Mormon, and one of the common answers you will hear is Captain Moroni. He was a captain in a time when the liberty of his people was threatened by not just an outside force but traitors from the inside. From Alma 46:12-13 —

12 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.

13 And he fastened on his head-plate, and his breastplate, and his shields, and girded on his armor about his loins; and he took the rent coat, (and he called it the title of liberty) and he 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 a band of Christians remain to possess the land —

Moroni prayed to God for His favor on their liberties and the cause of the Christians, and he then went out among the people hoisting up the title of liberty and asking who would join him. Many did, and they eventually won their war.

One more soldier to share about: Sergeant William Allen Jordan of the United States Air Force, who served our country at the Phu Cat Air Base in the Vietnam War. Just prior to going to Vietnam, during his 36 week training in Biloxi as a communications technician, Sergeant Jordan made a decision to turn his life over to The Lord, being baptized and making promises to The Lord that he fully intended to keep. During his 11 months and 29 days tour in Vietnam he kept those promises even on threat of death. Such was his strength in his convictions and his promises that even while surrounded by corruption and immorality he stayed firm and true. His faith and strength has been a blessing on generations of his family. When I told him that I was going to be writing this post and asked his permission to write about him, he said to me that he wasn't a captain. I told my father that it wasn't about him being a captain, but rather who his Captain was and is. My father is the man who has taught me the most about loving my country and loving The Lord, because that is who his Captain is.

We are living in amazing times right now. It is a time when the country and our freedoms feel very much in danger. And yet, it is a time when amazing people are stepping forward to defend what is good and right and true. When The Lord is our Captain than we need not fear, but can move forward with faith and trust. It need not be anything other than a battle of words and ideas, in fact I dearly hope it never goes beyond that. But, we can still use the principles of these three soldiers whose Captain is God. Be loyal to our loved ones at any cost. And no matter what honors or gifts we think we may be entitled to, trust that God has us and our loved ones well in hand and just move forward continuing to do that which is right. Raise the banners of liberty high and be an example of a believer. Let the principles be clear and concise and invite others to join with us. And no matter what, even on threat of death, stand by the promises you've made to others and especially to God.

Our Captain is The Lord; the Founders of our country knew it. As Patrick Henry said in his famous "Liberty or Death" speech,

There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave.

Let us move forward in faith and hope; and trusting in our Captain, in peace and commitment. Amazing times call for amazing people and I believe we are up to the task as long as we rely on Him.


© 2010 Sarah Emily Jordan

First appeared at
Sarah Emily Jordan's blog
The Conservative Independent Rant

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