Thursday, March 22, 2012

I Have A Sword

Posted by Kristy

I know it's been a while since I've last updated my blog and I apologize. Things here have been busy, Trevor is working like a mad man and I am the new area Assembly Presenter for Mad Science so that's making me quite busy as well. It's a pretty fun gig. The traveling is annoying but having grade school kids worship you is pretty nice.

In our post about our trip to Spain Trevor mentioned our souvenir we brought home and I'm going to tell you all about it. We bought a sword. An overly-mormon sword, but I think it's awesome. So this all started in Spain when we were asking my Uncle Doug what we should get as a souvenir. Doug said that the two things people buy in Spain were swords and tapestries. Of course to me those options sounded like the difference between Epcot and the Magic Kingdom. Or the difference between Arby's and any other fast food restaurant known to man. ("I'm so hungry I could eat at Arby's"). If you didn't catch that you need to repent and watch more Simpsons episodes.

The sword was the choice and so Doug took us to a store that was a medieval nerd's heaven (I'm embarrassed at how much I loved it). Here's a picture if you forgot what it looked like.

Sword Heaven

This store was huge and had every sword known to man. So many Mormon missionaries come to this specific store in Toledo that they started making swords they knew they would buy. This is the sword we bought.

Here's a close up view

That's right, I own a Captain Moroni sword. Apparently they also sell the "Sword of Laban" but they didn't have any while we were there. I'm grateful I have Trevor because I was dead set on bringing home one of the huge, jeweled swords but luckily he's more sensible than I am and talked me out of it. We managed to smuggle the sword home fine in my parent's luggage but now the problem was what we're actually going to do with a sword.

The first problem was how to hang the sword on the wall. My idea was to have the sword horizontally on the wall above a picture of Captain Moroni. This was easier said than done. I went to a few Home Depot-like stores and soon learned that sword hanging was not a common request. The closest I got was a guy from a plastics store wanting to create a huge, ugly, expensive plastic case for my sword. No thank you. I tried to explain to the guy that I just wanted something that the tip and hilt could rest on. He told me that he could make me something but that it would be about $150 in labor. Yikes. Then I noticed that they had some plastic command-like hooks they were selling and I talked him into drilling a hole into them. So my hanging dilemma was solved with $6.

Next, my problem was how to get a picture of Captain Moroni. I don't know if you've ever researched this, but there are very few pictures out there. Here are the only options I found.
This is the classic B of M picture of Moroni, but you'll notice that it shows the sword in the picture and it doesn't look like my sword, so this one is a no. Plus he does not look 25.

Not the worst, but not a painting either.

Kind of a cool picture but it was very small and wouldn't enlarge well.

Again, not a bad picture but not big enough.

Here we have the Spanish Captain Moroni, but once again it shows the sword.
That's just what I need a sword hanging over a picture of dead bodies. Like it's not weird enough I have a sword on my wall.

I then decided that I would look up some Striping Warrior paintings and see if any of those would work. This is what I found.
Yep, just more depressing scenes from the war, a little too macabre for my taste.

You ready to see the final product? This is a painting done by Walter Rane called "Come Forth."

Much better, right? Here is the final product on our wall.

You love it, don't even pretend that you don't.


  1. I do love it. Well worth the wait in posting time. daishan

  2. I love it, and I'm not pretending.

  3. That was a fun store! You were like a kid in a candy shop!! Good memories. Love the sword and the way you hung it!!!

    1. Can you tell me the name of the store and where it is located?

  4. The picture you chose is perfect! We do love it! :)

  5. I do love it. And my sword-fighting obsessed boys would love it even more :)

  6. I'm pretty sure the second picture down is a painting but the one you chose is good.

  7. We are going to Toledo Spain next week. Can anyone tell me the name of this store and where it is located?

  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  9. That is pretty cool the way you display it. Hope you don't mind me posting so far after the fact, but I was just doing some googling and came across your picture and thought I'd give you some suggestions in case you want to do this again.

    I'm a sword guy and have quite a few in my collection. I went for a Sword of Laban for my display because that is what Nephi used to make swords modeled after, so I figure Captain Moroni's sword would probably look something like that. Going off the same picture with Captain Moroni and the Title of Liberty, I decided his sword looks more like a Viking sword than an El Cid Colada like yours. Nephi says it had a handle of gold and was made from the finest steel, so while I wasn't able to get a sword with a gold handle, I decided that damascus would be the finest steel. Paul Chen made a damascus viking sword that I drooled over for several years before I finally scored a good deal on one. He makes the same sword without damascus, but this one really had that Laban vibe going on. No gold handle, but a solid damascus hilt is just as pretty I think. That is the sword I went with.

    I held onto it as is for a few years until I found a reference in the Journal of Discourses where Brigham Young tells a story in 1877 that Oliver Cowdry told him about the location of the Sword of Laban and what is written on the blade. He said the last time he saw it, it was lying unsheathed on top of the gold plates and had the inscription "This sword will never be sheathed again until the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of our God and his Christ." I went to work finding a guy locally who could etch or engrave on damascus (kind of hard since it is layered steel and it can flake layers if it isn't made right). I did finally find a guy and he got it done for me. :)

    I had a neighbor who works with wood and is an incredible artist make me a stand which could display the sword unsheathed and leave the inscription visible. There is a second rack below the sword for the scabbard.

    Anyway, I just wanted you to know that you aren't the only one who goes to crazy lengths to display a sword that reminds you of your favorite BoM heros. :) Captain Moroni is definitely my hero as well as the later Moroni who buried the plates. Having a sword that sort of pays homage to everybody from Nephi down to Moroni feels really nice for me and it is a great conversation piece about a little known piece of LDS lore.

    Great work on your display!