Helaman's Stripling Warriors: A Lesson on Fatherhood


I am currently enrolled in a Book of Mormon class through BYU-I. We have reached the chapters of war found in Alma. I am usually inclined to rush through these chapters to get to what I previously believed to be, the more important or applicable accounts and teachings. Being forced to give these chapters of war greater thought and consideration, I found numerous applicable lessons and counsel that I had previously missed. With such great examples as Captain Moroni, Pahoran, Helaman and his young soldiers we can learn ways to stay safe and secure in our own personal battles against the powers of evil.
I would like to focus my writings today on the lesson taught in Alma 53. This is where we read of the people of Ammon who, back in Alma chapter 24, covenanted to never use weapons again to shed the blood of men. As war rages all around them, they have thus far been under the protection of the Nephites. Watching these good men labor on their behalf to keep them safe caused the men of Ammon to be moved with compassion, and they desired to take up arms again to help defend their country alongside the Nephites. Having knowledge of the testimony and faith it took for these men to bury their weapons of war, Helaman encouraged them to stay true to their oath and covenant with God. A plan was then devised to send their sons in their stead to stand with the Nephites, and defend their country. And so the story of Helaman and his stripling warriors is born.
Many are familiar with the account of these young men and their powerful faith and testimony in God. Many know that these young men give tribute to their mothers for this knowledge and faith. While I love this account and what it teaches in regards to motherhood, as I read the account this time around I found another view of this story that is equally inspiring, that of Fatherhood.
These brave, humble men put their trust in God and gave their sons to fight for the cause of liberty. These same humble men loved their wives and encouraged them to seek their own testimony of God, and to teach it to their children. These great men kept the covenants they had made with God and by doing so aided in securing God's protection over their young sons. Tenderness fills my heart as I think of the vital part these fathers played in the protection of their families and their country through their personal righteousness and diligence to God.
Fathers, you are so important. As stated above, the calling of fatherhood is sacred. You can be a shield of protection to your families as you remain true to the covenants you have made.
I am grateful for such a father in my life. I am grateful for such a father in the life of my children. I am grateful to God for the many father figures throughout my life that have inspired me for good and, through their personal righteousness, have aided in securing a portion of heaven's protection from life's many storms.


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