We don’t know any of their names—not one. Yet their story is one of the most-recognized and well-known experiences shared in the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. Even if we knew their identity, there are too many for us to enumerate.

 

To me it’s amazing that these young men had such an impact. Their influence didn’t just change each other, their families, and country—as if that wasn’t enough—but they continue to influence generations untold more than two thousand years later. Remember that. Their influence continues even today.

 

These young men and their leaders are revered by many, and rightfully so. They are worthy of our respect and admiration. The incredible depiction in Arnold Friberg’s rendition of Helaman’s two thousand stripling warriors is well known by many members of the Church. I grew up thinking of those ripped warriors and drew comfort from the courage on their faces as Helaman led them into battle. I love that picture. I expect we all remember these examples of encouragement when we think of Helaman’s sons (or so they were called).

 

 

 

But now I am an old man and my perspective has changed somewhat when I think of those admirable sons. I expect they were more likely less physically commanding and menacing. Powerful? Absolutely. But it wasn’t their physical presence that made them indomitable. It was their faith in their mothers, their leaders, and in God. Together with these advocates, they were invincible. And that is perhaps the best truth of all from their example: when we are called to serve our Heavenly King, we too become part of an unconquerable force.

 

Now I could end the article right here, and we could figuratively return to our homes with encouragement and hope moving forward. But we know that times will get tough and stumbling blocks will become more prevalent and hedge up our way. I am writing these words today from my home. There are no typical church meetings this week, and like last week, we have been asked to hold services in our own homes. Tomorrow I am not going into the office. It’s been shut down. Thousands around the world have been affected by COVID-19, and the future of our communities, nation, and the world is unsure. Yet we need not be fearful. It is not our strength and willpower that will get us through this—it is our faith in God and His ability to make something overwhelming not just possible, but exemplary. He’ll provide a way. As we follow Him in faith, we become part of His unconquerable force. I still love the story of the two thousand stripling warriors, but I admire their commitment and faith even more than their physical prowess. That’s why they are worthy of our admiration.

 

Now, I want to make a seemingly sharp change in direction, but hang with me and you will find that it all works out in the end.

 

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To read more of Walter’s articles, click here.

Often the young men and old men in our church are the ones in the limelight. The stories in the scripture are nearly all about men and boys, the focus of the priesthood (which is held by men) is prevalent in all we do as a church, and our presiding leaders are called from the ranks of boys and men. Yet often hidden in the background, unheralded in worldly terms, are mothers, sisters, daughters, and women of the Church who are faithfully making us stronger and giving our efforts meaning and value despite our many shortcomings. The world glamorizes beauty but fails to see the true magnificence of women. I think personally that it is because in its selfishness, women are used as objects of gratification, yet their value, worth, and exquisiteness far surpasses even that of their physical attractiveness. And maybe that is the best attribute of all in the story of the two thousand stripling warriors. These young men rightfully gave credit to their mothers for enabling them to overcome incredible obstacles:

 

47 Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.

 

48 And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying: We do not doubt our mothers knew it. (Alma 56:47-48)

 

One final anecdote: when my father was an older gentleman and we let him listen to a new song, he would ask us to print out the lyrics so he could follow along and enjoy all the meaning he didn’t want to miss. My mother too followed that example with a particular favorite piece she listened to daily during the last weeks of her life.

 

So when I selected the final video for this article, it was a lot more difficult than you might imagine. There are so many good examples of stripling warriors. I chose a video with lyrics I hope you enjoy.

 

 

 

I Will Go And Do (2020 Youth Theme Song)

No matter where I go
I know I’m not alone
I feel my Savior there beside me
He leads me through the night
He’s always been my guide
He promised He will never leave me
Though my burdens seem too much to bear
He’ll bless me
So whatever He commands

I will go and do
I will stand for truth
Though the world may back away
I will walk right through
I know if I follow Him
Follow Him in faith
He will ease my burdens
And He’ll provide a way
He’ll provide a way

When I feel overcome
And all my strength is gone
I think of all the ways He’s blessed me
My journey may seem long
But He’ll lift me with His love
A perfect love that’s never ending
He will give me
Give me all the strength I’m needing
So whatever He commands

I will go and do
I will stand for truth
Though the world may back away
I will walk right through
I know if I follow Him
Follow Him in faith
He will ease my burdens
And He’ll provide a way
He’ll provide a way

He’ll provide a way
For me to cross the desert
To sail across the ocean
If that’s where He sends me
I’ll follow His plan
I’ll do whatever He commands me
For I know that He will lead me
To the promised land

I will go and do
I will stand for truth
Though the world may shut Him out
I will make Him room
I know if I follow Him
Follow Him in Faith
He will ease my burdens
And He’ll provide a way
He’ll provide a way, eh
He’ll provide a way, eh

No matter where I go
I know I’m not alone
I feel my Savior there beside me

About Walter Penning
In 1989, Walter Penning formed a consultancy based in Salt Lake City and empowered his clients by streamlining processes and building a loyal, lifetime customer base with great customer service. His true passion is found in his family. He says the best decision he ever made was to marry his sweetheart and have children. The wonderful family she has given him and her constant love, support, and patience amid life's challenges is his panacea.

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