I want to make this post in appreciation to mothers, more particularly with the women in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Many people criticize Mormonism because they say women do not have any important roles in the religion. Elder Quentin L. Cook, in his General Conference address titled 'LDS Women Are Incredible!' has said, "Much of what we accomplish in the Church is due to the selfless service of women." In the same address Elder Cook said the following:
"Sisters have key roles in the Church, in family life, and as individuals that are essential in Heavenly Father's plan... We pointed out that the most important organization on earth is the family, where 'fathers and mothers are...equal partners.' Neither one is financially compensated, but the blessings are beyond description."
This morning I was reminded of a wonderful story from the Book of Mormon. The story is often referred to as "The Stripling Warriors" story. Before I say more I will share the story of the young warriors.
In the great war going on in this part of the Book of Mormon there are three groups to know about: The Lamanites, the Nephites, and the people of Ammon. Years before this war a missionary by the name of Ammon, a Nephite, went to the Lamanites and converted them and brought them back to the lands of the Nephites. These converts are separate than the Nephites, however, because they vowed to never fight a war again so long as they lived. After they made the promise to night fight the Lamanites, out of anger, came against them and killed many of them, until the remainder of the people were able to flee to the safety of the Nephites.
The time came though that the Lamanites were about to take over the Nephites in many of their strongholds. These people of Ammon, with compassion, were ready to disregard their vow to never fight a war so that they could help their Nephite friends in battle. The Nephites did not want them to break their promise though, and the answer was the sons of these Ammonites. The sons had not made the promise that their fathers did, and they came out to join the Nephites to fight the Lamanites.
And now I go to the account as recorded by Helaman (the captain over these boys) in the book of Alma chapter 56.
"Therefore what say ye, my sons, will ye go against them to battle?After their great battle Helaman writes:
"And now I say unto you, my beloved brother Moroni, that never had I seen so great courage, nay, not amongst all the Nephites.
"For as I had ever called them my sons (for they were all of them very young) even so they said unto me: Father, behold our God is with us, and he will not suffer that we should fall; then let us go forth; we would not slay our brethren if they would let us alone; therefore let us go, lest they should overpower the army of Antipus.
"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.
"And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying: We do not doubt our mothers knew it."
"I numbered those young men who had fought with me, fearing lest there were many of them slain.Quite often, and appropriately, people recount this story to show the power of the faith of these two thousand young men. Through their faith they were able to go into one of the most intense wars of the times and come out without a single one of them being killed in battle. But I wish to change the focus of this story slightly this once to the mothers of these men.
"But, behold, to my great joy, there had not one soul of them fallen to the earth; yea, and they fought as if with the strength of God; yea, never were men known to have fought with such miraculous strength;"
As mentioned earlier, the parents had covenanted to never to fight again. As a result many, if not most, of the fathers had been killed by the Lamanites. These two thousands boys were raised by their mothers. This most assuredly was tough for both the kids and the mothers, but those mothers knew what was important to teach their kids and they were not afraid to do so. The outcome was that an entire generation was raised in immense faith. This was faith strong enough to preserve every last one of them even in the face of war. Mothers, past and present, have a wonderful power and do a great work.
Any questions concerning Mormonism?
Ask a missionary here!