Farewell my Stripling Warrior Del Parsons
One of my favorite histories in the Book of Mormon is about the mothers of 2000 Stripling Warriors. This year for Mother's Day our little primary is singing a song about
the testimonies of their mothers,
and it's made me very weepy and close to the spirit.
The story of the 2000 warriors is amazing. Their parents had been viscous and delighted in bloodshed, however when they learned the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ they accepted and changed their lives. They literally buried their weapons and made a promise to God that they would join with His Church and NEVER use their weapons of war again.
They promised to never fight or kill.
Because of the truth they changed the way they had lived their whole life.
However peace didn't stay in their land.
Once again their lives were being threatened and they considered joining the fight but that would mean they would break their promise to God.
Instead they did something even more unthinkable.
They allowed their young boys, roughly 2000 of them, ages 8-15 go off to battle.
Their sons had not made the same promise as their parents.
They could battle for their God, land, their families and their church.
But they were so young, how could they go forth and fight the enemy?
Because their mothers taught them to have faith.
And that's the great message of the stripling warriors
Their mother's taught them to have faith.
They were led by a man named Helaman, and he loved them, he described them as his sons.
In the Book of Alma in the Book of Mormon, the fifty sixth chapter verses 46-48 teaches us
46. For as I have ever called them my sons (for all of them were very young) even said unto me, "Father behold our God is with us, and he will notsufer that we should fall; then let us go forth...
47. Now they had never fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers, than they did upon their lives, they had
TAUGHT BY THEIR MOTHERS
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."
And those boys did go into battle and they were succesful and not ONE fo the 2000 boys were killed.
This story is speaking to me on so many levels.
First and foremost. The mothers had lived their lives in such a manner that their children beleived everything they said. They were examples of faith and righteousness. They had taught their children to be selfless because they were only thinking of their families and their peace when they volunteered to join the army.
Second their children grew up with faith. They didn't doubt what was taught them. Their mothers undoubtedly pointed out the many tender mercies of the Lord that occured daily in their lives. Their mothers taught them the gospel.
They did not fear.
Each day I send my children out to fight a "war." It's not as literal as the stripling young warriors. It's more figurative and that war is between good and evil. Each day they have to choose
between good and evil.
I hope that because of what I've taught them and how I conduct my life they always choose God and Jesus Christ and that they can say, "my mother knew it."
I hope and pray they have the courage to overcome peer pressure and only choose worthy friends. I hope they will be bold and serve missions for the Lord, each one of them.
I hope they can be like the warriors and think first about the benefit of the group rather than their own needs and wants.
I'm so greatful that my mother taught me the truth and where to turn to in times of need. I'm glad her mother taught her, and that my grandmother was taught by her mother and so on.
I'm part of a legacy of great mothers and I hope that the legacy continues with my daughters and that my boys find wives that will continue our legacy.
On another level, this story is speaking to me in my calling as a seminary teacher.
I feel like Helaman did when he called them his sons.
Clearly he loved them so much and was probably amazed by all they could accomplish.
I love each of the boys in my class and have a motherly concern for their welfare.
I'm so greatful that they are raised by wonderful mothers who have taught them the truth.
I'm greatful that they love their mothers enough that they come to class almost every day.
I'm amazed by the great things they do.
Whether it's Dyllan handing out pamphlets at Crosby High School on For the Strengthy of Youth
https://beta.lds.org/youth/for-the-strength-of-youth?locale=eng and always strives to do better,
Or Jace and his peaceful and thoughtful spirit who is always excited about church and the youth program
Or Lucas who simply does everything that is asked of him,
They each make me so proud to be a part of their lives.
I'm so greatful for the fact that my boys look up to them and that my daughters love them too.
So for this week and this month and I'm hoping this year
I'm greatful to be a mother, I'm greatful to the examples of great mothers and I'm greatful for my husband who allows me to be the kind of mother I need to be and who picks up my slack.
Mostly I'm greatful for the young warriors in my charge.