What Makes a Modern-Day Stripling Warrior?
The Book of Mormon teaches us about a small band of soldiers known as the Stripling Warriors. The sons of the Anti-Nephi-Lehies, these brave young men exemplified many Christ-like attributes and experienced the “miraculous power of God” because of their faith. We want to be like the Stripling Warriors! Yet, their circumstances may seem far removed from our own. We don’t necessarily fight literal wars with ferocious enemies seeking to kill us. However, the war against sin and evil continues. If we take a closer look at the scriptural account, we can have a better understanding of how to be modern-day Stripling Warriors. Check out these five principles and how they relate to us today.
Prioritized Covenants – Alma 53:16-17
The Stripling Warriors were the sons of a people who buried their weapons of war and covenanted never to lift them up again. Because they had not made the same promise to God as their parents, the Stripling Warriors stepped up to protect their families and community. They entered a covenant of their own, that “they would fight in all cases” for their people. Today, we have the chance not only to make covenants with God but to make them a priority.
Keep the covenants you have made and diligently prepare for any future covenants in your life. Visit the temple as often as possible and do all you can to make your home a holy space. Study your patriarchal blessing and seek revelation on how you can further the kingdom of God. Use your covenants as a foundation to build on when making important life decisions or confronting challenges.
Exceedingly Valiant – Alma 53:20
To be valiant means to show courage or determination. The Stripling Warriors showed great courage and wouldn’t back down from their duties to fight. Today, we show that we are exceedingly valiant by standing by God and His principles, no matter the circumstances. We can also share our testimony boldly with others. The message of the Restoration is bold! Don’t be afraid to speak openly about your beliefs as directed by the Spirit. Pray and look for opportunities to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ.
True at all Times – Alma 53:20
You can be true at all times by maintaining gospel standards in your life, being honest, and building integrity. While the Stripling Warriors were caught up in heated battles, we can get caught up in the whirlwind that is the modern world. We face a lot of contention and distractions that can pull us from the gospel path. If you can keep moving forward with your eyes fixed upon Jesus Christ, you are being true to Him. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland once gave this great explanation about what it means to be true: “I am not asking you to pretend to faith you do not have. I am asking you to be true to the faith you do have. Sometimes we act as if an honest declaration of doubt is a higher manifestation of moral courage than is an honest declaration of faith. It is not!”
Did Not Doubt – Alma 56:47, Alma 57:26
We will all face doubts, but do we let them overtake our faith, as Elder Holland described? It’s important to remember that the Stripling Warriors didn’t have doubts about the essential things. They knew God lived. They knew He had commanded them to live their lives a certain way. They knew He wanted them to follow Him. They knew He would protect them and deliver them if they trust in Him.
Of all the doubts you may be facing, cast aside those that deal with your divine nature and God’s feelings towards you. Do not doubt His plan to eventually exalt you, no matter how painful that process can be sometimes. Try to place more trust in God than in your doubts. Choose small actions every day to demonstrate this.
Minds are Firm – Alma 57:27
Helaman related the faith of his Stripling Warriors to the firmness of their minds. A firm mind will likely look different for everyone, but it denotes hope and unwavering loyalty. We keep our minds firm by filling them with the goodness of God. Take inventory of the shows you watch, the music you listen to, and the books you read. How much time do you give to God each day for building up your faith in Him? We need to meet the demands of life, but we are easily distracted and use worldly pleasures and pursuits to ease our pain and relax. True rest comes from God. If we will take the time to bring Christ both into our mind and heart, we will not waver.
The Stripling Warriors are a great example for us. How do they inspire you to be a more faithful disciple of Jesus Christ?