Here in Alma 53 a couple of things happen. First, the Lamanite prisoners are made to build up the walls of the city Bountiful and safeguard it from further destruction. The Lamanites are forced to build their own prison, essentially, which is great irony.
Second, we learn that Lehi and Moroni are great friends, as they had fought many battles side by side and that when they found each other again, they rejoiced knowing that the other was well.
Next, we learn that there are Lamanites still pressing forward, albeit slowly, taking over smaller towns throughout the land of Nephi.
Lastly, we come to back to the land of Zarahemla where we find the people of Ammon. Do you remember them? They are those that were Lamanites and were brought the gospel by Ammon and his brethren. They entered into a covenant that they would never take up arms to kill again after turning their lives around. With all of the war that was going on, the people of Ammon were wanting to take up arms to protect themselves and fight for their freedom from the Lamanite armies that were encroaching.
Helaman, the son of Alma the younger, and the current head of the church arrived in Zarahemla and talked them out of fighting. Helaman told them of his concern that if they broke the oath that they made that they would lose their souls. This being said, the people of Ammon had not covenanted that their offspring would never take up arms. And so they gathered together their sons. These boys then chose to make a covenant to fight for the liberty of the Nephites and protect themselves from being enslaved by the Lamanites. They then insisted that Helaman be their leader in their adventure. We learn that there are 2,000 of these young men and they are called stripling soldiers.
The stripling soldiers are said to have these qualities about them:
- exceedingly valiant for courage
- strong and active
- true at all times
- men of truth and integrity
- commandment keepers
- walking uprightly before God at all times
How many teenage boys do you know in today’s world that have these qualities? Are you teaching your young men to have these attributes?
Helaman accepted leadership over the stripling soldiers and off they marched to protect the Nephite people. And thus Alma 53 concludes.
I leave this with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.