Usually, we think of that Arnold Frieberg picture… large buff, chiseled men marchin forward with determination. But this beloved picture is a little deceiving.
The artist, Arnold Frieberg, said, “I painted them on the outside like they were on the inside.” Stripling means young, and according to the BD, it means they were a teenager. Stripling= a youth in a state of adolescence – just past beyond boyhood – a lad… In Jewish culture, a boy becomes a man at age 12. Holy Cow!!! These young “dream boys” could have been the Deacons, Teachers and Priest in your ward!.
What made the stripling warriors so spectacular?
v.17 They were willing to stand for what is right at all cost.
v.19 They had never been a problem to the Nephites.
v.19 But instead were a great support to parents and leaders.
v.20 They had courage in doing their duty.
v.20 They were active in their callings.
v.20 They were true at all times. They knew the Church was true and they were TRUE to the Church.
v.21 They were true and sober.
56:47 They had faith.
56:47 They put others before themselves.
56:47 They honored their mothers.
56:48 They had good parent\child relationships.
57:21 They kept the commandments with exactness.
57:21 They had faith in the teachings of their mothers.
57:26 They believed God.
57:27 They trusted God.
58:10 They prayed with all their souls.
58:11 They received revelation from God.
58:11 They had hope.
58:40 They were very consistent in their actions and beliefs.
I’d also like to focus on this verse:
9 And thus because of iniquity amongst themselves, yea, because of dissensions and intrigue among themselves they were placed in the most dangerous circumstances.
Interesting, don’t you think?
Sometimes our focus is external, and we forget to protect the inside. We can be "doing" what we should be doing, but while we focus wholly on our actions, our thoughts and beliefs can be left unguarded. Doubts can creep in, fears can take over. Then, we have dissension and intrigue within ourselves, and we place ourselves in the most dangerous of circumstances.
Sometimes we don't recognize what that feeling is, and mistake it for thinking that perhaps what we are doing isn't "working" or is bad.
We must always be aware of what we are doing AND what we are believing- making sure they are both solidly in line with each other. When they aren't- trouble comes and we become weak. We have to remedy it somehow, by either changing what they do, or what they believe.
That's why faith is so important- to believe in the truth. We must always stay focused on the truth and make sure what we do is aligned with what we believe. We are happiest and strongest when we do that.
What did you learn?