Mothers in May – The Mothers of the Stripling Warriors

Happy Mother’s day!

So…one of my favorite examples of mothers given in the scriptures are the mothers of the stripling warriors.

We don’t get to read their narrative. We don’t read their testimonies, per se. We don’t know much about them, specifically, yet these mothers play an integral role in the history of the Nephites. When we learn about their sons, we also learn about the mothers.

The Stripling Warriors
This is what the scriptures teach us about the stripling warriors:

“And they were all young men, and they were exceedingly valiant for courage, and also for strength and activity; but behold, this was not all—they were men who were true at all times in whatsoever thing they were entrusted.

Yea, they were men of truth and soberness, for they had been taught to keep the commandments of God and to walk uprightly before him.” – Alma 53:20-21

The stripling warriors were young.
Usually, when I think of the stripling warriors, I think of the classic picture of Helaman with his host of armies…

Stripling means “youth”. Think about the youth in your ward, perhaps. The young men most likely come in various shapes and sizes. There may be some who are strong and big. Yet there are some who are probably still growing – lanky, a little clumsy, and maybe even scronny. I have a feeling that the young warriors were probably like a typical teachers and priests quorum in shape and size.

The stripling warriors were also exceedingly courageous, strong, and true in whatever they were entrusted.

These dudes were awesome. We learn that these warriors weren’t just born true and sober, but had been taught to keep the commandments.

Helaman explains:

“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.” – Alma 56:47-48

The courage, confidence, and integrity of the Stripling Warriors had been taught to them by their mothers. I think about this, and wonder – what am I teaching my children? Do I teach them to keep the commandments? Do I teach them that God will deliver if they will keep the commandments? Have I taught my children to be true, to obey with exactness?

I have to admit, I’m working on all of this. We have Family Home Evening. We read the scriptures. These are good things, but I have a feeling that it is more than that. I have a feeling that not only did the mothers of the stripling warriors teach their children through precept, but that these Warriors could see the testimonies of their mothers in their examples. If I want my children to trust God, be courageous and strong, and to be true, then I need to trust God, be courageous and strong, and be true. Funny how that works!

Not only did the mothers teach their young sons, but they didn’t doubt that their mothers had testimonies. I think about that, and I wonder, do my children know that I know? What am I doing to share my testimony with my children. Even if my own children falter in their own testimony, I want them to be sure that I have one.

I love the example of these women. There are only a few mentions of them – they are phrases in three verses, yet their impact has been felt by millions. Not only did they teach their sons, but their testimony preserved the Nephites. Additionally, their examples – as women and mothers – have encouraged and inspired many women in these latter days. I’m so grateful for this quick mention. It helps me remember the importance of what I am doing in my home.

How do the mothers of the stripling warriors inspire you? What are you doing to teach your children and instill your testimonies into their hearts?

***
Learn more about the mothers of the stripling warriors. Download the PDF, and read/study the scriptures. You can also answer the questions to help you think about and learn from their examples. (If you don’t see the PDF below, then click here).

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