Alma 53 to 63 – “Preserved by His Marvelous Power”

August 10, 2020 to August 16, 2020

A chief characteristic of Helaman’s stripling warriors was their obedience to the commands of their leader, the prophet Helaman and their strict adherence to their mothers’ teachings. Because of their faithful actions, they were protected by the Lord.

“Nephi’s Freedom Thesis and the Sons of Helaman,” K. Douglas Bassett, The Book of Mormon: Alma, the Testimony of the Word
Nephi’s “Freedom Thesis” refers to his teaching that “Inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall prosper in the land; but inasmuch as ye will not keep my commandments ye shall be cut off from my presence” (2 Nephi 1:20). In the war chapters of Alma 43–63, it is referred to often. The stripling warriors witness that obedience in trying circumstances is necessary for deliverance.

“The Book of Alma as a Prototype for Teaching the Word of God,” Gerald Hansen Jr., The Book of Mormon: Alma, the Testimony of the Word
The entire book of Alma emphasizes, in one way or another, the power of God’s word and thus becomes a prototype pattern in trusting in the power for good in teaching the word of God. One of the best indications of this emphasis is Mormon’s use of the theme “the word of God.”

“What Were the Ages of Helaman’s Stripling Warriors?,” John A. Tvedtnes, Ensign, September 1992
Tvedtnes answers a question about the Stripling Warriors’ ages by looking at Israelite war practices and an analysis of the textual clues. Tvedtnes concludes that the stripling warriors may have been from ages 21 to 26.

“Warfare in the Book of Mormon,” Stephen D. Ricks and William J. Hamblin
A symposium on warfare in the Book of Mormon resulted in this book’s 22 chapters. The Nephites did not dichotomize their world between church and state as we do. For the Nephites, God’s will was often revealed through the ordeal of battle. Several chapter, for example the chapter “Law and War in the Book of Mormon,” discuss the narrative of the stripling warriors and other topics of these war chapters.

“The Ammonites Were Not Pacifists,” Duane Boyce, Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture
The Ammonites should not be considered pacifists, but rather fervent adherers to their sacred covenant with God. They considered breaking their oath; they did not suggest to Nephite leaders that killing in war was murder; and they sent their sons to war.