The stripling warriors no one talks about

May 11-17

If you prefer to listen over reading an article, keep an eye on A Balanced Saint of Mind on YouTube. I post video versions of my blog posts on my channel. The video versions are often posted a little later than the written blog posts.

The stripling warriors is a favorite story of many. Who doesn’t love the story of brave young men who fought for the lives of their families and the miracle of their survival? It’s inspiring. 

However, there is a very short, very important hidden gem found in Mosiah 19. In Mosiah 19, we see Gideon about to slay King Noah when the Lamanites all of a sudden start to invade. The Nephites begin to flee, King Noah orders the men to abandon their families, and some do. However, some of the other men stay behind. Here’s what happens next. 

Mosiah 19:13-14

And it came to pass that those who tarried with their wives and their children caused that their fair daughters should stand forth and plead with the Lamanites that they would not slay them.

And it came to pass that the Lamanites had compassion on them, for they were charmed with the beauty of their women.

There is so much story crammed into those two tiny verses. The Nephites were in the middle of being slaughtered. How did all of the fathers get the message to all of the daughters to plead with the Lamanites? How many Nephite daughters perished before the Lamanites paused long enough to hear them pleading? We don’t know the details, but we do know that it was young women who stood before Lamanite soldiers and pleaded with them to show mercy. 

Stripling means young. When I was younger, I always thought it meant brave or strong. Nope. It simply means young. We always read about the story of stripling warriors, but these daughters were also young and in my mind, they were also warriors. It doesn’t say that the wives stood forth. And though we don’t know for sure what the marriage age was for Nephites in that time period, we know that traditionally, Jews married young. People in that time period in general married young. These were teenage girls who stood forth to protect their fathers, and they did it without a weapon in hand. 

It’s easy to take note of the fact that the Lamanites were charmed with their beauty, but these girls were so much more than beautiful. The verses say that the fathers caused their daughters to “stand forth.”

If you look up synonyms of stand forth, you find phrases such as “stand out,” “loom large,” and “show up.”

The example that the stripling warriors left for men of our day was faith and exact obedience. The Nephite daughters left the example to stand forth, stand out, loom large, and show up. You have so much to contribute, and your influence can be as drastic and life-saving as the influence of these brave young women.

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