Friday, May 6, 2011

Friday Favorites and Foreverness

a few years ago, nick and i went up to boise, idaho for one of nick's cousin's missionary send-off. this particular young man is well-liked by all that know him and the service was packed and overflowing into the gym behind the chapel.... anyway, the bishop asked all of the men and young men in the room to stand and sing, "Army of Helaman."

i was surrounded by men singing this song with fervor and faithfulness. it was amazing, my heart was so full that my eyes spilled over with love for the men in my life. especially the three that i'm raising, i looked at them and knew my responsibility as a mother was great. i saw them grown into men of strong character, men that love their God and Savior. it was then that i realized the importance of my calling as their mom.

it used to be a cute primary song and now it means so much more to me.

The story of the 2000 stripling warriors or the "Army of Helaman."
Alma 53:1021; Alma 56:4456; Alma 58:39
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 53:2021
The people of Ammon, who were called the Anti-Nephi-Lehies, had covenanted with God never to kill, even in war. They lived in the land of Zarahemla, where Nephite armies protected them from the Lamanites. (See Alma 53:1012.)
However, as the Anti-Nephi-Lehies saw the danger and everything the Nephites suffered for them, they wanted to break their covenant and fight to defend themselves. But Helaman, the leader of the Church, persuaded them not to fight. He worried that they might lose their souls if they broke their covenants. (See Alma 53:1315.)
The Anti-Nephi-Lehies had many sons who had not made the covenant not to go to war. Two thousand of these young men gathered together and promised to defend the liberty of their people and the Nephites. They asked Helaman to be their leader. (See Alma 53:1619.)
Although they were young, these men were strong and brave. Most important, they were trustworthy and obeyed God's commandments; "they were men of truth" (Alma 53:21; see also Alma 53:20). Helaman called them his sons, and they called him father. When Helaman asked them if they were willing to go to battle, they answered, "Father, behold our God is with us, and he will not suffer that we should fall; then let us go forth" (Alma 56:46; see also Alma 56:4445).
These brave young men did not fear death. They valued the freedom of their people more than their own lives. Their mothers had taught them that if they trusted in God, He would protect them. (See Alma 56:4748.)
Helaman led his young warriors in a terrible battle against the Lamanites. With the help of Helaman's army, the Nephites won the battle. Helaman feared that many of his sons had been killed, but to his great joy, he found that not one had been killed. The young men had fought with the strength of God, and He had protected them. (See Alma 56:49, Alma 56:5456; Alma 58:39.)

it's always interesting to me how tragedy can change you, change your outlook on life, change your feelings about death. my heart is full today, perhaps on a day that it shouldn't be. we lost a family member this week and his funeral is tomorrow. my heart is full because i have the peace of knowing truth in my life. i know where i came from, i know where i am and what i need to do, and i know where i'm going and how to get there. and even though kate looked beautiful in her "fairy tale" wedding this last week, i have no desire for her life, because i have exactly what i want, an eternal marriage that extends beyond the grave (to a very handsome and faithful prince, i might add). and i have 3 young men that are amazing and full of love for their Savior. seriously, what more could i want? i know it's not mormon culture to stand up and shout "AMEN!" or "Hallelujah!" but sometimes i wish it were.... because sometimes i want to.

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