Brigham Young University (BYU) is operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often called the “Mormon Church.” As part of their undergraduate coursework, BYU students take multiple Mormon religion classes.
Some of these students have shared their thoughts, insights, and reflections. We invite you to take a look at their epiphanies and discoveries as they delve into the scriptures.
Mormon Thoughts: The Lord Is Gathering His Army
I have often marveled at how much The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often called the “Mormon Church”) focuses on the youth. I’ve noticed, while reading Alma chapter 56 (Alma 56), that our youth leaders are not unlike Helaman leading his stripling warriors into battle. In verse 47 (Alma 56:47) we learn that the sons of Helaman had never fought, but they were not afraid of death. Helaman tells Moroni how they fought with great ferocity, but acknowledged that they would not slay their brethren if their brethren would only have let them alone. The stripling warriors said that their mothers had taught them that if they do not doubt, God would deliver them. This was why they did not fear death, though they had never fought before.
The youth today parallel these boys very closely. Or at least the elect of our youth do. I still feel like we are youth, at least those of us who are pre-mission [young men may serve a mission for the LDS Church at age 18, and the young women at age 19]. And what I have seen here as a freshman at BYU has caused me to have more hope in the future. I know that somehow, we will make it. And like the stripling warriors, if we do not doubt God, not one of us will perish. We may be spiritually wounded along the way, but the Lord is bound to do what He promises. And He has promised that if we keep His commandments, and endure to the end, we shall have eternal life.
This last general conference [semi-annual, churchwide conference broadcast around the world], when President Monson made the missionary-age announcement, I knew immediately that I would be going. This call was as much for me as it was for everyone else. And then I thought “Wow, the Lord is gathering his army.” And when I was reading the story of the stripling warriors, I realized that they were His army then, and that is what we are now. We are the Lord’s stripling warriors.
There is a quote by Spencer W. Kimball, “Is it not time that we sent out a great army, not of uniformed men, but an army of missionaries to preach repentance to a world that is dying?” I am so excited to be a part of that army–to go out and save the people of Fiji like Helaman’s stripling warriors saved Antipus and his men, to protect the standard of liberty like Moroni. I feel this way because I know this gospel is true, and I know that those Fijian people are God’s children. They deserve the truth just as much as we do, and so I will bring it to them.