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.
Scarred and Wounded, but Alive and Faithful
I write this to those who are struggling against impossible odds–for those who don’t realize they were born to do the impossible.
We are at war here on earth. Our war is not fighting with swords and shields, but rather our war is against the trials that we face daily. The people on this world today are special in the fact that we were each saved for these latter days for a specific purpose. Satan knows this and as such is working his hardest to throw anything and everything at us. But the thing is, no matter how hard the enemy tries, there is something they don’t have-the power of God-and that always makes all the difference.
Take the Stripling Warriors for example. In Chapter 57 of Alma in the Book of Mormon, we read an incredible account that tells an incredible story. War has erupted and we find two groups fighting head to head. On the side of righteousness, we have the army of men named the Stripling Warriors. The word “stripling” means young or youthful, a fitting description for this group for they were literally only young men in their teens. Their parents had covenanted with the Lord to never go to war again, as such the duty to defend their lands fell in part upon these young men.
On the other side, we find the invaders-–-the contentious and belligerent Lamanites. Imagine how daunting that must have been to have never had any experience with war and know that you are against the Lamanites-–a people skilled in the art of war for generations. What happens next never ceases to amaze me. The Stripling Warriors march forward absolutely fearlessly. They allow their love for their families, their homes, and most importantly their love for God to motivate them. Because of their exceeding faith, they aid the rest of the Nephite army in purging their lands of the Lamanites in an absolutely astounding victory. Helaman at the end of the battle does a headcount of his brave warriors, fearing how many he has lost. But a miracle has happened–not a single soul has been lost. Because of their faith, the Lord preserved them with his power.
Growing up, I have read this account so many times. However, just this past year, I read something I had never seen before: in verse 25, Helaman writes that “there was not one soul of them who did perish; yea, and neither was there one soul among them who had not received many wounds.”
I found this so interesting, because I had always pictured this group of young men as fearless heroes, invincible to the blows of man. However, this scripture shows that isn’t true. Not a single one of them left that battle unscarred. Their faith didn’t shield them from everything, but it did ultimately save them.
Unfortunately, like the Stripling Warriors, we aren’t going to come out of this life unscarred or unwounded. Bad things are going to happen to us, and we are going to go through some hard times at some point in our lives, because Satan is just way too desperate to leave you alone. Just remember that as long as you have faith, you too can be ultimately saved–physically and spiritually. Satan will wound you sometimes, but the Lord will always preserve you and even heal you if you turn to Him.
Whatever happens, please never forget who you are. Never forget who to believe in, for I promise you He always believes in you. And if it what you face seems impossible, keep in mind “If ye have faith as a grain of a mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible to you” (Matthew 17:20).
I am praying you remain faithful to whatever you’re going through. Remember God, and remember these words that I was inspired to write in a song a while ago after facing a difficult time of my own: “Whenever you live with faith in God, there’s always a way to defy the odds.”