And now concerning the righteous Lamanites, who call themselves the people of Ammon.
Because of their oaths they had been kept from taking up arms against their brethren; for they had taken an oath that they never would shed blood more; and according to their oath they would have perished. But it came to pass that when they saw the danger, they were moved to take up arms in the defense of their country.
Helaman feared lest by so doing they should lose their souls but behold, they had many sons, who had not entered into a covenant. Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.
Now, there were two thousand and sixty of those young men, who entered into a covenant to fight for the liberty of the Nephites. Therefore, they did assemble themselves together, and took their weapons of war, and they would that Helaman should be their leader.
And they were all young men, exceedingly valiant for courage, and also for strength and activity; 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.
And Helaman did march at the head of his two thousand and sixty stripling soldiers to the support of the people in the borders of the land. And it came to pass that a terrible battle commenced and the Nephite army being weary were about to fall into the hands of the Lamanites when Helaman came upon their rear with his two thousand and sixty and began to slay them exceedingly. And they did surround the Lamanites; yea, insomuch that they were compelled to deliver up their weapons of war and also themselves as prisoners of war.
And it was these Lamanite sons to whom the Nephites owed this great victory. Yea, and they had fought as if with the strength of God.
And there were two hundred who had fainted from loss of blood; nevertheless, there was not one soul of them that did perish.
Abridged from the Book of Alma
In the words of the artist:
“The next painting, HELAMAN LEADS AN ARMY OF 2060 AMMONITE YOUTH is one of the most dramatic in the Book of Mormon. It is misleading that they should be called “stripling soldiers.” They were not little boys, but young men who volunteered to go into battle. They were strong and valiant, marching forth in the strength of the Lord. The book speaks at some length of them as men of truth and soberness, “men who were true at all times in whatsoever thing they were entrusted.” Here the artist sought to express their interior testimony of faith through picturing their physical strength.
There is in this picture something that skeptics will be quick to pounce upon—the commonly accepted “scientific proof” that there were no horses in ancient America. “Why, everybody knows the Spaniards brought the first horses,” they smartly point out. But no matter what “science” may say, in direct confrontation stands the Book of Mormon, which in several places makes clear mention of horses. Although the Book of Mormon doesn’t expressly say that Helaman rode on horseback, the artist has taken the liberty of showing him mounted. Since the book does speak elsewhere of these animals and since I am somewhat known for my equine paintings, I could not resist including in these 12 pictures at least one horse.”
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