Sunday, December 27, 2009

Alma 53

The Lamanite converts of Ammon and his brethren were pacifists. They had made a solemn covenant to never take up arms again. But their sons had made no such covenant, and in the time of general warfare they wanted to help their brethren. They made a different covenant: 

17 And they entered into a covenant to fight for the liberty of the Nephites, yea, to protect the land unto the laying down of their lives; yea, even they covenanted that they never would give up their liberty, but they would fight in all cases to protect the Nephites and themselves from bondage.

Mormon clearly admired these young men when he made his abridgment of the records.

20 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.
21 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.

What does it mean to be valiant? The word is from Middle English words meaning worthy, strong, and courageous and to be of worth.

These young Lamanite men were valiant. They had the courage to do right. They were strong in the spirit, active, and true (meaning loyal and trustworthy). They were men of truth, meaning that they were honest in all things. They were sober. I think this means that they took the truth seriously -- it was not a casual commitment for them. And they apparently gained all of these attributes because they were taught and undoubtedly studied the truth, and they were taught to keep the commandments of God.

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