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An Artistic Tour of Alma 49-63

Alma 53

Alma 53:16


Helaman Leads an Army of 2000 Ammonite Youth

Arnold Friberg

The Book of Mormon tells of a group of the sons of converted Lamanites.  Because of the many murders their fathers had committed before their conversions, they had made a covenant never to take the sword again, even in self-defense.  At a critical time when their enemies were attacking them on all sides, the sons of these converts made a commitment to fight for the liberty of their people and their country.   “But behold, it came to pass they had many sons, who had not entered into a covenant that they would not take their weapons of war to defend themselves against their enemies; therefore they did assemble themselves together at this time, as many as were able to take up arms, and they called themselves Nephites.”

Artist's Note:

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.

Alma 53:16-18, 20,2


Helaman’s Striplings /  Samuel the Lamanite

Minerva Teichert

“After receiving a farewell and the shield of faith from their mothers, these young Lamanite men turn in sequence to walk uprightly before God and march in harmony with their fellows. Arches overhead reinforce the sense of their unity. Not having weapons in their own convert families, each is ceremonially armed by the prophet Helaman.

“Another Lamanite shielded by great faith, Samuel is protected from arrows, spears, and stones as he prophesies to the Nephites. Teichert visualizes the protective power around Samuel as heavenly rays of light. An opposing, but lesser power as well as a sense of motion is conveyed by the trail of light behind the spear. The flight angles of the spear and arrow direct our eyes to the prophet’s right hand, which is centerd in the embrasure. He has stretched forth his hand in an allusion to the signs of the crucifixion in Christ’s hands. Delivering the signs of Christ’s coming birth and death is part of Samuel’s mission, and he warns the Nephites that those who do not repent will be destroyed when Christ dies. Teichert equates Samuel with a noble savage coming out of the wild jungle adorned with earrings and a blanket, his hair dressed in a braid.”

Alma 53:16-23


The Army of Helaman

Steve Nethercott - Real Heroes Posters


The Book of Mormon says they were exceeding valiant for courage and strength and activity, who were true at all times in whatsoever thing they were entrusted.

Alma 56

Alma 56 – 58


“My Little Band”

Marilyn Arnold and Maurine Ozment

Sacred Hymns of the Book of Mormon, 16

My little band, my sons, my sons, will ye to battle go?

Will you fight fiercely for the right against our ruthless foe?

What say ye, sons, so young and pure, will you coarse weapons wield?

Will you fight bravely at my side, with virtue as your shield?

Alma 56:5


Stripling Warriors

Mike Bohman

A group of young men determined to fight to defend their country, choosing the prophet Helaman to be their leader.

Alma 56:9



Lester Yocum


Artist’s notes:

Helaman, a Nephite prophet and warrior, stands in front of some of the 2060 young Lamanite warriors who have rallied to defend their adopted nation. Faithful and exactly obedient in all things, their miraculous preservation through some terrible battles was an inspiration to their fellow warriors as well as to the man who so ably led them, Helaman.

Alma 56:47-48


Our Mothers Knew It

Elspeth Young

In the Book of Mormon, a group of faithful youth went to war to defend their people’s liberties from aggressors.  “They had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.  And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying, ‘We do not doubt our mothers knew it.’”

Alma 56:47


They Did Not Doubt

Joseph Franklin Brickey

Alma 56:46-48


Mothers of the Stripling Warriors  

Steve Nethercott – Real Heroes Posters

The Book of Mormon records the faith of Helaman’s “Stripling Warriors:”  

“As I had ever called them my sons, (for they were all of them very young), even so they said unto me, ‘Father, behold, our God is with us, and he will not suffer that we should fall.  Then let us go forth; we would not slay our brethren if they would let us alone.  Therefore let us go, lest they should overpower the army of Antipus.”

Alma 57

Alma 57:27


They Put Their Trust in God  

Walter Rane

Oil on board, 2003.  Commissioned.

Helaman spoke admiringly of the youth whom he led to battle:

“Now this was the faith of these of whom I have spoken; they are young, and their minds are firm, and they do put their trust in God continually.”

Alma 23-48

Alma 53              Alma 56            Alma 57