The Stripling Warriors Described
In Alma 53, the 2000 stripling soldiers are introduced. I’ve never known exactly what ‘stripling’ meant. I’ve always thought that it meant strong, but the on-line dictionary says that it is a Middle English word from the 14th century mean youth and more particularly someone between puberty and maturity. So according to this definition, these young men were probably between the ages of 11 and 21.
I think the most important part of this chapter is the description of these young men. They were exceedingly valiant for courage and strength.
Once again, the idea of fear and courage comes up in the Book of Mormon. Courage is a very noble and needed characteristic. Courage and strength are not only “physical” attributes, but also spiritual attributes. When temptation comes, we need to be strong and courageous. We are children of God. Why should we ever fear? God is the most courageous and strongest of all. Why wouldn’t we have his attributes planted in us, ready to blossom?
There is a difference between happiness and loud laughter and light-mindedness. One can be congenial and happy with a cheerful countenance and not be light-minded. This is how I imagine soberness.
Truth can mean so many things. They were true to their covenants they made. They spoke the truth. They sought after and loved the truth. They were men of truth. They kept God’s commandments and walked uprightly before him. I believe this is an extension of being true. They were true to God and always kept his commandments.