Alma 56 – Provisions, Courage & Faith

Helaman writes Moroni to fill him in on what’s happening in his quarter of the land. He convinced the Ammonites not to break their oath, “supposing that God would strengthen us” by keeping their covenants.

God will strengthen us always when we put Him first by keeping covenants with Him.

Helaman’s 2,000 stripling sons join forces with Antipus. The Lamanites have taken over lots of cities there—Manti, Zeezrom, Cumeni, Antiparah.

Before they join the armies of Antipus, Antipus’s army is “depressed in body as well as in spirit, for they had fought valiantly by day and toiled by night to maintain their cities; and thus they had suffered great afflictions of every kind.” (16)

When’s Helaman’s ‘sons’ join them, it “gave them great hopes and much joy.” (17)

When we unite as righteous saints, we lift each other up and therefore, thwart the powers of Satan.

When the Lamanites saw these numbers added to Antipus’s command, they were compelled not to come against them. The 26th year passes without incident and the next year begins. The Nephites have spies keeping watch on their enemies, to keep from being caught off guard. We need to keep careful watch on the enemy as well, so we aren’t surprised by an attack.

In this year, the fathers of the Lamanites sons of Helaman bring provisions unto them, bolstering their strength and faith. Another 2,000 men from Zarahemla are also added to their numbers.

And the Lamanites, thus seeing our forces increase daily, and provisions arrive for our support, they began to be fearful, and began to sally forth, if it were possible to put an end to our receiving provisions and strength.

Alma 46:29

In our life, Satan tries to do the same. He doesn’t want us to receive strength from God, so he goes about trying to cut off our lifeline of faith and undermine our belief in repentance and Jesus Christ. He tries to get us to not do small things that give us strength: prayer, faith, repentance, seeking the Holy Ghost. He tries to get us to doubt promptings, doubt ourselves. In this way, he can make us dependent upon ourselves instead of heavenly help.

Seeing their enemies nervous, the Nephites “were desirous to bring a stratagem into effect upon them.” (30) Helaman’s small band of 2,000 head out and trick the strongest army of the Lamanites to follow them, thinking to destroy them. But Antipus comes from behind to attack on a second front. This causes the Lamanites to march faster, trying to destroy Helaman’s men before Antipus can reach them “that they might not be surrounded by our people.” (37) For two days the Lamanites pursue them vigorously.

When they seem to escape them, Helaman is worried that Antipus is in trouble, so he tells his men:

Behold, we know not but they have halted for the purpose that we should come against them, that they might catch us in their snare;

Therefore what say ye, my sons, will ye go against them to battle?”

Alma 56:43-44

Their response is courageous, and faith-filled.

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 56:46

They fully trust God to lead and guide them…to help them save others.

Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them

Alma 56:47

The faith we teach our children has staying power in their lives, if we teach them with God’s help. These young men told Helaman: “We do not doubt our mothers knew it.” (48)

They bravely return and find Antipus’s army in disarray, but they turn the tide and the Lamanites have to surrender. Helaman gathers his men and finds that none of them have been slain.

But behold, to my great joy, there had not one soul of them fallen to the earth; yea, and they had fought as if with the strength of God; yea, never were men known to have fought with such miraculous strength; and with such mighty power did they fall upon the Lamanites, that they did frighten them; and for this cause did the Lamanites deliver themselves up as prisoners of war.

Alma 56:56

Because the Nephites were receiving adequate provisions to their army—men and supplies—and also because they were courageous and trusted in God to deliver them, they were victorious over a much greater army. Logically, the numbers showed that the Lamanites should’ve triumphed. But they didn’t.

If we are careful to always supply our spirits with more than adequate spiritual sustenance and strength, and have courage to stand for what’s right, and also trust in God’s delivering hand to help us through every trial and battle in this life, we can triumph over evil as well and help build and strengthen God’s kingdom here on earth, in preparation for Jesus Christ’s Second Coming.

 ~~~

Resources:

Come Follow Me manual – Book of Mormon 2020

If there is anything virtuous, lovely or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these comments.

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