One by one, Helaman’s army makes goals to gain back cities they have lost, with the Lord’s help. We need to use this method to overcome our weaknesses. One by one, pick a weakness or sin to focus on, arm ourselves with the Lord’s battle armor, and figure out stratagems to make these weak spots become strong, through God.
Helaman’s army wants to take back the city of Manti. The Lamanites aren’t tricked by the same maneuvers, so the Nephites have to wait for more men and provisions. Helaman has sent an embassy to the governor, asking for help, but nothing has come and they’re almost starving. (7)
“Therefore we did pour out our souls in prayer to God, that he would strengthen us and deliver us out of the hands of our enemies, yea, and also give us strength that we might retain our cities, and our lands, and our possessions for the support of our people.” (10)
God does answer them, with the kind of answer the world can’t imitate.
Yea, and it came to pass that the Lord our God did visit us with assurances that he would deliver us; yea, insomuch that he did speak peace to our souls, and did grant unto us great faith, and did cause us that we should hope for our deliverance in him.”Alma 58:11
This heavenly assurance brought peace to their souls. It’s the only power strong enough to bring hope and faith, even when times are bad. This peace gave them courage to be “fixed with a determination to conquer our enemies, and to maintain our laws, and our possessions, and our wives, and our children, and the cause of our liberty.” (12)
The Lamanites send out spies to discover their numbers. “And it came to pass that when they saw that we were not strong, according to our numbers…” they decided to come out against them. (15)
Strength comes in other forms than numbers. Christ’s Church does not have great numbers, but its members are strong, growing, living, strengthened by the power of God to do mighty miracles and establish His kingdom on earth.
The enemy army thinks they will easily overpower Helaman’s army, but unknown to them, he has hidden part of his army on the right and on the left of the path he will use to escape. He and his 2,060 warriors flee when the army comes out to meet them. The Lamanites race after them, and Gid and Teomner cut off the enemy spies after they pass, so they can’t return to the city for help.
The other two parts of the army easily take the city Moroni as Helaman leads the Lamanite army away. At night, instead of camping as the enemy does, Helaman marches to get in front of the enemy and return to Moroni before they do. When they wake up, the enemy sees that Helaman, Gid, and Teomner have taken control of the stronghold, and they flee. But in their escape, they take many women and children prisoner along the way.
Helaman reports to Moroni that they have taken control of all the cities in their part of the land. “But behold our armies are small to maintain so great a number of cities and so great possessions.” (32)
They are still in a precarious position, if they don’t receive reinforcements from the government, but they put their trust in God, as we all should.
Helaman ponders the reasons why the government has not sent more assistance. He wonders if Moroni has more need of their strength, and that is where they are being sent, to his part of the land. Or he wonders if there is a faction in the government keeping them from sending more men.
But behold, it mattereth not—we trust God will deliver us, notwithstanding the weakness of our armies, yea, and deliver us out of the hands of our enemies.”Alma 58:37
His strong trust in God’s heavenly assurances makes him and his small army stronger than they could be on their own. They are in dangerous circumstances, yet they do not fear.
We can be strengthened by the same heavenly assurances when we put our trust in God in this spiritual battle we fight. Heavenly assurances, that come from fervent, sincere prayer, help us see beyond the scary world to the promises God has made to those who follow Him.