Today I read Alma 56, where the 2000 Stripling warriors are introduced. When I was younger I was always convinced that the word stripling meant strong, or mighty or some other such adjective to convey power. It wasn't until my mission that I learned that the word stripling is another word for "youth".
My youthful fantasies shattered aside, this chapter has always been a great example of faith in both God and one's leaders and parents. These 2000 young men told Helaman that their mother's had taught them that if they believed, nothing doubting that God would take care of them. And it is quite possibly the most miraculous instance of God protecting someone here on earth. For sure I think it's one of the largest scales of protection the Lord has ever given.
The courage of these men is inspiring to me. They had never before been in battle and they returned to help their comrades in arms without a moments second thought. I find myself having trouble sharing the gospel, let alone the thought of going into battle when I have never fought anyone before.
I'm reminded of Elder Bednar's visit to our stake. He made a statement that weekend about Faith. He said true faith casts our fear. That if we have faith, we cannot have fear. That to me is really interesting. To me that means that if I am afraid, I don't have enough faith in the Lord, so I really need to go about getting more faith than I currently have. To my knowledge the only way to gain more faith is to pray for it, or have faith promoting experiences. Either way, I do not think faith is something we can gain more of without Heavenly Father's help.
But that is one request I am confident that God will always honor and help with. If we ask, He will give us opportunities to increase our faith. I believe if we ask Him, He will also help us understand how to use that faith, which is something I think most of us have a problem with. But as we prove our willingness to follow His commandments and exercise that faith to Him and perhaps even more importantly, to ourselves, then it becomes easier to do it again, and again, and again until finally we can move mountains with our faith. Someday, I feel confident that we will all get there, I just hope it's not too long for me! Until tomorrow.