The Stripling Warriors

Nephi taught us that understanding the geography of the scriptures can help us better understand the scriptures.  Take Alma 45:18 for example.

Alma 45:18 says that Alma “departed out of the land of Zarahemla, as if to go into the land of Melek”.  Why would Mormon include such an insignificant detail as this? Perhaps he was using geography to help teach us an important doctrine.  First, we need to understand who was in Melek.  To do this, we need to put 6 seemingly unrelated pieces of information regarding Book of Mormon geography together.

Alma 23: 6-7 – Thousands of Lamanites are converted and become the people of Ammon

Alma 24: 12-19 –  The people of Ammon bury their weapons and covenant not to go to war again

Alma 27: 22 & 26 – The people of Ammon were given the land of Jershon by the Nephites.

Alma 35:13 –  The people of Ammon departed out of the land of Jershon and went to the land of Melek.  They needed to leave Jershon so Captain Moroni could have a place to train his armies.

Alma 45: 18 – Alma goes toward the land of Melek.

Alma 53: 16-21 speaks of Helaman’s Stripling Warriors whose parents were the people of Ammon living in Melek!  The Stripling Warriors had not entered into a covenant that they would not defend themselves…therefore, they assembled and took up arms…they covenanted to fight for liberty…they never had hitherto been a disadvantage to the Nephites…they became now a great support…and they were all young men…exceedingly valiant for courage..they were men who were true at all times…they were men of truth…they had been taught to keep the commandments of God and to walk uprightly before Him.

The short verse of Alma 45:18 teaches us so much simply because we understand the geography of The Book of Mormon!  An entire discourse could be written about the significance of the prophet going to the people of Melek at the time he went to Melek.    Alma went to preach to the future Stripling Warriors and to their parents to help prepare them for what lay ahead.  How did the youth become so valiant, obedient, faithful, and desirous to serve God?  They listened to the living prophet, Alma.  The mothers of the Stripling Warriors were able to teach their boys to trust in God because they themselves were living according to the words of the living prophet.

Tom Pettit

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