Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Father's Testimony

We hear a lot about how the stripling warriors were taught by their mothers and that is why they had such great faith. This story is a favorite among Church members, especially mothers. In fact, when it comes to parents teaching their children the gospel, this is probably the most quoted scripture story.

But there is another, less well-known story I would like to share. This is the story of Helaman and his sons Nephi and Lehi.

Helaman was a great chief judge who was very righteous. The Nephites were mostly righteous and prosperous while he was the chief judge. After he died, his son Nephi became the chief judge.

While Nephi was the chief judge, the Nephites started getting more and more wicked (although Nephi was a very righteous judge - "he did keep the commandments of God, and did walk in the ways of his father.") After a while, Nephi got sick of all the wickedness, and he got out of government and went back to missionary work (probably with his wife at this point, I imagine this was like him serving a couples' mission after retiring from the senate in the United States). He and his brother Lehi "took it upon [themselves] to preach the word of God all the remainder of [their] days". They made this decision because they remembered the testimony of their father, Helaman. "For they remembered the words their Father Helaman spake unto them."

And it turns out that what Nephi and Lehi learned from their father Helaman is almost as famous as the story of the stripling warriors.
And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.
"And it came to pass that they did preach with great power," and they were able to teach the Nephites who had left the Church "insomuch that they came forth and did confess their sins and were baptized unto repentance."

I love this story as much as I love the stripling warrior story. It is interesting to me that in both cases, the young men were taught about faith and prayer and the Savior (basic principles of the gospel), but while the stripling warriors used their faith to fight valiantly in a war to defend their freedoms, Nephi and Lehi used their faith to powerfully preach the gospel.

How were you taught by your parents? Were both of your parents equally influential in your gospel learning? Were you more like the stripling warriors, who were taught by their mothers? Or did your father teach you the basic doctrines of the gospel? Or were you like Abraham, who didn't learn the gospel from his parents at all?

1 comment:

  1. My father was the scriptorian who read Hugh Nibley and the like. My mother served and was very helpful and giving, but clueless about the scriptures.


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