This is embarrassing and will surely be fodder for the Daily Show. As someone
who grew up in Utah but now lives out of state, this is just plain
embarrassing.Note that most of the pro comments are coming from
Utah, and most of the against from out of state.
Marching in a holiday parade, dressed in historically inaccurate costumes,
pretending to be something that you are not, is really not going to do anything
to build faith. Justifying the experience by claiming that it will seems kind of
silly. It's just a parade folks. Fun? yes. Memorable?
probably. Faith promoting? I doubt it.The Son's of Helaman did
not gain their faith by marching into battle. They had it before they went.
They were taught it at home (and very likely at boring-old-Church) from a very
young age. That faith in Christ was reaffirmed by their miraculous experiences,
being saved from destruction.So, while this will likely be cool to
see, unless those boys are getting the same care and instruction at home and at
church...this will do no more for their testimonies than playing video games
It amazes me that some readers doubt how life-changing this experience will be.
Also, there were no daughters that fought along side the stripling soldiers.
Let's not make this out to be something other than it is. It will be
Wow! If this helps them build testimonies, then why not? I, like many of the
other naysayers are questioning exactly HOW that experience would have any
spiritual value, but the Lord works in mysterious ways... and it can't be
that different from people dressing up and running all over Manti every summer.
Even though this is in effect extemely worthy and will be memorible, I think
when the liberal press takes their slant on this on a nationwide basis and
paints it as something other than what it really was intended to be, it will be
determined to have not been a wise decision. We live in troubled times.
wilf55: Pacifism,really. Not in the least. What the Book of Mormon teaches is
that it is our duty to protect, to defend and to honor not only our country but
our faith. If we do so the Lord will protect us.What the story of
the 2000 strappling warriors taught is that these young men had extraordinary
faith that there love of their God and their country was more important to them
than their own lives. Since, their faith was so strong not one of them was
killed in battle. Yet, not one of them came out of the battle unhurt. Each one
had multiple wounds yet they all survived. For the youth of this area to take a
stand and to march symbolizing the faith of the 2000 warriors is significant and
worthy of them.During the Cultural Celebration of the Kansas City
Temple, the organizers expected around 1500 youth to show up. Over 3000 showed
up and participated. Do you honestly believe that just reading their scriptures
brought them there. If so you are sadly mistaken. They came because of their
faith. I wish the US would require every youngman the requirement
for military service.
Jules - I am a mom of both boys and girls and recognize the value of
both. However, it really is O.K. for the young men to have this opportunity
without making sure the young women get something of equal value. There is no
disrespect to young women in this. We know our young women are just at stalwart.
Let's just relax and enjoy this cool idea on its own merits. There's
nothing to fix here. Martin Blank -I went on a stake
handcart trek when I was 11 year old with my family. That experience has been a
part of my decisions to make sacrifices for others in my own life. I tasted a
little of what the pioneers went through and even at the age of 11 I made some
profound connections. Some reenactments are worthy of our time.
Well-meant initiative, but with potential negative implications. I am thinking
in particular about the media and how reactions could be around the world if the
story & report is picked up elsewhere (and it probably will). Drill marching
of a mass of young men in military fashion conjures up images of certain
belligerent nations history has known all too well. Such marching would be
unthinkable in the many countries that have suffered under the consequences of
such exhibitions of power. Video and images of “Mormon youth
marching” could contribute to even more misunderstanding of Mormonism
around the world. And if not, it will still be kitsch misrepresenting the Book
of Mormon story and it's actual message of pacifism.
"We want to build their testimonies." Does this S.P. really think this
is how testimonies are built? I'm sorry, but this is pure kitsch.
Testimonies are not built on short-term, manufactured, feel-good events. They
are built through honest seeking, real effort, and a witness of the still, small
voice. I think too many LDS youth only have this kind of artificial testimony,
built on a foundation of sand. When the storms come, that foundation washes
away. It is sad to see how many young people are leaving the church. I wonder if
part of the reason is that the "testimony-building" they had during
their formative years was of this cotton-candy variety, rather than the deep,
personal experiences they need to truly build a firm foundation on "the
rock." With all due respect to the well-intentioned organizers, this is a
prime example of what Hugh Nibley called "Zeal without Knowledge." How
about teaching the youth of the church to apply Alma 32 in their daily lives?
How about internalizing the extraordinary sermon in Mosiah 2-5?
Martin BlankSalt Lake City, UTIf you want to see your
boys in uniform, why not drive them down to the recruiting office on their 18th
birthday? With the eyes of the nation on the Mormons, how in the world will the
spectacle of 2000+ young men in "Mormon" battle dress go over, do you
think? I really wish that instead of playing dress up for artificial
"growth" experiences, some local LDS leaders would get their youth
involved in good causes like Habitat for Humanity or any of the other homeless
outreach programs. There are plenty of God's children "out on the
plains" of poverty and hopelessness that could use our help, but we're
up in Wyoming acting out our ancestor's sacrifices. We might do better to
make our own sacrifices.I guess someone always has to rain on the
parade.There is no reason that these young men shouldn't partcipate
in both the march of the stripling warriors and be involved in community service
as well, maybe the march will encourage more sacrifice on there part. Never
forget your history, what better way than reenactment of the warriors and the
If you want to see your boys in uniform, why not drive them down to the
recruiting office on their 18th birthday? With the eyes of the nation on the
Mormons, how in the world will the spectacle of 2000+ young men in
"Mormon" battle dress go over, do you think? I really wish
that instead of playing dress up for artificial "growth" experiences,
some local LDS leaders would get their youth involved in good causes like
Habitat for Humanity or any of the other homeless outreach programs. There are
plenty of God's children "out on the plains" of poverty and
hopelessness that could use our help, but we're up in Wyoming acting out
our ancestor's sacrifices. We might do better to make our own sacrifices.
But tell you what: I'll go along with it if the parents of the 2060 young
men who march in the parade will take an oath to never go to war.
"Out of every 100 men, ten shouldn't even be there. Eighty are just
targets. Nine are real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make
the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior, and he will bring the others
back" - Heracletus (500 B.C.)I think the above poster got it
backwards. Warriors are usually the ones fighting for a higher cause. They
dedicate their lives to mastering their art so that they can more effectively
control the battle. Your definition of Warrior more closely matches that of a
mercenary. Why else would the Lord call the men of the Church his
"Warriors" (D&C 105:16)If we actually read the accounts
of the battles in the Book of Mormon, we read that the armor created by Moroni
was of a kind never before encountered among the people of the land. He
innovated something that had not been done to that point. So comparing it to
any kind of Middle Eastern or European armor is not possible. Take a look at
any kind of armor used in the Americas and you'll see what I mean.
That's going to to be a site you won't soon forget!! 2000+ walking in
the parade. They did it in Snowflake about ten years ago, got YM from all over
Arizona to dress up in white shirts and ties (with a few men to help guide the
younger ones, they had 10+ years old if their dads marched too, I believe). It
was a quite site to behold as they came up over a slight hill and then down
it---it seemed to never end!! From the distance, it looked like a sea of white
flowing down the hill. But as they got close one could that they were all future
missionaries as they each had name tags!! We in the crowd loved it as it was a
great sacrifice to come from all over to be in the parade, but they all did. It
will be well worth it to the participants and observers as well. Carry on
This sounds really wonderful! But my big question is... what about all the young
women??? Are we leaving the girls out? Sounds like it. Let's remedy this
quickly. Organize 2,000 girls to also march, maybe as future mothers, or also as
an army (of daughters of God). Please let us not disrespect our daughters by
leaving them out!
I read that they are looking for boys in several stakes near Bountiful, but can
others join in? How many boys do they have right now? My son would love to
Very astute observation Idaone!They would not appear in Roman armour.When
Lehi&co.left the Holy Land in 600 BC,the cultural influences for arms and
armour would have evolved from the Assyrians/Babylonians,Egyptians,Celtic
mercernaries,Greeks(prior to the 'classical' era yet to come of Sparta
and Athens),etc.The most influential being the Assyrians.That influence would
entail fully shod feet,including knee high boots,pants, scale armour,leather
jerkins with metal plates,etc.This could include crested helms too.The style,by
the era of the Title of Liberty would reflect the heritage of 600 BC,but would
be distinct to the Nephites through their own inovations.The Book of Mormon is
very specific that the Nephite armies were well clothed,armoured and armed which
includes the Striplings.By observing the cultural influences of 600BC, we can
make historically 'feasible' portrayals of what the Nephite armies may
have looked like by the Title of Liberty era.Without actual relics to study for
historical 'accuracy',that's my formula as an artist of this era,
for good or ill!
I now know where I will be on that day. my only regret is that my sons are too
old and my grandsons too young (and live in the wrong place)to join
Helaman's Army. How about this become a tradition like the flags that
started at Sandy city hall have.
Suggestion: Your site is a great source of information about awesome events like
this one and sometimes great places to go. It would be great if there were a
footer or sidebar with a link to more information, a map, the date and time, and
cost to attend where applicable. A small newspaper in Portland did this and
became an indispensable item for weekend planning. Thanks for all you do!
Awesome story! Wish I could be there it see it!
This sounds like a wonderful event!Something to think about.Helaman never refers
to the Striplings as 'warriors',but as 'soldiers',for good
reason.In a nut shell,a'warrior' is one who fights for his own
personal glory,a 'soldier' fights for a higher cause other than his
own;as one who is part of a cohesive unit.Helaman displays great pride in how
these disciplined young men reacted to and obeyed orders as they fell into lines
of battle,acting as one.This,coupled with their total faith in God,was their
unbeatable strength in battle.These young men were true 'Soldiers' of
God in thought and deed.We,as Church members,can learn a lot from these
magificently trained(spiritually and militarily)young men.
I have always loved the story of the 2000 Stripling Warriors! However,can
someone explain why they are always pictured wearing GREEK OR ROMAN looking