Seldom in the annals of history has there been such an inspiring example of unwavering faith in God as was exhibited by the valiant young sons of the Ammonites. These two thousand and sixty young men were a ®Great support® to their country's defense. Though they had never fought, the scriptures tell us ®they were exceedingly valiant for courage . . . . . and true at all times in whatsoever thing they were instructed. They were men of truth and soberness, for they had been taught to keep the commandments of God, and to walk up rightly before God.® (Alma 53:20-21) Their mothers had especially influenced their faith. Their commanding officer, Helaman, called them his ®sons,® ®for they are worthy to be called sons,® he said. (Alma 56:10) They called him ®father®, such was the love and respect they had for him.
This scene depicts the moment when Helaman (shown on his horse) learns from a subordinate officer that all two thousand and sixty of his beloved sons have survived a terrible battle in which everyone of them have ®received many wounds.® This was the second time this had occurred, though many other soldiers in the army had perished, this ®little band® under Helaman's leadership, lost not a single man. Speaking of this unbelievable occurrence, Helaman states, ®two hundred out of my two thousand and sixty had fainted because of the loss of blood; nevertheless, according to the goodness of God and to our great astonishment, and also the joy of the whole army, there was not one soul of them who did perish.
®And now, their preservation was astonishing to our whole army, yea that they would be spared while there was a thousand of our brethren who were slain, and we do justly ascribe it to the miraculous power of God, because of their exceeding faith in that which they had been taught to believe - that there was a just God, and whosoever did not doubt, they should be preserved by His marvelous power. Now this was the faith of these of whom I have spoken. They are young and their minds are firm and they do put their trust in God continually.® (Alma 57:25-27) Helaman had also stated in his epistle to his commanding general, Moroni, that ®as the remainder of our army were about to give way before the Lamanites, behold those two thousand and sixty were firm and undaunted. Yea, they did obey and observe to perform every word of command with exactness; yea and even according to their faith it was done unto them; and I did remember the words which they said unto me that their mothers had taught them.® (Alma 57:20-21)
It is my hope that in painting this poignant scene from the Book of Mormon, it will enable us to stand with them in their ranks, to absorb their marvelous spirit, that we many be one with them, and they with us, ®all present and accounted for® in the final battle against the forces of Satan in these last days. - Clark Kelly Price