Episode 52: Alma 53-56

December 1, 2014


Click to Listen: Episode 52: Alma 53-56

If you thought the 300 Spartans were awesome soldiers, just wait until you hear about the 2,000 Ammonite boys! They know how to take care of business.

“Drink” Count – 70

Almost 12 beers!!


Don’t forget to check out Unbuckling the Bible Belt Podcast

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9 Comments on “Episode 52: Alma 53-56”

  1. Duke of Earl Grey Says:

    Time once again for everyone’s favorite Book of Mormon illustrator, Arnold Friberg, as he depicts the army of Helaman:

    Blah, blah, so iconic, blah, blah. You’ve heard this before. But this story is perhaps the most relevant for the young people in the church, particularly missionaries looking for scriptural role models, and because missionaries are in the middle of what they view to be a spiritual life-and-death struggle against Satan for the very souls of the people, they especially love this kind of martial imagery. Here’s how Mormon missionaries (the insufferable ones, anyway) see themselves:

    Apparently, even though the Book of Mormon refers to these soldiers as “stripling”, meaning a boy or young man, everyone seems to be mentally reading the word as “strapping”, probably thanks to Friberg and his penchant for muscular men. Here’s an homage that was popular on T-shirts for a time:


    And if you’re an LDS young man living in the city of Bountiful, Utah (named after the land Bountiful in the Book of Mormon, as you may have guessed), where the separation between church and state is as thin as fine gossamer, you may be lucky enough to enter the parade as one of the Stripling Warriors:

    And if you’re a girl, why do YOU want to be in the parade, anyway?


  2. Bishop Lucy Says:

    And here we have the chapter that is read every Mother’s Day. Because what makes you feel better as a woman knowing that if you work really hard you too can send your children out to war.


  3. Roger Says:

    Hmm…. think I’ll add the the Mormon Culture lesson here started here.

    So as a kid of about 10 or so, I really wanted this T-Shirt:

    So the idea that the 2000 young men were, if not pro body-builders, very well toned athletes. I’m 31 now, left the church when I was 19, was was very surprised to hear John Larson say in a podcast just this past month, “We have an entire generation of people who think that stripling is a synonym for burly.” I, of course, did a double take when I heard that, because I had associated stripling with the mental components of strength like “fortitude” and “resilience”…

    1. a youth.

    Anyways, this gives me the oportunity to share another great childrens song, “To bring the world his truth (The Army of Helamen)” It’s best experienced in its medley with the Young Women’s Theme, traditionally sung near the conclusion of EFY. EFY, or Especially for Youth” is a syndicated program where 16-18 year old mormons get to spend a week long getaway full of lectures, structured fun activities, and dances. Anyways, this is a particularly moving piece of music, which is pretty much guaranteed to prompt feelings of “the holy spirit” while singing.

    Also, this is one of the first places I noticed the misogyny of the church. In the church you cannot escape the Priesthood/Women dichotomy, but the church works very hard to establish that men and women are just different, so they have separate but equal roles. However, I couldn’t help but notice that in order to make this work, the girls had to put in a lot more work. Army of Helamen is ubiquitous in the culture. Every child sings it on a regular basis, and while it’s not in the standard hymnal, you will hear it sung more often than the less popular tunes in the hymnal. The Young Women’s Theme, however, exists only in the space that is 12-18 year old girls and women instructing them. At 16 I was a little irritated at the injustice of girls having to spend time learning this song, but the guys just got off singing something we got out of cultural inheritance.


  4. Tina Says:

    And for anyone who’d like to hear the non-medley version of “We’ll Bring the World His Truth (Army of Helaman)” as sung by most young children in the children’s Primary program, just check song #172 (and uncheck the others). Then hit the “play” button.

    Here are the lyrics:
    1. We have been born, as Nephi of old,
    To goodly parents who love the Lord.
    We have been taught, and we understand,
    That we must do as the Lord commands.

    2. We have been saved for these latter days
    To build the kingdom in righteous ways.
    We hear the words our prophet declares:
    “Let each who’s worthy go forth and share.”

    3. We know his plan, and we will prepare,
    Increase our knowledge through study and prayer.
    Daily we’ll learn until we are called
    To take the gospel to all the world.

    We are as the army of Helaman.
    We have been taught in our youth.
    And we will be the Lord’s missionaries
    To bring the world his truth.


  5. ohokyeah Says:

    David! I think I just found maybe another funny game! I was thinking it would be cool if you had spliced in the text of the Book of Mormon on YouTube so people could “read along” but then I remembered “Hey, I can just use closed captioning!” When you put on closed captioning, it got even more hilarious. Go to 14:53 for this episode as an example of the amusement, and put on closed captioning before you hit play… and wait for it. If that isn’t ironic, I don’t know what is.


  6. J. Reuben Clerk Says:

    Use of the phrase “sally forth” is the same as the use of “adieu” in Jacob 7:27. (See my comment in episode 18.) If someone believes Joseph Smith is translating, they’ll believe Joseph was aware of both “sally forth” and “adieu,” and he translated the reformed Egyptian into phrases with which he was familiar. I agree with David that it sounds funny to have the language of Joseph Smith’s time written into the Book of Mormon. What’s funnier is when the technology of Joseph Smith’s time (steel, horses, wheat) appear in the book.


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