Rachel and I are coming to the latter part of the Book of Mormon, but something we read a little while ago is sticking in my head. I've been thinking about why we were given the stories that Mormon felt was appropriate for our day and how they are applicable to my children and I. I've also been pondering on the "greatest rising generation" the opportunities, risks, accomplishments, and expectations of them. Jeffrey happened to be in the room when we were reading the latter part of Alma and for some reason the story about courageous Antipus and the determination he and his men had struck us as parents (leaders).
"I found Antipus and his men toiling with their might to fortify the city. Yea, and they were depressed in body as well as in spirit............they were determined to conquer in this place or die........."
These men were strong, experienced and had been doing their job well for a long time. They were holding a line - sometimes winning, sometimes losing against a greater force. So when an fresh bunch of young men came it must have made them smile and feel hopeful for the rising generation. I'm sure they felt the numbers were helpful but I'll bet they didn't consider them the same way they would seasoned men like themselves. They certainly saw them as a helpful decoy in a stratagem - but not as the solution. I wouldn't put my children out on the front line either.
"....we were desirous to bring a stratagem into effect upon them; therefore Antipus ordered that I should march forth with my little sons to a neighboring city, as if we were carrying provisions to a neighboring city......"
So they have sent the young men out and then crept up to the back of an enemy to do their job; and realized the boys may be in trouble, so they redouble their efforts.
"....now Antipus, beholding our danger, did speed the march of his army......"
We send our very young children to school and work and then find their life and souls may be in peril. So with a greater degree of effort, parents and teachers warn and teach - maybe make more rules.
So the next morning the enemy is still following them and - then they aren't. The adult in the group immediately thinks trap and asks what the boys think.
Now this is where it gets really interesting. They explain to their captain exactly why they are there doing what they are doing and why they will win. And with great courage they turn around - are the ones who win the day - they find Antipus and others who have given their lives in the effort. In fact since the leaders have fallen the boys are the ones who pick up the slack and actually win the day and cause the other adults to come back to the fight.
For the first part, I cry about Antipus and the fact that he gave his all for his country, friends, and the boys. He deserves to be remembered.
Considering the second part, I've had my children (usually after the fact) tell me about experiences where they have stood up for a principle or overcome peer pressure or have deflected the slings of slander for a friend. I am always amazed when I've never had a solution in the first place, and my children and friends children stand up and take the better part.
I may have been the Saturday's Warrior generation, but this rising generation is faster, more powerful, and we are only the ones raising the infants - they'll take over before they are adults. Do I have the courage Antipus showed in uneven odds?
There is the testimony of an apostle in our day to remind me again about the truthfulness of this great book. Watch the link here on Youtube.