Some years ago, I was taught by Elder David A. Bednar in a stake conference. It was one of the spiritual highlights of my life. Among other counsel, he invited us to study the war chapters in the book of Alma. But his invitation was not to study these events as past history, but as a prelude to coming events. From such chapters, many are familiar with the account of Helaman and his stripling warriors. We take courage from their remarkable success and miraculous protection during battles. But as we look closer at their story, their situation was not always so blessed. After the momentous, initial battle where all of their lives were spared, they faced a new task to capture the Lamanite city of Manti. Helaman knew his armies were insufficient to take the city by force. He requested help from other Nephite armies as fortification. Yet the troops did not come quickly. Months passed as Helaman waited for support, while his soldiers were weakened by periodic skirmishes with the Lamanites. On top of all that, their supplies were running short, so not only were they being constantly threatened by their enemies, they were also slowly starving to death.
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