Stripling Warriors in the Spanish Fork July 24th parade

My son John and several grandsons participated in the Spanish Fork Parade this year in a moving and powerful way. They marched with over 2,000 other young men between the ages of 11 and 24 who have promised to keep the commandments of God.
These young men were dressed and patterned after the army of Helaman in the Book Of Mormon . . . Another Testament of Jesus Christ where they are described as "exceedingly valiant for courage, and also for strength and activity; but behold, this was not all . . . they were men of truth and soberness, for they had been taught to keep the commandments of God and to walk uprightly before him".

In a world where most young men are experimenting with dangerous and destructive choices that lead to broken lives and families . . . these young men are standing strong in their desire to serve God, their families and their fellowmen.

I was standing on the parade route at the bottom of a hill when I heard the loud steady beat of their wooden staves beating against the pavement. Then I glanced up the road. At the breast of the hill I saw a massive group of young men marching toward me.

They were led a man on a horse who represented Captain Moroni who led the stripling warriors in the Book of Mormon.

As they drew near to where I stood, they all stopped and yelled with conviction, "We do not doubt!"

Then I heard them singing:

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.

We have been saved for these latter day to build the kingdom in righteous ways.
We hear the words our prophet declares: "Let each who is worthy go forth and share."

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

Then the song changed to:

Called to serve Him, heavenly King of glory
Chosen e'er to witness for his name,
Far and side we tell the Father's story,
Far and wide his love proclaim.

Called to know the richness of his blessing
Sons and daughters children of a king
Glad of heart his holy name confessing,
Praises unto him we bring.

Onward, ever onward, as we glory in his name
Onward, ever onward, as we glory in his name;
Forward, pressing forward as a triumph song we sing.
God our strength will be press forward ever called to serve our King.

In these young men I saw great power . . . the power that comes with personal honor, respect and high ideals. I saw the future of my neighborhood, community and country. I salute our young men and women who choose a life of work, sacrifice and service over a life of self-gratification and indulgence when so many of their elders have lost their way.
Everyone around me was moved to tears.

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