Emily Belle Freeman
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THIS IS MY JOY

AND MY GREAT REJOICING

They Were All Young Men

 Alma 52:38 - Alma 56:13

Yesterday I spent the afternoon and evening with these six boys.

OK...men.

But they will always be boys to me.

Halfway through the day I leaned over to my husband and said, "How did they become such good boys?  And how did they stay such good friends?"

Of course much is attributed to great parents and many church leaders who have been there over the years.

But, all of that being said, none of my other children have a group of friends quite like this one has been.

––Hence the question I asked my husband...how did that happen?

"I don't know,"my husband replied, "but I think some of it has to do with Coach Corbett."

Immediately my mind went back eight years ago to when those same boys spent a good part of every day in sweaty jerseys practicing soccer with Coach Corbett...

He was a man who taught loyalty...diligence...responsibility.

Sure, he taught soccer, but the boys learned a lot more than a sport during their time with him ––and what they learned somehow made its way into their life.

His coaching affected their loyalty, diligence, and honesty to the team and on the field, but that knowledge also became a part of who they were in their religion, their schooling, and their friendships.

Later that evening Coach Corbett walked into the room.  We haven't seen him for over two years.  I watched as all of those boys immediately gathered to his side.

 ...And I realized my husband was right.

The Coach is a man who had a profound influence on their life.

Today I read about the stripling warriors, "and they were all young men, and they were exceedingly valiant for truth, and also for strength and activity. But behold, this is not all, they were men who were true at all times in whatsoever thing they were entrusted." (Alma 53:20)

Often when we talk about these warriors we talk of their mothers, but how often do we talk about their leader.

Helaman.

How impactful was his influence on their life?  And what was the background that prepared him for that moment?

I couldn't help but notice scriptures such as these:

Alma 36:3, Alma 37:16 & 35-37

It will be our privilege to learn more about this great leader over the next few days.   Maybe this time as you read the story of the Stripling Warriors you might watch for the characteristics of a great leader as defined by the life of Helaman.

Let's learn from his story.

Then maybe we could try to add some of those characteristics into our own life.

A man who had a powerful influence.

A great leader.

Helaman.

Emily Freeman