Alma the younger had several sons, one of whom, Helaman would eventually lead the people. Helaman’s life seems fairly well put-together. As far as we know, he was pretty obedient and sincerely desired to seek goodness. I find it interesting that Alma chooses, of his 3 sons, to give Helaman the most detailed description of the moments of the visit with that angel and his subsequent understanding and conversion. It’s almost as if he’s telling him, “I am grateful you haven’t experienced a need quite as intense as mine, but please understand what the Savior is really offering each of us. See His mercy and love and know how remarkably I have changed as a result of my encounter with the grace of Jesus Christ. Share that.”
Helaman would have a son named Helaman Jr. who would courageously struggle though some ugly years with a people who were giving up their belief in the Savior. Helman the younger spent his life seeking to remind the people and trying to teach his children about Him. This Helaman’s sons, Nephi and Lehi lived amidst a people who had deteriorated to the point that they refused or struggled to identify and choose goodness. The world they lived in was characterized by fear, violence and, at times, overwhelming evil. As they fought to draw near to Christ in the midst of such a contrary environment, they looked to the teachings of their father. In my daily struggles as well as my darkest and hardest moments, I can relate to the sincere need for these words Helaman wisely imparted to them:
And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock on which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall. (Helaman 5:12).
He says cannot. Cannot fall. As in, no matter how slipshod our structures may seem to us, no matter how long it takes us to build them or how massive the storm that assaults them, if they are on that rock, they will not fall. Do you believe that? I have found myself, at times, desperately clinging to those words with every trace of strength I can muster. The hope that promise offers is very real.