Approximately 100-57 B.C.
Helaman was a son of Alma, the son of Alma, and served the Nephites as a prophet and military commander. His military career is best known for his service at the head of 2060 sons of Ammonite converts to the Church, known as the sons of Helaman or Helaman’s stripling soldiers. He also served as the chief priest of the Church.
Preparation and Calling
When Helaman was a young man, he stayed behind while his father and brothers served a mission to the Zoramites. During this time, he managed many of his father’s domestic and ecclesiastical affairs, including keeping the sacred records.
Interaction with God
We have no record of visions or personal conversations with Deity or even angelic visitations. However, Helaman was a man of great faith and devotion to a God whom he committed his entire life to.
Helaman strove to maintain the Church at a time when the Nephites were being engaged in a lengthy war by the Lamanites. He administered the affairs of the Church, and when it became more important to defend his people militarily, he went to war at the head of a band of 2060 untried young men. Following the war, he returned home and lived out the rest of his life convincing the wicked of the need to repent and otherwise leading the Church once again.
“Helaman . . . went forth, and did declare the word of God with much power unto the convincing of many people of their wickedness, which did cause them to repent of their sins and to be baptized unto the Lord their God” (Alma 62:45).
Living with the Prophet
When Helaman was a young man, a group of Lamanites named the Ammonites repented of their wicked ways and joined the Church. They made an oath to never take a human life again for any reason. Later, however, when war with the Lamanites broke out, they were tempted to break their oath rather than allow the Nephites to lay down their lives in their defense. Helaman and some others convinced them to keep their oath. Instead, Helaman led a number of their young men who had not made that covenant into war. Miraculously, not one of them was killed despite their many battles, which they contributed to their mothers having trained them in faith. Helaman exemplified showing faith in times of extreme difficulty. Consider how you might display your faith in God by taking on a challenging task. Discuss your thoughts with a spiritual leader or family member, and share with them your commitment. Then do it.
Encyclopedia of Mormonism, vol. 1, s.v. “Helaman.”
Book of Mormon, Reader’s Edition, ed. Grant Hardy.