47 Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.
The people of Ammon had made a solemn oath never to use a weapon against another human being. When they saw the sacrifices the Nephite army was making to defend them, they considered breaking their oath. Their spiritual leader, Helaman, persuaded them not to. But they had many sons who had not made the same oath, and those young men asked Helaman to lead them into battle.
In the passage above, Helaman describes the courage of these young warriors. After being pursued for several days by a large Lamanite army, they found themselves in a quandary. In the middle of the morning, the Lamanite army inexplicably stopped. Helaman and his army couldn’t tell what was happening. It was possible that the Lamanites had stopped because another Nephite army, led by Antipus, had overtaken them. But it was also possible that this was a trap, to trick Helaman into attacking an army much larger than his own.
As he relates above, his young men “did not fear death.” Why not? Because “they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives.” This is an affirmation of their priorities, but it is also an observation about how they spent their time. They didn’t waste a lot of energy worrying about their survival. Instead, they were focused on accomplishing their mission–preserving freedom for their families–and they didn’t have time to worry about lesser things.
Today, I will focus my thoughts on my highest priorities and will avoid wasting precious time and energy worrying about less important matters. I will seek to achieve goals of eternal value, and I will avoid being distracted by less important priorities.