"If it's causing you more stress than it's worth... it's not worth it." - Yellow
Question #23176 posted on 02/20/2006 3:01 a.m.

Are the Stripling Warriors black?

Fentro Penonosh Khenta

A: Dear Fentro Penonosh Khenta,

You use the present tense of the verb in your question which leaves me wondering what you are actually asking. Are you referring to some current group or organization that goes by the name Stripling Warriors? The fact that you capitalized the words leads me to believe you are referring to some official group. If this is the case, I have no idea what group you are talking about and am unable to help you. In the future, please include more detail in your question.

If you were simply mistaken in tense and capitalization and are referring to the account of the 2000 stripling sons of Helaman, then let me do my best to answer your question.

Of course there can be no definitive answer by anyone who did not witness them first hand or received divine revelation on the matter. I am unable to find any statements made by church general authorities that were acting in an official capacity concerning the actual skin color of these young men and any first hand observers have long since passed. So, that leaves us with speculation.

Let us first look at the scriptural account of the Lord marking the Lamanites. In 2 Nephi 5:21, the last phrase of the verse says, "the Lord did cause a skin of blackness to come upon [the Lamanites]." The 2000 sons of Helaman were the children of the people of Ammon, who were Lamanite converts that took on the name Anti-Nephi-Lehies. Therefore, logically, the sons of Helaman did have a skin of blackness.

However, in Alma 23:18, in refernce to the Anti-Nephi-Lehies, it says,
"And they began to be a very industrious people; yea, and they were friendly with the Nephites; therefore, they did open a correspondence with them, and the curse of God did no more follow them."
While this does not specifically address the color of their skin, a similar passage in 3 Nephi does. 3 Nephi 2:14-15
14 And it came to pass that those Lamanites who had united with the Nephites were numbered among the Nephites;
15 And their curse was taken from them, and their skin became white like unto the Nephites;
It does not seem to me that in two situations of similar circumstance that the mark of dark skin would only be removed in one case and not the other. Therefore, it is reasonable to believe that the darker pigmentation of the skin had been lifted and that they appeared similar to the Nephites.

As I said at the start of this response, this is all speculation. By descent, they would have had dark skin but it is possible that it was removed.

-Pa Grape