Monday, December 1, 2008

WHO IS A WARRIOR?

For many the word “warrior” conjures up diverse images: Vikings, knights, soldiers, and even stripling young men too young to see battle, but willing to serve. A little over a week ago my editor sent me the cover of my book, The Forgotten Warrior.

After reading the title and gazing at the hand holding the sword you immediately think of a warrior, but do you know if that hand belongs to a male or female? Is that person young or old? Could that person be you or me?

Just who is a warrior?

Warriors have long been thought of as male with good reason. Men have fought in many wars around the world during different eras. The Viking warriors left their homes in search of food. Many believed they plundered, but what is plundering for some is survival for others.


The brave knights who fought during medieval times and were asked to protect the weak, defenseless, helpless, and fight for the general welfare of all must have found it hard to live up to such a standard, but most did.


Our military today strives for similar ideals. They leave home and family to travel halfway around the world to serve their country. Not many can claim such devotion.

Another group, who were just as devoted, lived long ago in Book of Mormon times.



Gallant aspirations were also those of Helaman’s stripling warriors. Because their fathers had made a covenant with God to never kill again, these boys─who had never fought─stepped up to fight in their place. The stripling warriors honored and respected their families, their country and their God. These brave young men went to war to protect, defend, and help their people.

Have you noticed when talking about warriors familiar words pop up? Family, survival, protect, defend, and fight are but a few words that continue to come to mind. Are these words gender based? Could a warrior be not only male, but also female?

In modern times it has not been unusual to hear of women on the frontlines. But did you know that during WWI hundreds of women volunteered to fight for the Russian military? They were known as the Russian Legion of Death.

Their leader was Colonial Maria Yashka Botchkareva. These women saw battle in 1917 during the Kerensky Offensive. Though fifty of them were killed, they forced the Germans to retreat, took over a hundred prisoners and remained on the front lines. Botchkareva was wounded three times during her service in the war and became known as the Russian Joan of Arc.

Speaking of Joan of Arc…during her short life of nineteen years she rose from being a peasant girl to leading the French army during the Hundred Year War. Burned at the stake by the British, she was later declared a martyr and canonized.

As you can see from history and from our modern times the word “warrior” is not necessarily gender or age based. When you look at the cover of my book, I hope you continue to wonder if the hand is that of a male or female. I’m not going to tell, but know this─it is definitely the hand of a warrior.

Does the word warrior apply to you or me?

Of course!

In someone’s life you are a warrior…a hero. Someone looks up to you whether you have fought in actual battle, have championed a cause you believe in, or have shown great faith in family, country or God. You are someone’s hero…someone’s warrior!

Who is a warrior? Tell me who you think is a warrior.

3 comments:

  1. Impressive work. To answer the question: Who is a warrior? I would have to answer, a grandparent, a father, a mother - all who fight against the adversary for the safety and protection of their children and grandchildren.

    A warrior is one whose courage and faith goes beyond that of the common man or woman, whose heart is tender yet strong, and whose life is lived without thought to self.

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  2. I visited my uncle in the hospital and found him, as usual, telling jokes, making attendants and nurses smile.

    He and I chatted for a while, and I finally left to drive
    a long way home. I walked down the hall, then remembered
    something I'd meant to tell him. When I returned unnoticed
    to my uncle's room, the unguarded expression on his face
    told me he was in great pain. He'd gone to such lengths to
    avoid having me--and others, I later discovered--know of
    his suffering, that I backed out before he saw me. My
    uncle has been gone many years, but I remember the visit
    and the laughter, and his quiet battle to prevent his
    suffering from causing anguish to others.

    While I admire grand acts of valor--invaluable for inspiring courage--small moments of unsung heroism say something magnificent about people, don't they?

    Looking forward to seeing this great novel on bookstore shelves!

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  3. I agree with you, anyone can be a warrior. In this day and age it seems that we are all fighting against the evils that are all around us. We might not carry swords, or guns, but we all have to be on guard and ready to fight for our children. Today it might be how we vote, or what our school teachers are teaching--tomorrow who knows???

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