About 40 years before the birth of Christ, apostate Christians in the Americas had succeeded in gathering armies to their cause and had sent them to subjugate or destroy the Christian nations in their midst. Among the peoples who championed the cause of the Christians was a people who had recently converted to Christianity. And, having previously been a very bloodthirsty people, they covenanted never again to take up their weapons of war; however, as the war of extermination against the Christians intensified and threatened to overwhelm the faithful (who were battling to defend even those who had covenanted never to fight again), those converts decided to break their oath for the purpose of rescuing their defenders. At this crucial juncture, however, the prophet-leader of all these peoples persuaded them not to break their oath lest it become their undoing. At this, the sons of those converts stepped forward to defend their families and their brethren.
This army of youths marched to the aid of the beleaguered Christians. The following statement is excerpted from the account of their attitude at the time of their first engagement. The account was written by the commander of these warrior youths. Moroni was the name of the commanding general of the Christian armies:
And now I say unto you, my beloved brother Moroni, that never had I seen so great courage, nay, not amongst all the Nephites. For as I had ever called them my sons (for they were all of them very young) even so they said unto me: Father, behold our God is with us, and he will not suffer that we should fall; then let us go forth; we would not slay our brethren if they would let us alone; therefore let us go, lest they should overpower the army of Antipus. 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. And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying: We do not doubt our mothers knew it.
Symbolism in Our Mothers Knew It
The figure in the painting is alone in a darkened turmoil of color against opposing hues. Few circumstances in this world present more loneliness or helplessness than a mother's prayers for loved one gone away to war.
The message of this painting is that a woman's influence -- whether she is a child, an unmarried daughter of God, a childless wife, a mother, or a widow -- is the same today as it was then,being powerful enough to establish the faith and courage and, ultimately, the deliverance of her loved ones.