Take a look at these guys. They’re HUGE! No wonder no-one died. How could you possibly defeat men like this?
But here’s the problem: this painting would seem to ascribe the Stripling Warriors’ success to testosterone. The scriptures tell another story. Helaman calls them his "little sons" and says that they were all "very young" (Alma 56:39;46). Their strength came not from their muscles but from the "strength of God" (Alma 56:56). Imagine then, if you can, 2000 near-children willing to fight for liberty. For me, that image is even more telling than that painted by Friberg.
Now, this is not some iconoclastic Friberg-bash. I like his paintings, and commissioned as they were for Primary, I think they give kids (read: boys) some Mormons superheroes to look up to. (Even today’s Star Wars figures are buff–Luke Skywalker was never buff!) Nor would I claim that in this case it really matters a great deal. But it’s worth noting how influenced we are by images (especially when they’re semi-canonical like Friberg’s).
A few years ago there was a great BYU Studies about pictures of Jesus in LDS art. One artist explained that in his mind’s eye God the Father looked like a "young man." But if he were to paint a picture of the Father (the doing of which, for some reason, I find a little strange), it would have to be in line with what has become the standard image (old, bearded). This is a shame, IMO, but shows how iconic images are so hard to give up, becoming almost gospel. We do well to remember that they are not always "true." Contra Friberg, I’m not sure the Stripling Warriors were junior Goliaths. I also doubt Adam was a WASM, but that’s another story.