“Take Upon You My Whole Armor”
Taught By Jeff Stone
December 13, 2009
- “Sexual Purity” (pages 26–28)
- “Dress and Appearance” (pages 14–16)
- “Entertainment and the Media” (pages 17–19)
- “Music and Dancing” (pages 20–21)
- “Honesty” (page 31)
- “Language” (pages 22–23)
This week we discuss three major topics where the adversary seems to like to attack us:
In many scriptures (D&C 3:8; Ephesians 6:16; 1 Nephi 15:24; D&C 27:17), the temptations of Satan are referred to as “Fiery Darts.” This lesson discusses how we can protect ourselves from these fiery darts. The video below is an excellent metaphor to help teach this concept.
You can watch it below or you can stream it directly from the church’s website:
As depicted in the video, we must protect ourselves using the Whole Armor of God. As stated in D&C 27:15–18, the Armor of God consists of:
- Loins girt about with truth
- Breastplate of righteousness
- Feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace
- Shield of Faith
- Helmet of salvation
- Sword of God’s Spirit and His words through revelation
Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve warned that Satan “seeks to find any chink in the armor of each person. He knows our weaknesses and knows how to exploit them if we allow him to do so. We can defend ourselves against his attacks and deceptions only by understanding the commandments and by fortifying ourselves each day through praying, studying the scriptures, and following the counsel of the Lord’s anointed” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1988, 44; or Ensign, Nov. 1988, 35).
I figured that the best way to give the message for this lesson is to read it directly from the words of the prophets, so here are some great quotes that give us direction on how to wear this armor:
Live The Law of Chastity
The First Presidency stated: “The Lord’s law of moral conduct is abstinence outside of lawful marriage and fidelity within marriage. Sexual relations are proper only between husband and wife appropriately expressed within the bonds of marriage. Any other sexual contact, including fornication, adultery, and homosexual and lesbian behavior, is sinful” (First Presidency letter, 14 Nov. 1991).
Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve taught: “Any sexual intimacy outside of the bonds of marriage—I mean any intentional contact with the sacred, private parts of another’s body, with or without clothing—is a sin and is forbidden by God. It is also a transgression to intentionally stimulate these emotions within your own body” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1994, 51; or Ensign, Nov. 1994, 38).
Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin taught: “One of the most pervasive deceptions in recent years is the notion that immorality is normal and acceptable and has no negative consequences. In truth, immorality is the underlying cause of much suffering and many other problems that are prevalent today, including rampant disease, abortion, broken families, families without fathers, and mothers who themselves are children” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1994, 100; or Ensign, Nov. 1994, 76).
President Gordon B. Hinckley warned: “You must not fool around with the Internet to find pornographic material. You must not dial a long-distance telephone number to listen to filth. You must not rent videos with pornography of any kind. This salacious stuff simply is not for you. Stay away from pornography as you would avoid a serious disease. It is destructive. It can become habitual, and those who indulge in it get so they cannot leave it alone. It is addictive” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1998, 66–67; or Ensign, May 1998, 49).
Elder Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve counseled us to evict unworthy thoughts from our minds by putting “something edifying in their place” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1977, 90; or Ensign, Nov. 1977, 60). Discuss how to follow this counsel. Suggestions include praying for strength, singing a favorite hymn or reciting a favorite scripture in our minds, or thinking about our love for family members.
President James E. Faust taught: “Honesty is more than not lying. It is truth telling, truth speaking, truth living, and truth loving” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1996, 57; or Ensign, Nov. 1996, 41).
Use Language That Reverences God and is Edifying
President Hinckley said: “Don’t swear. Don’t profane. Avoid so-called dirty jokes. Stay away from conversation that is sprinkled with foul and filthy words. You will be happier if you do so, and your example will give strength to others” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1987, 59; or Ensign, Nov. 1987, 48).
Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve said, “Profanity and vulgarity … are sins that separate us from God and cripple our spiritual defenses by causing the Holy Ghost to withdraw from us” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1986, 69; or Ensign, May 1986, 52).
Keep in mind that The Whole Armor of God includes both defense and offense strategies. While serving in the Quorum of the Twelve, Elder Harold B. Lee explained that the armor of God includes not only defensive protections but also weapons that we can actively wield:
“[The] armoured man hold[s] in his hand a shield and in his other hand a sword . . . That shield was the shield of faith and the sword was the sword of the spirit which is the Word of God. I can’t think of any more powerful weapons than faith and a knowledge of the scriptures in … which are contained the Word of God. One so armoured and one so prepared with those weapons is prepared to go out against the enemy” (“Feet Shod with the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace,” Brigham Young University Speeches of the Year [9 Nov. 1954], 7).