Armed with Righteousness
Would you be surprised to learn that President Monson uttered those words 50 years ago? If we were encamped against an unprecedented array of wickedness back then, how much more so does evil threaten us today? For good reason, the Lord has proclaimed of our dispensation, “Behold, the enemy is combined” (D&C 38:12).
The war in which “we are all enlisted”2 began before we were born on earth. It began even before the earth was created. It began many millennia ago in the premortal realm, where Satan rebelled and “sought to destroy the agency of man” (Moses 4:3).
Satan lost that battle and “was cast out into the earth” (Revelation 12:9), where he continues his war today. Here on earth “he maketh war with the saints of God, and encompasseth them round about” (D&C 76:29) with lies, deception, and temptations.
He wars against the prophets and apostles. He wars against the law of chastity and the sanctity of marriage. He wars against the family and the temple. He wars against what is good, holy, and sacred.
How do we battle such a foe? How do we fight against the evil that appears to be engulfing our world? What is our armor? Who are our allies?
The Power of the Lamb
Seeing our day, Nephi “beheld the power of the Lamb of God, that it descended upon the saints of the church of the Lamb, and upon the covenant people of the Lord, who were scattered upon all the face of the earth; and they were armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory” (1 Nephi 14:14; emphasis added).
How do we arm ourselves with righteousness and power? We keep the Sabbath day holy and honor the priesthood. We make and keep sacred covenants, work on our family history, and attend the temple. We strive continuously to repent and plead with the Lord to “apply the atoning blood of Christ that we may receive forgiveness of our sins” (Mosiah 4:2). We pray and serve and testify and exercise faith in Jesus Christ.
We also arm ourselves with righteousness and power as we “treasure up in [our] minds continually the words of life” (D&C 84:85). We treasure up those words by immersing ourselves in the holy scriptures and in the words of the Lord’s chosen servants, who will share His will, mind, and voice (see D&C 68:4) during next month’s general conference.
In our battle against evil, we must always remember that we have help from both sides of the veil. Our allies include God the Eternal Father, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost.
Our allies also include the unseen armies of heaven. “Fear not,” Elisha told a fearful young man as they faced an army of evil, “for they that be with us are more than they that be with them” (see 2 Kings 6:15–16).
We need not fear. God loves His Saints. He will never abandon us.
I know that God, in answer to prayer, has fulfilled my petitions to deliver me from evil. I testify that with the help of God the Father, the Savior of the world, and the Holy Ghost, we can be assured that we will be given more than enough power to withstand whatever evil forces we face.
May we always be armed with righteousness so that we can have confidence in the ultimate victory.
Teaching from This Message
President Eyring reminds us we are waging a war against evil. You could begin by singing “We Are All Enlisted” (Hymns, no. 250) with those you teach. Then you might invite them to share how they’ve been protected through righteousness and brainstorm ways to protect their family against Satan, such as choosing wholesome media, holding family councils, or having weekly family home evening. You might challenge them to prayerfully ponder how to build up their family’s fortifications and encourage them to create a plan to implement their ideas.
I Had Already Decided
The author lives in Utah, USA.
I once received a valuable lesson in a Young Women class on sexual purity—a topic that made a lot of the youth squirm in their seats. I don’t remember everything I learned that day, but I do remember my leader talking about one of her personal standards—to always remain sexually pure. Her words stayed with me, and I then made the conscious decision to adopt it as one of my own personal values.
One day as I was riding home on a bus from a sporting event, someone on the bus started a game of truth or dare. Bored, some of the other kids and I joined in. When it came to my turn, I was dared to do something that I knew wasn’t right. This could’ve been a hard decision for me to make, but the words of my Young Women leader came to my head, and the choice was easy. I quickly declined. I had already made up my mind on what I would do in that situation.
I know that when we go to church and make room for the things we are taught there, we will be blessed with greater spiritual strength and protection from the temptations of the world.
Put On Your Armor
There are a lot of bad things in the world today. The gospel is like a shield that protects us. Here are 10 things President Eyring tells us to do to protect ourselves. For each one, find the number on the picture and draw a line between the dots. Color it in when you’re done!
Keep the Sabbath day holy
Honor the priesthood
Make and keep covenants
Work on family history
Go to the temple
Share your testimony
Read the scriptures