Doctrine & Covenants/Church History
“Take upon You My Whole Armor”
Put on the whole armor of God.
Live the law of chastity.
Use language that reverences God and is edifying.
A study of this lesson will help us put on the full armor of God to protect
us in the battle against evil.
Scripture references for study:
Class Member Study Guide
Note: Underlined scripture references have been hyperlinked
to the LDS Scriptures at LDS.org and will open in a new window.
Lesson 43 Handout (PDF)
Put on the Whole Armor of God
MOSES 4:3 (see also
- WHAT EVENT IS DESCRIBED IN THESE VERSES?
- We often refer to this event as the War in Heaven. During this
pre-mortal meeting, Lucifer
rebelled against Heavenly Father and sought to invoke his own plan of
salvation, rather than that which had been designed by the Father.
- The above verse teaches that Satan "sought to destroy the
agency of man" in order to carry forward his own plan.
- WHY WAS THIS AGENCY SO IMPORTANT THAT HEAVENLY FATHER WAS WILLING TO
LOSE FOREVER A THIRD OF HIS CHILDREN?
- "And it must
needs be that the
devil should tempt
the children of men, or they could not be
themselves; for if they never should have
could not know the sweet" (D&C
- I think we find a key in this verse. If we do not have our
agency, and the consequences (positive and negative) that follow, we cannot know the
sweetness of eternal existence enjoyed by Heavenly Father. If we
followed Lucifer's plan, we could not become like Heavenly Father as we
would not have exercised the effort, which is often difficult, to become
- We may desire to become a good, even great pianist. But
how can we reach that end if we do not go through the great
challenge of years of lessons and practice necessary to accomplish
competency? Or how can we become a great runner if we do not train
(which is often difficult) for many years?
- Satan offered us an empty promise on which he could not deliver.
We cannot become like Heavenly Father and obtain his kingdom without
effort and dealing with adversity, and that requires agency.
- Consider the words of Brigham Young: "The
volition of the creature is free; this is a law of their existence
and the Lord cannot violate his own law; were he to do that, he
would cease to be God. He has placed life and death before his
children, and it is for them to choose. If they choose life, they
receive the blessing of life; if they choose death, they must abide
the penalty. This is a law which has always existed from all
eternity, and will continue to exist throughout all the eternities
to come. Every intelligent being must have the power of choice, and
God brings forth the results of the acts of his creatures to promote
his Kingdom and subserve his purposes in the salvation and
exaltation of his children." (Discourses of Brigham
When Lucifer was cast out of heaven "he
became Satan, yea, even the devil, the father of all lies, to deceive
and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as
would not hearken unto" the voice of the Lord (Moses 4:4) and
"he maketh war with the saints of God, and
encompasseth them round about" (D&C 76:29).
- In our gospel teaching we often refer to the encounter between
Lucifer and Jesus Christ as the War in Heaven. I think we have
misnamed it. It should be called the Battle in Heaven, for this was
only the opening salvo in a war that stretches from the beginning of
time until this world is prepared to receive its celestial glory. As
noted in the above verses, the father of all lies is working at
leading men into captivity, even making war upon the saints of God.
- As Latter-day Saints we are caught up in this ongoing war. As
mortals upon this earth, we are on the front lines of the battle.
- Since my days in high school I have been a student of history. One
cannot study history without encountering the numerous wars that have
happened over the centuries. The victory goes to those nations
that are prepared for war, have the best offensive weapons, and have
the best defensive strategy.
- Recall Moroni's preparations for war after Amalakiah defected to
the Lamanites and began to stir them up to war:
"Yea, he had been strengthening the armies
of the Nephites, and erecting small forts, or places of resort;
throwing up banks of earth round about to enclose his armies, and
also building walls of stone to encircle them about, round about
their cities and the borders of their lands; yea, all round about
the land. And in their weakest fortifications he did place the
greater number of men; and thus he did fortify and strengthen the
land which was possessed by the Nephites." (Alma 48:8-9)
- When the Lamanites came down to battle they found
"to their uttermost astonishment, they
were prepared for them, in a manner which never had been known
among the children of Lehi" (Alma 49:8). As the
Lamanites finally went to battle "behold,
they were driven back from time to time, insomuch that they were
slain with an immense slaughter" and ultimately lost the
- We are engaged in an eternal war. As Moroni gave the Nephites
instructions to prepare for war and to defend their cities, the Lord
has given us instructions to prepare us to fight the eternal enemy. If
we heed those instructions, like the Nephites led by Moroni, we will
be successful in repelling the enemy and coming off victorious.
- However, as we continue to follow the history of the Nephites,
we find that the Lamanites came back for war time after time.
- Thus, it is in this eternal battle. We must remain eternally
vigilant, because the enemy of all righteousness is engaged in an
eternal war, not just a single battle.
- The Lord states, "take
upon you my whole armor, that ye may be able to withstand the evil day,
having done all, that ye may be able to stand" (v15).
- Successful armies do all they can to protect themselves from the
enemy. They shield themselves and their equipment with the heaviest armor
- In our battle against the eternal enemy, the Lord has told us to take
upon us his "whole armor." WHY?
- President Harold B. Lee: "We have the
four parts of the body that . . . [are] the most vulnerable to the
powers of darkness. The loins, typifying virtue, chastity. The heart,
typifying our conduct; our feet, our goals or objectives in life; and
finally, our head, our thoughts. . . ." (quoted in Latter-day
Prophets and the Doctrine and Covenants, 1:292)
- We need the "whole armor" to fully protect us from the enemy.
- WHAT ELEMENTS MAKE UP THE ARMOR OF GOD? WHAT IS THE VALUE OF EACH
- Loins girt about with truth.
- President Lee: "We should have our loins
girt about with truth. What is truth? Truth, the Lord said, is knowledge
of things as they are, things as they were, and things as they are to
come. [Sec. 93:24.] What is going to guide us along the path of proper
morals or proper choices? It will be the knowledge of truth. There must
be a standard by which we measure our conduct, else how shall we know
which is right? And how shall we know which is wrong? How do we know it
is wrong to steal? How do we know it is wrong to lie? How do we know it
is wrong to kill, unless we have a knowledge of the truth, that written
by the finger of God on tables of stone were the divine injunctions,
thou shalt not. 'Our loins shall be girt about with truth' the prophet
- Breastplate of righteousness.
- President Lee: "And the heart, what kind of
breastplate shall protect our conduct in life? We shall have over our
hearts a breastplate of righteousness. Well, having learned truth we
have a measure by which we can judge between right and wrong, and so our
conduct will always be gauged by that thing which we know to be true.
Our breastplate to cover our conduct shall be the breastplate of
righteousness." (Ibid., pp292-293)
- Feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.
- President Lee: "By what shall we protect
our feet, or by what shall we gauge our objectives or our goals in
life?. . .'Your feet shall be shod with the preparation of the gospel of
peace.' [Eph. 6:15.] Interesting? What is the gospel of peace? The whole
core and center of the gospel of peace was built around the person of
him who was cradled in the manger, of whom on that night the angels
sang, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, good will to
men.' Or to put it even more correctly, 'on earth peace to men of good
will.' Our feet should he shod with the preparation of the gospel of
peace to them of good will. . . .
"'Train a child in the way he shall go and when he is old
he will not depart from it' [Proverbs 22:6], the old adage said. . . .
How fortunate are you if in your childhood in the home of your father
and mother you were taught the doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ,
the Son of the living God, the meaning of baptism and what you gain by
the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. Fortunate is the
child who has been taught to pray and who has been given those steps to
take on through life. Feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of
peace!" (Ibid., p293)
- Shield of faith.
- Hoyt W. Brewster: "'Fiery darts' have reference to the burning
arrows used in ancient warfare. Arrows were dipped in pitch and lighted
before being shot from the archer's bow. Effective use of one's shield
was necessary in order to avoid being struck with such 'fiery darts.' In
similar fashion, the hosts of hell send forth their fiery darts of
wickedness, which can only be warded off through the effective use of
one's shield of faith." (Doctrine & Covenants Encyclopedia, p181)
- Hoyt W. Brewster: "In the war between good and evil, one must be
protected with the 'shield of faith' (D&C 27:17). An example of this
shield of faith might be illustrated in the following home memories of
Elder L. Tom Perry: 'We were dressed in our home each morning, not only
with hats and raincoats and boots to protect us from physical storm, but
even more carefully our parents dressed us each day in the armor of God.
As we would kneel in family prayer and listen to our father, a bearer of
the priesthood, pour out his soul to the Lord for the protection of his
family against the fiery darts of the wicked, one more layer was added
to our shield of faith. While our shield was being made strong, theirs
was always available, for they were available and we knew it.' (CR, Apr
"Thus, this spiritual shield is that protective armament that
becomes invincible through prayer, righteous obedience to all of God's
commandments, searching and pondering the scriptures, and doing all
within one's power to strengthen the power of faith." (Ibid., p518)
- Helmet of salvation.
- President Lee: "A helmet of salvation shall
guide our thinking all through our days. Well, as we think that through,
let me review them again for just a moment, to get the full significance.
Truth to safeguard our virtue; righteousness to keep our conduct right;
the preparation of the gospel of peace to guide our course and to set our
standards and aims in life; salvation, a return back to the presence of
the Lord, shall be the inhibiting promise and a motivating objective to
guide us on to the victory of life over death. That is what it means. . .
." (quoted in Latter-day
Prophets and the Doctrine and Covenants, 1:293)
- Sword of God’s Spirit and His word through revelation.
- Elder Francis M. Lyman: "By observance of the
laws of the Lord we are led in the straight and narrow way, and the Holy
Spirit alone can keep us there. We have power to so live that the Spirit
of the Lord may dwell with us. We cannot be Latter-day Saints without the
Spirit of the Lord; and should not try to live without it. Do not try to
speak without the Spirit of the Lord; do not try to build up the kingdom
of God without the direction of his Spirit. If we endeavor to do these
things by our own wisdom we will be sure to go astray and make mistakes.
It is the office and calling of the Spirit of the Lord to dwell with you
always; to be in your homes, with your families; in your neighborhoods,
and in your business affairs, on the Sabbath day and throughout the week,
and every day in the year, if you do right." (CR, April 1904,
- HOW HAVE YOU FELT PROTECTION AS YOU HAVE PUT ON THIS ARMOR?
- As we review the elements of the Lord's armor, one can sense the true
power that putting on the full armor can bring. Though not an armor that is
physically visible, like that of the soldier or warrior, nonetheless there
is great protection that comes from putting on this protective cover.
- As one arms oneself with the truth, as taught by in the scriptures and
the prophets, we receive guidance in making daily choices. We recently
enjoyed General Conference and heard powerful messages. If we "gird our
loins" with the power of that counsel, we will be protected in a world that
seems to be increasingly more challenging and difficult to navigate.
- WHAT MIGHT BE THE CONSEQUENCES OF WEARING ONLY PART OF THE LORD'S ARMOR
OR NEGLECTING TO WEAR IT FOR EVEN A BRIEF TIME?
- Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin 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." (CR, Oct 1988)
- The remainder of this lesson will focus on three areas in which Satan is
trying to exploit weaknesses in our armor today: chastity, honesty, and
Live the Law of Chastity
WHAT IS THE LAW OF CHASTITY?
Thou shalt not commit adultery.
- 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:
"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." (CR, Oct
- BASED ON THE ABOVE STATEMENTS, IS THERE ANY QUESTION AS TO WHAT
CONSTITUTES THE LAW OF CHASTITY?
We live in a world where the above commandments and counsel are taken
lightly or completely ignored. Movies, television, and other entertainment
lead one to believe that the law of chastity is old fashioned and not relevant
in a modern society.
- WHY IS THE LAW OF CHASTITY STILL RELEVANT IN THE MODERN WORLD?
- Without question, the number one reason is because the Lord has spoken
through his modern prophets and declared virtue not only as relevant, but still a
- A few years ago, Meridian Magazine contained an article titled, God's
Wedding Gift — Why Save Sex for Marriage. The author Laura M. Brotherson
listed and discussed the reasons for maintaining sexual purity. Consider
- Indicates trustworthiness.
- Provides a profound sense of accomplishment.
- Builds confidence and self-respect.
- Avoids emotional turmoil and heartache.
- Avoids regret.
- Develops self-discipline.
- Shows maturity.
- Provides physical and emotional safety — from STDs and unwanted
- Decreases depression and suicide, and increases overall happiness.
- Reduces divorce. (click
here for article in Meridian Magazine)
- Without mentioning religion, Sister Brotherson listed practical
reasons for maintaining sexual purity. These are some of the reasons the
Lord has commanded us to be chaste. He loves us and wants us to be happy
and knows that sexual purity is essential in achieving that end. Consider
a few of Sister Brotherson's comments:
- "Deception, regret, and self‑disgust often
accompany the experience of inappropriately sharing sexual intimacies
with another. Peace of heart and mind is the rich reward of saving sex
- "Keeping one's self from sexual
indiscretion is not only an indicator of self‑discipline and maturity,
but also helps keep a proper focus in life. Getting caught up in
boyfriends/girlfriends is fleeting in nature, and can eclipse the
enduring value of educating minds, and developing talents and skills."
- "So-called 'safe sex' before marriage is a
myth. Sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancy are real
dangers. Saving sex for marriage is the best course of action to keep
oneself free of the physical and emotional consequences of premarital
- "Sexually active teenagers are
significantly more likely to be depressed and to attempt suicide than
are those who wait."
- "Studies clearly show that those who remain
virgins until marriage have a much lower incidence of divorce. This is
likely related to the trust and commitment shown by saving sexual
intimacy for your husband or wife."
- These are practical reasons for following the Lord's counsel. Rather
than being restrictive in nature, the law of chastity frees us for a life
of true happiness.
- Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin: "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." (CR, Oct 1994)
- WHAT ARE SOME OTHER REASONS FOR LIVING THE LAW OF CHASTITY?
- Living the law of chastity is necessary for us to have the
companionship of the Holy Ghost, receive priesthood ordinances, and
to partake of the sacrament worthily.
- As missionaries for the Lord, our light shines brightly in a world
that is becoming increasingly more immoral. Our example teaches others
that there are positive alternatives to the ways of the world.
As noted in the above section, Satan is waging an eternal war against the
souls of men. Tempting us to violate the law of chastity is one of Satan's
- WHAT TOOLS OR WEAPONS IS SATAN USING TO FIND CHINKS IN OUR ARMOR? WHAT
EFFECT DO THOSE WEAPONS HAVE UPON US?
- Dress and appearance.
- Young Women's General President Susan W. Tanner spoke of this in
General Conference: "A short while ago as I
visited one of the great tourist-filled cities of the world, I felt an
overwhelming sadness that so many people in the world had fallen prey to
Satan's deception that our bodies are merely objects to be flaunted and
displayed openly." (CR, Oct 2005)
- Sister Tanner's words reminded me of my visit to London where I witnessed the same thing. It is difficult to feel spiritual
in such an environment. And how is it possible for the wearer of such
attire to feel the things of the spirit when the intent seems to be to
attract the carnal?
- Sister Tanner continues: "Imagine the
contrast and my joy when I entered a classroom of modestly and
appropriately dressed young women whose countenances glowed with goodness.
I thought, 'Here are eight beautiful girls who know how to show respect
for their bodies and who know why they are doing it.' In
Strength of Youth it says: 'Your body is God's sacred creation.
Respect it as a gift from God, and do not defile it in any way. Through
your dress and appearance, you can show the Lord that you know how
precious your body is. . . . The way you dress is a reflection of what you
are on the inside' (pp14–15).
"Modesty is more than a matter of avoiding revealing
attire. It describes not only the altitude of hemlines and necklines but
the attitude of our hearts. The word modesty means
'measured.' It is related to moderate. It implies
'decency, and propriety . . . in thought, language, dress, and behavior'
(in Daniel H. Ludlow, ed., Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 5
vols. , 2:932)." (Ibid.)
- If modesty reflects the attitude of our hearts, then the way we dress
reflects our attitude to others and we will attract those with similar
- Television and movies.
- WHAT IMPACT DOES THIS TYPE ENTERTAINMENT HAVE UPON US?
- Personally, I am don't spend a lot of time watching television, but I
do love movies. Movies have a way of capturing the imagination. An
uplifting or inspirational movie can motivate us to do better. On the other
hand, movies that are negative in nature or attempt to make immoral
behavior look normal and attractive can also impact our thinking.
- President Ezra Taft Benson: "Thought
precedes action. We cannot help being influenced by what we read and what
we see. A dirty book, a filthy picture, may be the trigger that sets off a
terrible crime." (CR, Oct 1959)
- Elder Neal A. Maxwell: "We are lathered with
soap operas in need of nothing so much as soap—for the scrubbing of
themselves. Some seriously maintain that media violence and sleaze leave
consumers untouched. But revenue is received from commercials precisely
because of their influence. Either we deserve reforms, or sponsors deserve
refunds!" (CR, Apr 1993)
- Elder Maxwell is exactly right. Why are billions spent on advertising
if television and other media forms do not affect our thinking? Consider
this story from one mother, "I spent hours
putting together a family home evening about the plan of salvation, and
the same day my children saw cartoons. Later when I asked them what they
remembered about the lesson, their faces were blank, but they knew every
word from the 30 second advertising spots they had heard."
- We have been advised by our leaders, "You
live in a day of marvelous technologies that give you easy access to a
wide variety of media, including the Internet, mobile devices, video
games, television, movies, music, books, and magazines. The information
and entertainment provided through these media can increase your ability to
learn, communicate, and become a force for good in the world. However,
some information and entertainment can lead you away from righteous
living. Choose wisely when using media, because whatever you read, listen
to, or look at has an effect on you. Select only media that uplifts you." (For the Strength of
- Music and dancing.
- "Choose carefully the music you listen to.
Pay attention to how you feel when you are listening. Some music can carry
evil and destructive messages. Do not listen to music that encourages
immorality or glorifies violence through its lyrics, beat, or intensity.
Do not listen to music that uses vulgar or offensive language or promotes
evil practices. Such music can dull your spiritual sensitivity." (For the Strength of Youth, p22)
- We all love music and we know the influence it can have on our mood.
Like movies and television, the music we listen to impacts our thoughts,
which ultimately impacts our behavior. An extension of music is dancing,
which particularly impacts the youth of the Church. The type of dancing at
many of high schools is increasingly suggestive. How can one feel the
spirit in such an environment? How can one avoid being negatively
- Books and magazines.
- What we read impacts our thoughts in a manner similar to movies,
television, and music. I have seen some of the teenage magazines and many are presenting lifestyles that we and our children do not want to
- The Internet.
- If you are reading this lesson, you have learned what a wonderful tool
the Internet can be to assist us in our lives. We can read and download
Conference talks, do research on gospel topics, find directions, pay
bills, and check the weather. On the other hand, this wonderful tool has
been captured by Satan. A few years ago, in preparation for making the Internet available
at my place of employment, we were required to participate in a course on proper Internet
usage. The instructor indicated that 80% of Internet traffic involves
pornography and gambling. One doesn't have to be a genius to realize that
we have a huge problem if this statistic is close to accurate.
Though pornography has been around for decades, it
has blossomed with its ease of viewing through the Internet. President
Hinckley spoke of its growth: "I recently read that
pornography has become a $57 billion industry worldwide. Twelve billion of
this is derived in the United States by evil and "conspiring men" (see D&C
89:4) who seek riches at the expense of the gullible. It is reported that
it produces more revenue in the United States than the 'combined revenues
of all professional football, baseball and basketball franchises or the
combined revenues of ABC, CBS, and NBC' (Internet
Pornography Statistics: 2003,' Internet, http://www.healthymind.com/5-port-stats.html)."
(CR, Oct 2004)
President Hinckley: "The
National Coalition for the Protection of Children and Families states that
"approximately 40 million people in the United States are sexually
involved with the Internet. . . . " (Ibid.)
I recommend reading President Hinckley's address to the priesthood on this subject to
October 2004 General Conference.
Since these statements by President Hinckley, the
pornography industry has continued to grow. One article from
NBC news indicated that in 2014, this industry had grown to $95
President Spencer W. Kimball: "Pornography and
erotic stories and pictures are worse than polluted food. Shun them. The body
has power to rid itself of sickening food. That person who entertains filthy
stories or pornographic pictures and literature records them in his marvelous
human computer, the brain, which can't forget this filth. Once recorded, it
will always remain there, subject to recall—filthy images."
(Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p283)
President Hinckley warned on another occasion:
"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." (CR, Apr 1998)
Without question, Satan has found a tool that is
adversely affecting, even destroying, individuals and families around the
world. We must protect ourselves and our children from this insidious
HOW CAN WE PROTECT OURSELVES FROM TEMPTATIONS TO VIOLATE THE LAW OF
- A few years ago Elder Gene R. Cook recorded a wonderful presentation entitled 13 Lines
of Defense, Living the Law of Chastity. It is addressed to the youth, but
contains elements that apply to all of us. He discusses the importance of prevention or
creating lines of defense. Much of what he says, relates to not
accepting a "thread" of sin. Consider his suggestions for establishing a Line
of Defense (13 Lines of Defense, Deseret Library Talk on Cassette):
- Never be 100 percent alone.
- Learn to say no.
- If necessary--run!
- "A little bit will
- Obey the Word of Wisdom 100 percent.
- Select good friends.
- Avoid pornography 100 percent.
- Avoid impure or intimate language 100 percent.
- Avoid "little, natural man" tendencies 100 percent.
- Select wholesome music.
- Be 100 percent modest.
- Avoid petting 100 percent.
- Control your thoughts.
- WHAT IS HONESTY?
- President James E. Faust taught: "Honesty is more than not
lying. It is truth telling, truth speaking, truth living, and truth loving." (CR,
- President Heber J. Grant: "The fundamental
thing for a Latter-day Saint is to be honest. The fundamental thing for a
Latter-day Saint is to value his word as faithfully as his bond; to make up
his mind that under no circumstances, no matter how hard it may be, by and
with the help of the Lord, he will dedicate his life and his best energies
to making good his promise." (Gospel Standards, p30)
- WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO BE HONEST WHEN IT SEEMS THAT SO MANY ARE GETTING
AHEAD BY BEING DISHONEST?
- "Dishonesty harms you and harms others as
well. If you lie, steal, shoplift, or cheat, you damage your spirit and your
relationships with others. Being honest will enhance your future
opportunities and your ability to be guided by the
Holy Ghost." (For the Strength of Youth,
- President Gordon B. Hinckley: "Imagine
the flood of money that would pour into the offices of government, business,
and merchants if all who have filched a little here and there were to return
that which they had dishonestly taken.
"The cost of every bag of groceries at the supermarket, of
every tie or blouse bought at the shopping center, includes for each of us
the burden of shoplifting.
"How cheaply some men and women sell their good names! I
recall the widely publicized case of a prominent public figure who was
arrested for taking an item costing less than $5. I do not know whether he
was ever convicted in the courts, but his petty misdeed convicted him before
the people. In a measure, at least, his foolish act nullified much of the
good he had done and was capable of yet doing." (Teachings of
Gordon B. Hinckley, p266)
- President Hinckley: "It is not easy to be
honest when all about you there are those who are interested only in making
'a fast buck.' It is not always easy to be temperate when all about you
there are those who scoff at sobriety. It is not easy to be industrious when
all about you there are those who do not believe in the value of work. It is
not easy to be a man of integrity when all about you there are those who
will forsake principle for expediency.
"There is loneliness—but a man . . . has to live with his
conscience. A man has to live with his principles. A man has to live with
his convictions. A man has to live with his testimony. Unless he does so, he
is miserable—dreadfully miserable. And while there may be thorns, while
there may be disappointment, while there may be trouble and travail,
heartache and heartbreak, and desperate loneliness, there will be peace
and comfort and strength." (Ibid., 265-266)
- WHAT ARE SOME WAYS WE ARE TEMPTED TO BE DISHONEST?
- Most of us would not think of walking into a store and stealing a shirt.
Are there ways that we might be tempted to "fudge" a little? Just a
few areas in which we might be tempted:
- Income taxes - not reporting cash income.
- Not working as hard as we should at work.
- Speeding, "just a little."
- Failing to inform a store clerk that he or she has charged us the wrong price or
given us the wrong change when the transaction benefits us.
- HOW CAN GIVING IN TO SMALL TEMPTATIONS TO BE DISHONEST MAKE US MORE
VULNERABLE TO OTHER TEMPTATIONS?
- This principle is true with any of the commandments. As we give into
small temptations, we build up sort of a resistance. If not checked, we can
begin to slide on the proverbial "slippery slope." Where do we draw the line
if we give in a little here and a little there?
- HOW CAN WE OVERCOME TEMPTATIONS TO BE DISHONEST?
- Again, as with obedience to all the commandments, if we are striving to
do the basics (daily prayer, daily scripture study, serve others, attend our
meetings, etc.) the spirit will be with us to remind us that we need to turn
away from wrong.
Use Language That Reverences God and Is Edifying
Beware how we use the Lord's name.
- WHAT IS THE LORD'S COMMANDMENT RESPECTING THE
USE OF HIS NAME?
- The fourth commandment given to the prophet
Moses reads, "Thou shalt not take the name of
the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that
taketh his name in vain." (Exodus 20:7)
- As noted above, that commandment has been
reiterated in our day.
- WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO USE THE NAME OF THE LORD
- Everyday we hear to the Lord's name used in
vain. We see it on television and in the movies, even in some of the
most innocent entertainment. It is found in our literature. We hear the
Lord's name used idly each day at school and at work. People use the
name of God and his son, Jesus Christ, as they might use other
derogatory and negative words. What a tragedy that the common language
of man has stooped to using the names of deity in the most negative
- As Latter-day Saints, we must not get caught
up in this avalanche. We cannot allow our words or even our thinking to
replicate that of so many around us.
- WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO BE REVERENTIAL ABOUT
USE OF THE LORD'S NAME?
- The Lord is our redeemer, the author of our
eternal salvation. Why would anyone consider casual or derogatory use of
the Lord's name if one truly understands that principle.
- HOW DO WE ACT WHEN THOSE AROUND USE THE LORD'S
NAME IN VAIN?
- I am reminded of the story told by President
Spencer W. Kimball, "ln the hospital one day I
was wheeled out of the operating room by an attendant who stumbled, and
there issued from his angry lips vicious cursing with a combination of the
names of the Savior. Even half-conscious, I recoiled and implored:
'Please! Please! That is my Lord whose names you revile.'
"There was a deathly silence; then a subdued voice
whispered, 'I am sorry.' He had forgotten for the moment that the Lord had
forcefully commanded all his people, 'Thou shalt not take the name of the
Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh
his name in vain' (Exodus 20:7)." (President Kimball Speaks
- Do we have the courage of Spencer W. Kimball?
Do we say nothing for fear of offending the individual because we work
with them everyday?
- President Gordon B. Hinckley: "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." (CR, Oct 1987)
- The youth of the Church are counseled, "Always
use the names of God and Jesus Christ with reverence and respect. Misusing
their names is a sin. Profane, vulgar, or crude language or gestures, as
well as jokes about immoral actions, are offensive to the Lord and to
others. Foul language harms your spirit and degrades you. Do not let
others influence you to use it."
(For the Strength of Youth, p22)
- WHAT HARM IS THERE IN USING BAD OR FOUL LANGUAGE? EVERYONE SEEMS TO BE
DOING IT THESE DAYS?
- It is offensive to God.
- We offend others. I know I am offended when someone around me loses
control of their language. I recall instances while commuting on the bus
when young people in the back were attempting to sound tough by using
foul language. In those instances, everyone on the bus is uncomfortable.
- We degrade ourselves by lowering our standards.
- We lose the gift of the Spirit. Can you imagine having the influence
of the Holy Ghost when using such language?
- Elder Dallin H. Oaks,
"Profanity and vulgarity … are sins that separate us from God and cripple our
spiritual defenses by causing the Holy Ghost to withdraw from us." (CR, Apr
- We need to remember that Satan is looking for weaknesses in our armor.
Improper use of language is one of the tools that Satan uses to break down
- HOW DOES SATAN TEMPT US TO USE PROFANE, VULGAR, OR OBSCENE LANGUAGE?
- He uses many of the same tools that he uses to break down our
morality. The two go hand-in-hand.
- He uses the entertainment we view or listen to, the books we read,
the friends that we associate with. It is difficult to turn on a
television show without hearing the Lord's name used in vain or some
other curse word. It has become so common that Satan is trying to make
it seem normal.
- HOW CAN WE OVERCOME THE TEMPTATION TO USE BAD LANGUAGE?
- This brings us back to where we started in this lesson. The temptation
to use bad language, violate moral laws, or be less than honest can be
overcome as we put on the full armor of God. If each day we are reading
the scriptures, kneeling in prayer, and striving to keep the commandments
the armor will be strengthened and temptations will bounce off rather than
find holes in which to penetrate. It is not always easy, it requires application and diligence.
- Elder Cook's 13 Lines of Defense are practical ways in assisting us in
also keeping our language clean and appropriate.
- HOW CAN WE ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO USE APPROPRIATE LANGUAGE/
- I believe example comes first. If we never, ever use inappropriate
language, if we turn away when it is used and when unwholesome stories are
told, people will see that we have a higher standard. Without me ever
preaching about the use of language, I have often had others apologize for
using a curse word or using the Lord's name in vain because they knew my
- The Savior taught, "Ye are the light of the
world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a
candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth
light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men,
that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in
heaven." (Matthew 5:14-16)
- As we seek to strengthen our armor, our light becomes increasingly
brighter in a world of gathering darkness. People are drawn to that light
and are influenced by it. We can make a difference in the lives of others
through our high moral example, our honesty, and our uplifting and
Gospel Doctrine Notebook
Record your thoughts on the principles taught in this lesson.
How does putting on the the full armor of God strengthen you against the
challenges of the world? Are there areas in which you need to repent?
Resources Used In This Lesson
13 Lines of Defense by Gene R. Cook.
Conference Reports (CR).
Discourses of Brigham Young, selected and arranged by John A. Widtsoe.
Doctrine and Covenants Encyclopedia by Hoyt W. Brewster, Jr.
For the Strength of Youth.
Gospel Standards: Selections from the Sermons and Writings of Heber J. Grant,
compiled by G. Homer Durham.
Latter-day Prophets and the Doctrine and Covenants, Volume 1, compiled by Roy W.
President Kimball speaks out by Spencer W. Kimball.
Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley.
Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball.
Gospel Doctrine Class
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