Put on the whole armor of God, fight wickedness

“Can we truly say we are not ashamed of the gospel of Christ?” — President N. Eldon Tanner

In a revelation to Joseph Smith at Harmony, Pa., in August 1830, the Lord declared: "Wherefore, lift up your hearts and rejoice, and gird up your loins, and 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." (Doctrine and Covenants 27:15.)

Just as armor protected warriors anciently, the armor of God gives protection today from the world's tribulations and evils.
Just as armor protected warriors anciently, the armor of God gives protection today from the world’s tribulations and evils.

During the priesthood session of the April 1979 general conference, President N. Eldon Tanner, then first counselor in the First Presidency, counseled members about putting on the whole armor of God. "The great unrest in the world today and the wars and rumors of wars are affecting us greatly; but as Paul says, our greatest and most deadly struggle will be 'not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, [and] against spiritual wickedness in high places.' "

President Tanner, later in his address, asked questions that every member ought to ask himself or herself: "Are we studying the scriptures so that we can increase our knowledge and faith and testimony regarding the gospel? Do we keep the commandments? Are we honest and truthful in our dealings? Do we keep the Sabbath day holy? Do we observe the Word of Wisdom? Do we pay an honest tithing? Do we attend our meetings and respond to the calls made of us by our authorities? Are we virtuous and clean and pure in heart and mind and deed?

"Do we fight against the evils around us — pornography, abortion, tobacco, alcohol, drugs? Do we have the courage to stand up for our convictions? Can we truly say we are not ashamed of the gospel of Christ? Do we live peaceably with our neighbors and avoid gossip and backbiting and spreading unfounded rumors? Do we truly love our neighbors as ourselves?

"If we can answer yes to these questions, then we will have on the whole armor of God, which will protect us from harm and preserve us from our enemies. If we must answer no to these questions, then our armor is weak, there is an unshielded place which can be found, a vulnerable area for attack, and we will be subject to injury or destruction by Satan, who will search until he finds our weaknesses, if we have them.

"Examine your armor. Is there an unguarded or unprotected place? Determine now to add whatever part is missing. No matter how antiquated or lacking in parts your armor may be, always remember that it is within your power to make the necessary adjustments to complete your armor. Through the great principle of repentance you can turn your life about and begin now clothing yourself with the armor of God through study, prayer and a determination to serve God and keep His commandments."