Monday, September 24, 2012

Putting on the Armor of God

Among my favorite topics to discuss with my fellow warriors are the scriptures teaching us the all important principle of putting on the ‘Armor of God(Ephesians 6:11-18 and D&C 27:15-18).  This is no small topic and one that can fill volumes with gospel discussions.  There are some key elements for Latter Day Warriors that I’d like to point out, then I’d encourage you to prayerfully study these passages to find the personal meanings for yourself.

Of course the real world metaphor is that any warrior going to battle would never do so without his armor. A good warrior knows the value of defensive/offensive armor. Failure to properly fit, maintain, and utilize armor would result in severe injury or loss of life.  Putting on armor is not just a one-time action.  It requires constant training, conditioning, practice and skill.  I can’t just hand you a sword, helmet, breastplate, shield, etc… and say “Go to battle!”  You must first practice with this armor, and practice a lot! (Alma 46:21 think about how the Nephites come RUNNING with their armor ON...what that means in terms of preparation...)  You have to keep your armor in good condition and be comfortable with its use. In a similar fashion, you can’t wait until a crisis strikes before you start to practice with your armor.  It must be a habit well before you actually need it. It is often said that the best warriors are the best trained warriors.  SEAL’s, RECON Marines, Green Berets…you name them, they all train constantly so that when the call to action comes they are truly ready. (I’ve read where SEAL’s train with real bullets because of the slight difference in weight, recoil and smell than blanks.  They go through more ammo in training than other units combined.  All to practice so that when they have to use it for real, they know what they are doing.)

One lesson to be taken from this scripture is that we should be preparing as warriors in a very spiritual sense on a daily basis, just like real world warriors do.  We can’t expect to win battles with our adversary without this knowledge and the daily practice of it.  As we strive to become warriors, a key element in this progression is to put on our armor and use it. How do we do this? Simply put, it’s living those basic gospel principles on a daily, weekly, monthly basis.  Daily personal and family prayer, regular scripture study, going to our Church services, being a Latter-Day Saint in all that we do, but this isn’t all…these things have to be done in earnest.  We can’t put in a half-hearted effort here, just like Navy SEALS in training, it’s all or nothing. It isn’t enough to just pray etc…but we must Search, Ponder and Pray.  We must ask questions and seek honest and sincere answers.  We must exercise our priesthood in a manful way and we must “walk uprightly before God” (Alma 1:1). In our daily actions.  In short…we need to be sheepdogs, actively looking for weakness and fortifying it with diligence, faith and conviction, putting down evil and wickedness wherever we go. Like true warriors, we must always be “ON” and ready for action.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Today I’d like to address a topic that has been rolling around in my head for years.  This is not intended to belittle any gender or principle taught at Church…simply an observation that we might be slightly off in some of our beliefs (not doctrine…just the traditional way in which it is presented).

What I’d like to talk about is the feminization of the gospel and the subsequent effect on men.

To help illustrate my thoughts, let me tell you a story.

A few months back we took all our YM (12-18) up in the canyon to have a Duty to God activity.  As I’ve stated before in my posts, I’m conducting an experiment where every six months, we have an activity and issue a challenge to work on the Duty to God, with a reward to follow in the next six months.   This was such an activity.  As part of that activity I told a story about the race to the south pole from a post that I read here (art of manliness) We had some fun with it and to be honest, by the appearance of the boys, I thought it went in one ear and out the other.  They were fidgety, they were not looking at me…I figured it was gone.

Well, last Sunday, the guy who was supposed to teach the Deacon’s Quorum couldn’t be there so the Deacon’s Quorum President (who happens to be my son) asked if I could come and visit the quorum, tell that ‘South Pole’ story again and teach about the Duty to God program.  The Deacon’s Quorum has recently had an influx of about 6 boys and they have no idea what the Duty to God program is, or how to do it, so I thought he had a good idea.

Since half of the quorum had heard the story, I picked on them to help me tell it (also to see what they retained).  I was truly shocked at the details they could recall, and the lessons learned that night six months ago.  They rattled off to me details of the story that I had forgotten.  It was amazing.  The lesson was a rousing success because the boys taught each other…I did very little.