Sunday, April 13, 2008

The whole armour of God

Tonight I was at an adult group where there was a small worship service. During the sermon, the pastor talked about putting on the whole armour of God. This is a topic I had heard a million times as a youth growing up and also as a missionary. Tonight, I noticed something that I had never seen before. Truth is the first thing needed when combating Satan.

Ephesians 6:13-18
13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,
15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

This passage sets out the way we are supposed to prepare for battle against the evil in the world. The first thing we are to do is arm ourselves with truth. Then righteousness is needed, followed by the gospel of peace. The fourth thing is faith. The last few items you need are the helmet of salvation and the word of God (sword of the Spirit).

The order of preparation is very important here. It is common belief that Satan is constantly waging war against us so at any moment, we could be called upon to fight. This would mean that a fight might come even if we are not fully clothed and protected. Keeping this in mind, the first items we are told to put on must be the most vital for our survival. Now, I don’t know anything about biblical warfare and the importance of each article of clothing but I’d venture to guess that without the first item, the rest will not function properly. Ideas were taught in the Bible in terms that the people would understand so I am pretty sure the order of things made sense to those being spoken to.

This part of the sermon tonight really spoke to me. I am in my own search for the truth, not only about Mormonism, but about God in general.

I have been trying to think about times when I was taught that truth was this important and I can not thing of any. Pretty much all of the LDS teachings or sayings seem to put faith first.

Articles of Faith
4 We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.

D&C 4:5-6 (A scripture recited on a daily basis by all missionaries and also used to prepare young men to serve)
5 And faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God, qualify him for the work.
6 Remember faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, diligence.

Young Women Theme – recited each Sunday
We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love Him. We will “stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places” (Mosiah 18:9) as we strive to live the Young Women values, which are:

Divine Nature
Individual Worth
Choice and Accountability
Good Works and

We believe as we come to accept and act upon these values,
we will be prepared to
strengthen home and family,
make and keep sacred covenants,
receive the ordinances of the temple,
and enjoy the blessings of exaltation.

Relief Society Declaration
We are beloved spirit daughters of God,
and our lives have meaning, purpose, and direction. As a worldwide sisterhood, we are united in our devotion to Jesus Christ, our Savior and Exemplar.

We are women of faith, virtue, vision, and charity who:
Increase our testimonies of Jesus Christ
through prayer and scripture study.

Seek spiritual strength by following the
promptings of the Holy Ghost.

Dedicate ourselves to strengthening
marriages, families, and homes.

Find nobility in motherhood
and joy in womanhood.

Delight in service and good works.

Love life and learning.

Stand for truth and righteousness.

Sustain the priesthood
as the authority of God on earth.

Rejoice in the blessings of the temple,
understand our divine destiny,
and strive for exaltation.

In all of these mottos and creeds, are the Mormon values that they are supposed to strive for and are models for proper living. In each example, faith comes first. While I know that faith is important, I think having faith in false teachings is extremely harmful. Faith must be anchored in truth if your testimony is to remain calm in troubled waters. The anchor must latch onto a strong and immovable rock, which is truth, so you do not drift away from the protection of God’s harbor.


  1. Joh 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

  2. Yes Faith is what allows you to believe without seeing. Faith allows you to just know. Great insight!! Hey there is a great book called This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti(?) that is a fictional, bibically based book on spiritual warfare. I have to say that I could not read all of it because it scared the fool out of me, but it is very eye opening to the topic. I know that you're a reader, so I thought you might enjoy it!!
    thinking of you and your beautiful bride today :)

  3. Heb. 11:1 - Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

    Gal. 3:26 - You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus -

    we are child-like when we go to Him that created us without actually seeing Him in person -- children trust and believe in plenty of things without actually having a frame of reference (experiences within their lives)
    it seems to me that as we become adults it is harder to just "accept" things without seeing them in front of us -- that is why faith is a mystery of God - He "tweaks" us and gives us life and therefore we "see" with our hearts -- and thus, believe! good blog -


  4. From my perspective, faith may be important but it cannot come first because it has to be based on TRUTH. In the Middle Ages, they had faith that the world was flat but that faith did not make it true and that belief was later proven false. As a more horrific example, the followers of Jim Jones back in the 70’s had faith that he was an incarnation of Jesus but their faith was ill-founded and eventually lead to their death by cyanide-laced grape Flavor Aid.

    I think that having faith in false ideas and teachings can be worse than not having any faith at all. To that point, it is my opinion that one must educate themselves properly to be able to discern truth from fiction, to have a proper foundation on which they can build their faith in a God.

    If you look at the examples of Mormon teachings in this blog, you will see that knowledge or truth is always far down the list in comparison to faith. This has enabled leaders to discount contradicting doctrine and promote the idea that members should ignore any issue that arises and "Just Have Faith". That repression of truth, in exchange for blind faith, does not sit well with me.

  5. Exactly Amy. I had the same conversation in mind. When my mom told me I just had to have faith, I asked her which version of Joseph Smith’s vision was I supposed to have faith in because there are 4-5 accounts and they are all different. She said to believe in the canonized version, but is that because it is the correct version or just the one they want is to believe? How can I have real faith in something like that? How can I trust these accounts when each one contradicts the other? This is why it is important for me to have CLEAR fact before I can put my trust and faith into another religious belief. I am tired of being lied to and having my intelligence insulted, but most of all I’m tired of seeing it happen to other people who just don’t know any better. Instead of a “Prayer Warrior”, I am a “Truth Warrior”.

  6. I have had faith in a lot of things in my life that have turned out to be lies, frauds, misrepresentations, etc. Faith in a lie will produce a disaster every time, sooner or later.

    There is no virtue in believing a lie. Faith for faith's sake is absurd. This is why mormonism is absurd, because it is faith in a lie.

  7. Well Stated! You seem to have grasped the point I was trying to make very well.

  8. I think it is very true -- your faith has to have a truthful foundation or else it is as built on the sand - the ocean will wash it away -- disaster looms for those that put their faith in just anything -- just a "gut" feeling will not do it - it has to be founded on something strong and true, then faith comes and cannot be moved -- well put!


  9. yeah just like the song says a foolish man built his house upon the sand, wise man built it on the rock and rains came down and the floods came up the house on the rock stood still.


  10. I like that. Truth warrior! Hell yah! :)

    And I disagree with nan on the point of gut instinct. It was my gut instict that told me there was something

    hidden and off when I went to church and followed it on blind "faith."

    Our Gut Insticts can save our lives. Literally.

  11. This is so powerful! And your Mormon roots are showing too. :)
    I think that there are a lot looking for the truth, and Mormon's are taught to look at the details.

    I doubt too many people of other faiths would have noticed such a small, but important detail.

    This is soooo powerful to see. And you are right, faith in something not based in truth is incredibly damaging! Horribly so.

    I'm so glad you are a fellow searcher of truth. :)

    If only the "true" church was based on truth. hehehe

  12. "E" thanks for your comments. I don't think I have seen you around before so welcome. Check back regularly as I will be putting more on here as often as time allows.