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:
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.