Take Upon You My Whole Armor
February 1998

“Take Upon You My Whole Armor,” Ensign, Feb. 1998, 62

“Take Upon You My Whole Armor”

One summer some time after my divorce, I felt my children and I were sinking under the weight of many challenges. I was working as well as attending school full-time, and I studied late into the night after caring for my children. It was a struggle for me just to provide food and clothes and maintain the house and yard, but on top of that my five children, who at the time ranged in age from 9 to 18, seemed to have major problems of their own that required extra help and patience.

Early one Saturday evening, I retired to my bedroom with heavy feet and a bitter heart. I felt abandoned and alone, with no help or insight to give me hope that things could soon improve.

I lay on my back and rested my arm over my eyes to block out the light. Silently praying for relief from the bottomless black pit we seemed to be falling into, I felt impressed to grab hold of the rod of God’s word by turning to the scriptures (see 1 Ne. 15:23–24).

In response to the prompting, however, I said out loud, “There is nothing in the scriptures that can help me with my problems in this day and age.”

When I felt the impression again stronger than before, I begrudgingly sat up and took the scriptures from my night table. I opened the pages at random to section 27 of the Doctrine and Covenants and began reading the first verse: “Listen to the voice of Jesus Christ, your Lord, your God, and your Redeemer, whose word is quick and powerful.”

These words got my attention; I was being directly told to listen to the words of the Lord. Quickly scanning the rest of the section, however, I didn’t see anything else that seemed to apply to my dilemma. I was about to turn to something else when I came to verse 15. As I read it, a warm feeling went from my head to my toes, the hair on my neck tingled, and my eyes filled with tears. “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.”

This was my answer! By allowing despair to overcome me, I was not exercising my faith to clothe myself or my children in the whole spiritual armor of God.

Just as a knight clothes himself in armor before a joust, I recognized that I needed to wear the armor of God to protect me in my spiritual battles with temptation and adversity (see D&C 27:16–18).

I contemplated being covered head to foot with that armored protection. With the guidance of the Lord Jesus Christ and his Spirit, I was better able to focus my faith and battle with feelings of bitterness and despair or other fiery darts that assailed my spirit. Even today, I continue to find reassurance that we are not left alone to withstand the adversary. Through praying, finding guidance and answers for our day in the scriptures, striving to live the principles of the gospel, and putting our faith and trust in God and his Son, we can put on the whole armor of God and endure to the end with strength and power.

  • Thaya Eggleston Gilmore serves as a public affairs specialist and newsletter editor in the Savannah (Georgia) Third Ward.