We face giant temptations, but they can be overcome. President Gordon B. Hinckley names some of these giants and explains how we can defeat them.
Some years ago I spoke to the young men of the Church about overcoming the Goliaths in their lives. I would like to apply that same theme to all of us, for few of us do not have at least one Goliath to contend with. …
As you recall, the army of Israel under the leadership of King Saul was engaged in a deadly war with the army of the Philistines. One army [camped] on one hill, the other on an opposite hill, with a valley in between. Now, the Philistines had … a great giant of a man named Goliath of Gath. His height was six cubits and a span. … That would put him somewhere in the neighborhood of nine feet tall. What a basketball center he might have made!
Clad in his armor, he came down to the valley and called out to the army of Israel:
“Choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me.
“If he be able to fight with me, and to kill me, then will we be your servants: but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us. …
“I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together” (1 Sam. 17:8–10).
When Saul and the army of Israel looked at this giant and heard his chilling challenge, they were frightened because they had no one of their own of such [size].
Now, while all of this was going on, Jesse, David’s father, asked his young son to take some food to his three brothers in the army. When he arrived at the battleground, Goliath came out again, issuing the same challenge, which David heard. There was fear throughout the army of Israel. David, who was no more than a boy, said to the king (and I paraphrase his language): “King, why are you so afraid of this giant? I will go and fight him.”
Saul replied, “Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he [is] a man of war [trained] from his youth” (1 Sam. 17:33).
David then persuaded Saul to let him try. He told the king of how he had fought with a lion and a bear to save his father’s sheep and concluded by saying that the Lord would deliver him out of the hand of the Philistine. Saul … said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with thee” (1 Sam. 17:37).
Saul then placed armor on David until the boy could scarcely walk. David said to the king, “I cannot wear this,” and he took the armor off.
He then “took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag which he had … ; and his sling was in his hand” (1 Sam. 17:40).
This stripling of a boy, with only a sling and five stones, and without any armor other than the armor of faith, went down into the valley to face Goliath.
“And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him: for he was but a youth. …
“And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves?”
And Goliath swore at David, saying, “Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field.”
Then David spoke these great words: “Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.
“This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee … that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.” (See 1 Sam. 17:42–46.)
That was brave talk for a boy who stood against a nine-foot giant.
In anger Goliath came at him. Then David, running toward the giant, “put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth” (1 Sam. 17:49).
I would like to apply this story to our lives. There are Goliaths all around us, hulking giants with evil intent to destroy. These are not nine-foot-tall men, but … evil things that may challenge and weaken and destroy us. Included in these are beer and other liquors and tobacco. Those who market these products would like to enslave you into their use. There are illegal drugs of various kinds. … This is a … giant web of evil.
There is pornography [bad pictures and stories in magazines, films, TV shows, and Internet sites]. … [These] giants … would like to ensnare you. …
But you need not fear if you have the slingshot of truth in your hands. You have been counseled and taught and advised. You have the stones of virtue and honor and integrity to use against these enemies. … When they challenge you, you can hit them “between the eyes.” … You can triumph over them by disciplining yourself to avoid them. You can say to the whole lot of them as David said to Goliath, “Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.”
Victory will be yours. There is not a person in this Church who needs to [surrender] to any of these forces. You are a child of God. You have His power within you to sustain you. You have the right to call upon God to protect you. Do not let Goliath frighten you. Stand your ground … , and you will be triumphant. …
When temptation comes your way, name that boastful, deceitful giant “Goliath!” and do with it as David did to the Philistine of Gath.