This lesson provides students with an opportunity to deepen their understanding of the importance of putting on the whole armor of God. As students learn about each piece of the armor of God, they will have an opportunity to evaluate the strength of their armor and make changes as prompted by the Holy Ghost.
Bring some type of protective equipment to class, such as protective sports equipment, safety glasses, medical gloves, a construction helmet, or a protective vest. Ask students to explain the purpose of the equipment and how it works to protect the wearer. Explain that while these things protect us physically, the Lord gave counsel to help protect us spiritually.
Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 27:15 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what the Lord said we must do to be protected spiritually.
What do we need to do in order to be protected spiritually?
According to this verse, what did the Lord promise those who put on the whole armor of God?
Write the following principle on the board: If we take upon ourselves the whole armor of God, we will be able to withstand evil.
Why do you think it is important to put on the whole armor of God and not just a part of it?
Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 27:16–18 aloud. Ask the class to follow along and identify each piece of spiritual armor we need to put on to be able to withstand evil. Invite a student to serve as scribe and list (or draw) the pieces of armor on the board as the class identifies them. (You may want to point out that the Apostle Paul also taught about the whole armor of God [see Ephesians 6:11–17].)
To help students understand the significance of the spiritual protection described in these verses, divide the class into small groups and assign each group one of the pieces of armor. Give each group a copy of the following statement by President Harold B. Lee and the following information and questions pertaining to their assigned piece of armor. Invite students to work within their groups to answer the questions for their assigned piece of armor and be prepared to share their answers with the class.
After students have reported their answers, read the following statement by Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and ask students to listen for how we put on and strengthen the armor of God:
“I like to think of this spiritual armor not as a solid piece of metal molded to fit the body but more like chain mail. Chain mail consists of dozens of tiny pieces of steel fastened together to allow the user greater flexibility without losing protection. I say that because it has been my experience that there is not one great and grand thing we can do to arm ourselves spiritually. True spiritual power lies in numerous smaller acts woven together in a fabric of spiritual fortification that protects and shields from all evil” (“Be Strong in the Lord,” Ensign, July 2004, 8).
What are some small acts that, combined in their strength, will help protect us against temptation and evil?
Invite students to look back at the opening lines of Doctrine and Covenants 27:15.
What attitude should we have as we put on the armor of God? (We should “lift up [our] hearts and rejoice.”) Why should we have this attitude?
What scripture mastery passage did you learn about this week that also counsels us to lift up our hearts and rejoice? (D&C 25:13. Consider inviting students to repeat it together or recite it from memory.)
How can following the command in Doctrine and Covenants 25:13 to cleave to our covenants with Heavenly Father protect us from Satan?
Ask students to consider what they have learned in today’s lesson, and invite them to choose one specific thing they can do to better put on the armor of God. Encourage them to write what they will do on a piece of paper that they can refer to often as a reminder of their commitment.
To conclude this lesson, invite a few students to share their testimonies of the truths taught in the lesson.
How many of Heavenly Father’s children were cast out of heaven in the pre-earth life? Why were they cast out? What does it mean to “thrash [thresh] the nations”? In the next unit, students will learn the answers to these questions. They will also learn about early Church members who were called to “thrash [thresh] the nations by the power of [the] Spirit” (D&C 35:13).