Put on Strength

2 Nephi 8
As we believe in the Lord and stand together with Him, He invites us to “put on strength.” Heroes put on the armor of God to protect and strengthen themselves in their fight for right. In addition to putting on the armor of God, we can put on strength when we “know righteousness” and “follow after righteousness.” Isaiah explained that those who know righteousness are “the people in whose heart I have written my law.” As we keep God’s “law” and make and keep covenants with Him we become “[his] people.” “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people” (Hebrews 8:10, see also Jeremiah 31:33).

Elder Richard G. Scott testified of the strength we put on when we keep God’s commandments and engage in covenant service (see Mosiah 18:8-10). He said, “I have learned a truth that has been repeated so frequently in my life that I have come to know it as an absolute law. It defines the way obedience and service relate to the power of God. When we obey the commandments of the Lord and serve His children unselfishly, the natural consequence is power from God—power to do more than we can do by ourselves. Our insights, our talents, our abilities are expanded because we receive strength and power from the Lord. His power is a fundamental component to establishing…peace” (“For Peace at Home“).

Isaiah taught that we can increase our strength and fortitude by making and keeping temple covenants: “Awake, awake, put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments.” Elder Carlos E. Asay reminded us that we are at war against Satan and his hosts. In addition to putting on the armor of God, he affirmed that “There is, however, another piece of armor worthy of our consideration. It is the special underclothing known as the temple garment, or garment of the holy priesthood, worn by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who have received their temple endowment. This garment, worn day and night, serves three important purposes: it is a reminder of the sacred covenants made with the Lord in His holy house, a protective covering for the body, and a symbol of the modesty of dress and living that should characterize the lives of all the humble followers of Christ” (“The Temple Garment: An Outward Expression of An Inward Commitment“).

He continued, “I like to think of the garment as the Lord’s way of letting us take part of the temple with us when we leave. It is true that we carry from the Lord’s house inspired teachings and sacred covenants written in our minds and hearts. However, the one tangible remembrance we carry with us back into the world is the garment. And though we cannot always be in the temple, a part of it can always be with us to bless our lives.” In this way, we “may go forth from this house [the temple] armed with thy power,…that thy name may be upon them, and they glory be round about them, and thine angels have charge over them….That no weapon formed against them shall prosper….That no combination of wickedness shall have power to rise up and prevail over thy people upon whom thy name shall be put in this house” (Doctrine & Covenants 109:22, 25-26).

As we put on the beautiful garments of the temple each day we are reminded of the covenants we have made with the Lord to obey and serve and the blessings He has promised us of power, peace, and eternal joy with Him and our families. I am so grateful for these blessings. When life’s battles get a little overwhelming to me, I find myself praying for help or relief. Several times the Lord has answered my pleas for relief with a clear instruction to go to the temple. That advice seems a little contradictory to me since I’m overwhelmed with good things to do and problems to fix, but the Lord knows best. He knows that going to the temple will remind me of His love, will keep me focused on the most important things I have promised to do, and will bless me with greater faith and strength to continue in my efforts to “overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21). Elder Asay promised that “the real battles of life in our modern day will be won by those who are clad in a spiritual armor—an armor consisting of faith in God, faith in self, faith in one’s cause, and faith in one’s leaders. The piece of armor called the temple garment not only provides the comfort and warmth of a cloth covering, it also strengthens the wearer to resist temptation, fend off evil influences, and stand firmly for the right.”

Going to the temple truly does help me put on strength. I am grateful for the peace and the perspective that the temple puts in my heart and mind. I rejoice in the covenant relationship I have with the Lord because I know that He will help me and comfort me as I stand and work together with Him (see 2 Nephi 8:12-16). Sis. Bonnie D. Parkin, who served in the Young Women General Presidency, observed that “These individual commitments made directly with our Heavenly Father are things to celebrate. And to consecrate! Do you remember what happened when Alma invited his people to make these covenants? They celebrated! They ‘clapped their hands with joy’ (Mosiah 18:11).” Isaiah echoed her sentiments with this invitation, “come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy and holiness shall be upon [your] heads; and [you] shall obtain gladness and joy; sorrow and mourning shall flee away” (2 Nephi 8:11).

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*How do you put on strength?

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