1 Nephi 14
There are two forces in this world – God, and everyone else. Either you’re on God’s side, or you’re not. I think more people are on God’s side than we realize. I’m surprised each day by the sheer number of people I hear who praise God and have faith in Him, and try to live their life pleasing to Him (the best they know how – and that is different for all of us!)
There is always a battle between good and evil, and in order to protect ourselves and our families we need to be armed with righteousness.
As a mother it is my responsibility to arm my children with righteousness.
Elder Packer gave a talk many many years ago about fitting our children with the shield of faith. It sums up my feelings on the subject, so I will simply share this quote:
As it has been since the beginning, the adversary would divide us, break us up, and if he can, destroy us. But the Lord said, “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, … taking the shield of faith wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked” (D&C 27:15, 17; emphasis added).
The ministry of the prophets and apostles leads them ever and always to the home and the family. That shield of faith is not produced in a factory but at home in a cottage industry.
The ultimate purpose of all we teach is to unite parents and children in faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, that they are happy at home, sealed in an eternal marriage, linked to their generations, and assured of exaltation in the presence of our Heavenly Father.
Lest parents and children be “tossed to and fro,” and misled by “cunning craftiness” of men who “lie in wait to deceive” (Eph. 4:14), our Father’s plan requires that, like the generation of life itself, the shield of faith is to be made and fitted in the family. No two can be exactly alike. Each must be handcrafted to individual specifications.
The plan designed by the Father contemplates that man and woman, husband and wife, working together, fit each child individually with a shield of faith made to buckle on so firmly that it can neither be pulled off nor penetrated by those fiery darts.
It takes the steady strength of a father to hammer out the metal of it and the tender hands of a mother to polish and fit it on. Sometimes one parent is left to do it alone. It is difficult, but it can be done.
In the Church we can teach about the materials from which a shield of faith is made: reverence, courage, chastity, repentance, forgiveness, compassion. In church we can learn how to assemble and fit them together. But the actual making of and fitting on of the shield of faith belongs in the family circle. Otherwise it may loosen and come off in a crisis.
Boyd K. Packer, “‘The Shield of Faith’,” Ensign, May 1995, 7
It is my goal this year to more fervently fit a shield of faith for my children. It is my responsibility as their mother to work with their father, my husband, in outfitting them to be protected from the fiery darts of the adversary. I cannot do it alone, I need the Lord’s help, and so with prayer and scripture in my hands and heart I will move forward to prepare my children to serve the Lord.