To protect themselves from spiritual danger and the ploys of the adversary, the first counselor in the Young Women general presidency encouraged students to actively put on and use the whole armor of God.
“It is time to put on the full armor of God so we can engage in the most important work on earth,” said Sister Michelle D. Craig during her BYU–Hawaii devotional address on June 10. “It is time to ‘thrust in our sickles, and reap with all our might, mind, and strength.’ The forces of evil have never raged more forcefully than they do today. As servants of the Lord, we cannot be asleep while this battle rages.”
She said the spiritual battle going on today is like a drone photograph she saw recently of a man floating on his back in the ocean. The man was oblivious to the hammerhead shark swimming beneath him.
“How could he be so close to danger, yet so complacent and relaxed? It’s simple: He was totally unaware. Think about it: Would you ever expect something so dangerous lurking beneath such beautiful blue waters, not far from the safety of the shore? How many of us, spiritually, are just like this man, swimming blissfully unaware in perilous waters?”
Talking about the need to be actively engaged in the work of God, she quoted President Russell M. Nelson, who has said, “We need to get up off the couch, put down the remote, and wake up from our spiritual slumber.”
Julia Sio, a junior from Samoa majoring in information technology, said after hearing Craig’s address, she felt spiritually uplifted. “As she spoke, I felt the desire to evaluate myself and see myself as a better person and a daughter of God.”
Craig told students they were prepared to live in these days but must nurture their faith. “You were not sent here to fail. Please do not let down your guard and spiritually coast. Be aware of and know your enemy. Remember who you are. Remember, we need each other. You and your wholehearted discipleship are needed to build the kingdom and to be part of the gathering in these last days.”
Mio Tuala, a senior from California majoring in Pacific Island studies, said she took it to heart when Craig encouraged students to remember Heavenly Father’s awareness of his children in the midst of trials and tribulation.
“Sister Craig’s talk helped me remember my role as a daughter of God, and I hope it reminds others too,” Tuala said.
Sio said she appreciated how Craig invited students to ponder about spiritually uplifting things. Sio encouraged students to embrace their values and beliefs wherever they go and reflect Christlike attributes. “When you feel trapped, stressed, or lonely, get up and do something … Get on your knees and pray for strength, for heavenly help is available for all, and he always listens.”
Recognizing the adversary
Craig also shared an experience her brother and his wife had when they entrusted their 12-year-old son to babysit their other children while they were out. When they returned home, her sister-in-law said they smelled smoke, but their oldest son was calmly reading on the couch, completely unconcerned. It turned out to be an air conditioner that was creating the smoke.
“How many of us, spiritually, are … like my nephew, lounging, getting used to the irritating smell and ignoring the real danger?” she asked.
She said one of the most important things individuals must know about the adversary is how he works. “We know Satan’s tactics because they have not changed since the beginning of time, and I think we'll understand them best if we view them in contrast to how Jesus Christ works.”
1. “Satan wants to drag us ‘carefully down to hell.’ Christ wants to lift us up.
2. “Satan wants us to be miserable. Christ wants us to have joy.
3. “Satan wants us to be alone. Christ wants us to belong.
4. “Satan wants us to forget who we are and why we are here. Christ wants us to remember.
5. “Satan wants us to seek approval from the world. Christ wants us to seek approval from heaven.
6. “Satan wants to keep us distracted. Christ wants us to be still, to be spiritually aware.
7. “Satan wants us to listen to the noisy voices of the world. Christ wants us to listen to the Holy Ghost.
8. “Satan wants us to be confused. Christ wants us to be certain.
9. “Satan wants us to follow false prophets. Christ wants us to follow His prophet.
10. “Satan wants us to falter. Christ wants us to have faith.
11. “Satan wants us to carry life’s burdens on our own. Christ wants us to let God prevail.”
Gaining personal strength
To fight back against the adversary, Craig said, “Listen to and study the words of the living prophet. Read and reflect on your patriarchal blessing. Share your heart with your Heavenly Father in prayer and then listen and keep listening. Serve and ponder in the temple.”
Craig said there is hope because “we know the final outcome of this raging battle! God will prevail. Because of Jesus Christ and his grace, we will have the capacity to do what is required of disciples living in the latter days. The Lord has given us touchstones to light the path to him and to learn and to remember who we are. Draw close to the words of the Savior in the scriptures. Hear his voice.”