43. “Take upon You My Whole Armor”

Wearing the whole armor of God involves both righteous behavior and right motivation, namely love for God and appreciation for his plan of salvation.

“The Power of the Word: Religion, Family, Friends, and Delinquent Behavior of LDS Youth,” Brent L. Top, Bruce A. Chadwick, BYU Studies, Vol. 33, no. 2
This article shows that when children are given religious training, they are less likely to get involved in delinquent behavior, even when they live in a hostile environment or have delinquent friends.

“Values of Christian Families: Do They Come from Unrecognized Idols?” Brent D. Slife, BYU Studies, Vol. 38, no. 2
This article teaches that motives behind our obedience to Christian principles matter. Do we obey God because we fear the consequences of disobedience? Or because we believe we’ll be happier if we are obedient? Or because it is simply the right thing to do? The author suggests that living Christian values has the most meaning when we love God, put him first, and obey out of love.

“The Foolishness of Teaching,” Bruce R. McConkie, Religious Educator, Vol. 6, no. 1
“If we teach the doctrines of salvation, which are basic and fundamental, the ethical concepts automatically follow. It is the testimony and knowledge of the truth that causes people to reach high ethical standards in any event.” Basing our lives on faith in Christ provides the motivation for honesty, chastity, and virtue.

“Historical Context for Each Section,” edited by Craig K. Manscill, Sperry Symposium Classics: The Doctrine and Covenants
Knowing the reason behind Joseph Smith seeking revelation is often helpful in understanding the revelation. For example, D&C 42, which teaches Christian principles of behavior, came after the elders sought out the law of the Lord:

“42 Groups of elders united in prayer on two separate occasions with the desire to receive the law of the Lord, as promised in D&C 38:32 and 41:2–3. They also wanted to know how to organize missionary work and how to proceed in cases of adultery or other serious transgressions (see D&C 42:70–93).”