If you made a list of all the things you are, you’d probably include your faith, your place in a family, your career, your nationality, and much more. If asked to lengthen your list you might include your church calling, your hobbies, your travels, your traits. But would you ever add “warrior” to the list?
Every one of us is embroiled in the same war fought in pre-earthly life: the War in Heaven. Satan began that battle and continues it here to this very day. And whether we’re aware of it or not, the onslaught surrounds us. He is determined to win every soul that God wants back—all of us.
Many today deny Lucifer’s existence (which delights him), others embrace his enticings (“The devil made me do it”) with humor, even. And still others succumb to the adversary’s wishes because they see others around them doing the same. While we know Jesus Christ will ultimately win this war, Satan is winning many battles.
We have knowledge and armor; leaders and scriptures have told us how to be victorious. But what we often lack is passion. We don’t define ourselves as warriors often enough.
The other day I was sorting through old mementos and came across a great-uncle’s British medals from The Great War of 1914-1919. My father was named for him, so I suppose that’s how these treasures came into my family.
As I handled these awards and read the inscriptions, I thought how wonderful it would be if we could have medals for fighting in the war with Satan. Then I realized: We do. They’re called Temple Recommends.
Your temple recommend is a badge of honor like no other. It certifies so many faith-filled choices you have made. To carry this tiny document in your wallet is to affirm your love of the Lord, your honesty, your commitments, sacrifices you have made, and so much more. It says you have stood up to temptation, you have repented when you’ve tripped up, you continue to renew your covenants with God, you are a good citizen, you are actually a formidable force in the struggle against Lucifer. You are on the right path.
Many people brim with tears during a temple recommend interview. They aren’t tears of sorrow, but of humility and gratitude for worthiness to enter God’s house. The Holy Ghost often witnesses to us how important this privilege is. We safeguard it with our lives, we cherish it above any other honor, and we rejoice in the blessings we can now receive.
Many others are warriors, too, including those of other faiths. I’m grateful for friends who inspire me to keep fighting the good fight, regardless of religious affiliation. But I still see that little piece of paper as my own little personal medal.
President Gordon B. Hinckley said, “This small document, simple in its appearance, certifies that the bearer has met certain precise and demanding qualifications and is eligible to enter the House of the Lord and there participate in the most sacred ordinances administered anywhere on earth…What a unique and remarkable thing is a temple recommend.”
And President Howard W. Hunter told us, “It would please the Lord if every adult member would be worthy of—and carry—a current temple recommend. The things that we must do and not do to be worthy of a temple recommend are the very things that ensure we will be happy as individuals and as families.”
Next time you look at your recommend, see it as a medal as well. You have won a battle against a determined enemy. You are part of God’s army of valiant soldiers. Now we simply need to go forward as the warriors we are, courageous, determined, and holding the medal to prove it.
Hilton’s books, humor blog, and Youtube Mom videos can be found on her website. She currently serves as an Inter-Faith Specialist for Church Communications.