We were dressed in our home each morning, not only with hats and raincoats and boots to protect us from physical storm, but even more carefully our parents dressed us each day in the armor of God. As we would kneel in family prayer and listen to our father, a bearer of the priesthood, pour out his soul to the Lord for the protection of his family against the fiery darts of the wicked, one more layer was added to our shield of faith. While our shield was being made strong, theirs was always available, for they were available and we knew it.
-thus Elder Perry.
Its an article of faith with us that we are not saved on our own merits alone, but for me it is more than something I believe. It is a lived experience. Even in small ways, just with other people, I have felt protection and guidance, their faith working on me through the power of God.
Let me just give you a small example of how that shield would work. One day I was made an attractive offer by a group of marines, buddies of mine, as we were about to go on liberty. It wasn’t until after we were on our way that I discovered this was not the best of company to be in. It was then that I found out the reason they had invited me. It was because they knew of my standards. They knew that I would be sober when it was time to return to the base, and I could guide them back.
We found ourselves in Los Angeles on a streetcar headed toward a dance hall. They had already started to drink a little, and I was ready to part their company. It was here that that protective shield took over and I knew of the prayers of my parents for my welfare. The streetcar stopped and allowed new passengers to come aboard. The new passengers separated me from my buddies and pushed me to the back of the car. It was there that I discovered a nice group of young people standing and seated. Immediately upon finding me in their company, one spoke up and said, “Hi, Marine! We’re Mormons. What do you know about our Church?”
I answered, “Plenty,” and got off the streetcar with them and went to a ward social.
I try to make my prayers for my children and my friends the most fervent part of my prayer.
We should be like a shield wall. Each of us is mostly protected by the shield of our brother to our side.