Legend LaVell Edwards puts life in eternal perspective

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    By Christopher Moore

    In a style and manner that is uniquely his, former BYU football coach LaVell Edwards compared wearing the armor of the Lord to that of a football player during the April 10, 2001 Devotional.

    Like the armor of Moroni”s soldiers and the pads worn by football players, we should each carry the protection of the Lord, Edwards said.

    The Lord has offered us protective armor to use in our daily battles, he said. “We seek truth in all areas. If we don”t seek truth, we will not find it or recognize it.”

    Edwards likened Joseph Smith”s search for truth as an example of this, citing it as one of the most profound searches in history.

    “Self-deception is deadly. Deceiving ourselves leaves us open to Satan”s ways,” he said. “Being honest with ourselves allows us to learn who we are and what we are all about.”

    Since the great battle between the followers of Christ and Lucifer in the pre-existence, wars between forces of good and evil continue to this day. These temptations are greater than ever before, Edwards said.

    “Truth can make us free from Satan”s deceptions.”

    To gain and maintain a life of righteousness, we have to keep progressing or we will regress, Edwards said. This includes service to others.

    Be aware of other”s needs and act on that through service, he said.

    Our human interaction and compassion for each other are far more important than the technology that governs our daily lives, Edwards said.

    Preparation is the key to success in any endeavor. The greatest athletes are not always the strongest, fastest and most gifted — but are those who have the ability to recognize their potential and prepare to meet that potential, he said.

    Desiring to win will be for naught if one has not prepared for the task. The same is true in our personal lives. We can have the desire to do something well, but if we are not willing to work, study and prepare, it will be for naught, Edwards said.

    Faith is our shield, our pocket of protection from despair, indecisiveness, anger and procrastination. Edwards compared this shield to football”s offensive line protecting a quarterback from harm. With faith and eternal perspective, we can make it through the hard times, he said.

    Having the plan of salvation in our earthly life is like having a helmet in football. You wouldn”t conceive of not having one. It gives meaning to our lives and knowledge of why we are here, Edwards said.

    The sword is the most powerful piece of equipment. In the battle with the adversary, the Lord”s spirit becomes our sword at our side. If we do as the Lord asks, he will help us use all of the armor in a manner that suits us best, Edwards said.

    The Lord has promised us that we will have His spirit with us if we are trying our best, he said.

    Prayer is our stabilizing weapon — a tool that we can use to mend a crack in our armor. Prayer shouldn”t be a last resort. Too often we depend on ourselves when prayer should be our solution, Edwards said.

    Surround yourselves with good people; family and friends who know truth will help to discover the cracks in our armor, Edwards said.

    With this armor we can obtain righteousness to overcome evils in life, but without it we will become like the football player, tentative in our choices and leaving ourselves open to the adversary, Edwards said.

    Edwards concluded by saying, “The armor of God is far more powerful than any earthly armor.”

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