The Greek word enduo (ἐνδύω) means “to clothe.” In the New Testament it is sometimes used literally (Mark 1:6: “John was clothed with camel’s hair.” ) and sometimes figuratively (Galatians 3:27: “As many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”)
In the King James Version of the Bible, the word is usually translated “clothe” or “put on,” but on one occasion, the translators chose the English word “endue.” To endue is to “endow or provide with a quality or ability” (Oxford English Dictionary).
After the Savior’s resurrection and immediately before His ascension into heaven, He gave the following instruction to His apostles:
Tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.Luke 24:49
What does it mean to be clothed with power? The phrase evokes the imagery of a priest donning sacred robes to fulfill religious duties. It also suggests that the power is constant and close, that we can carry it with us wherever we go.
Nephi foresaw a future time in which “the power of the Lamb of God” would “[descend] upon the saints of the church of the Lamb,” who would be “armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory” (1 Nephi 14:14).
His brother Jacob quoted Isaiah’s prophetic admonition, “Put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem” (2 Nephi 8:24, Isaiah 52:1). That passage was later quoted by the Savior (3 Nephi 20:36) and then paraphrased by Moroni (Moroni 10:31).
In 1831, the Lord instructed members of His newly organized church to relocate to Ohio with the following promise:
There I will give unto you my law; and there you shall be endowed with power from on high;Doctrine and Covenants 38:32
In June of 1833, they learned that there was a prerequisite to receiving this endowment. They would have to build a temple:
I gave unto you a commandment that you should build a house, in the which house I design to endow those whom I have chosen with power from on high.Doctrine and Covenants 95:8
Today, in temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, men and women are endowed with power. As President Russell M. Nelson has explained:
Every woman and every man who makes covenants with God and keeps those covenants, and who participates worthily in priesthood ordinances, has direct access to the power of God. Those who are endowed in the house of the Lord receive a gift of God’s priesthood power by virtue of their covenant, along with a gift of knowledge to know how to draw upon that power.“Spiritual Treasures,” General Conference, October 2019
Today, I will be grateful for the power I have received from God. I will remember that I can carry that power everywhere, that it can be like clothing to me: ever-present, always available, an important part of who I am.