“When are we to close talks in the name of Jesus Christ?” Ensign, Apr. 1983, 23
When are we to close talks in the name of Jesus Christ? What is the reason for doing this?
Sherman M. Crump, assistant managing director, Church Missionary Department. In Church meetings and in our homes, talks are closed in the name of Jesus Christ when one is teaching, preaching, blessing, or testifying. Occasionally there may be exceptions to this rule, such as in scripted programs or special presentations. Prayers, of course, are always offered in the Savior’s name.
In meetings outside the Church, where the general public is attending, it is not necessary to close a talk in the name of Jesus Christ. Even then, however, it might be appropriate to do so if the assigned topic is sacred rather than secular.
There are undoubtedly various reasons why we close talks, prayers, and other gospel presentations in the name of Christ. An obvious reason is that the Lord has so instructed us in the scriptures.
In the very beginning of this earth’s history, Adam was commanded to worship the Lord in a certain way. After a while the Lord sent an angel to teach Adam the true form and meaning of what he was doing. “Wherefore,” the angel said, “thou shalt do all that thou doest in the name of the Son, and thou shalt repent and call upon God in the name of the Son forevermore.” (Moses 5:8.)
In our own day the Lord restored his Church, among other reasons, so that “every man might speak in the name of God the Lord, even the Savior of the world.” (D&C 1:20.)
Therefore, the Saints in the early days of this dispensation were commanded to “establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God.” For what purpose? “That your incomings may be in the name of the Lord; that your outgoings may be in the name of the Lord; that all your salutations may be in the name of the Lord.” (D&C 88:119–20.)
A second reason we offer talks in the name of the Lord is that our salvation is tied directly to the Savior’s atonement and resurrection. “We know that all men must repent and believe on the name of Jesus Christ, and worship the Father in his name, and endure in faith on his name to the end, or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God.” (D&C 20:29.)
“Have they not read the scriptures, which say ye must take upon you the name of Christ, which is my name? For by this name shall ye be called at the last day;
“And whoso taketh upon him my name, and endureth to the end, the same shall be saved at the last day.
“Therefore, whatsoever ye shall do, ye shall do it in my name.” (3 Ne. 27:5–7.)
Thus, we end talks in the name of the Lord to remind ourselves that the Savior’s atonement and resurrection are central to the plan of salvation. “Use of the name of Christ,” wrote Elder Bruce R. McConkie, “centers one’s faith in him and constitutes a solemn affirmation as to where all power and authority lies.” (Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed., Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966, p. 525.)
Similarly, using the name of Christ is a way to acknowledge and give thanks to God: “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” (Col. 3:17.)
A third reason we close talks or prayers in the name of the Savior is to acknowledge that we have taken upon ourselves the great responsibility of representing him. Consequently, we should speak as directed or influenced by the Spirit of the Lord: “And again, I say unto you, all things must be done in the name of Christ, whatsoever you do in the Spirit.” (D&C 46:31.)
The use of “amen” at the end of a talk or prayer confirms all that we’ve said before. When “amen” is voiced aloud by the members of a class or congregation, it represents an agreement with what has been said. In addition, it further points our minds to Christ because the very word is one of his name-titles. “One of Christ’s names is Amen (Rev. 3:14), a title given to show that it is in and through him that the seal of divine affirmation is placed on all the promises of the Father.” (Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed., Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966, p. 32.)