The Power of a Name
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“The Power of a Name,” For the Strength of Youth, Oct. 2021.

Come, Follow Me

The Power of a Name

Doctrine and Covenants 115

Names matter—especially when it comes to the name of the restored Church of Jesus Christ.

[Christ's image]

Portrait of Christ, the Savior, by Heinrich Hofmann

Have you ever thought how very important a name can be? Think of your own name which was given to you when you were born—a name for you to be known by throughout your life. Your name is often the first thing someone asks when they meet you. And it’s the easiest way for family, friends, and others to address you and refer to you. As young children, many of you also had the privilege to receive a name and a blessing by the power of the priesthood.

At your baptism, you make a covenant with God to show that you are willing to take upon yourself the name of Jesus Christ. Each time you take the sacrament, you renew that covenant and promise to always remember Him (see Mosiah 18:8–9; Doctrine and Covenants 20:77, 79).

So, names matter. Not only can a name connect each of us to our own identity and individuality, but it can also carry power, responsibility, and blessings. This is especially true when it comes to the name of the restored Church of Jesus Christ, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The Savior Named His Church

Our beloved prophet, President Russell M. Nelson, has taught why the name of the Savior’s Church is so important. He said: “It is the command of the Lord. Joseph Smith did not name the Church restored through him; neither did Mormon. It was the Savior Himself who said, ‘For thus shall my church be called in the last days, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ [Doctrine and Covenants 115:4].”1

This is not the first time that instruction has been given on what to name the Church of Jesus Christ. When the resurrected Savior appeared to the Nephites after they had prayed to the Father in His name, the people asked Him what they should call His Church. The Savior answered:

“Ye shall call the church in my name. …

“And how be it my church save it be called in my name? For if a church be called in Moses’ name then it be Moses’ church; or if it be called in the name of a man then it be the church of a man; but if it be called in my name then it is my church, if it so be that they are built upon my gospel” (3 Nephi 27:7–8).

For these reasons, President Nelson has declared, “The name of the Church is not negotiable. When the Savior clearly states what the name of His Church should be and even precedes His declaration with, ‘Thus shall my church be called,’ He is serious.”2

Bible and Book of Mormon testify of Christ, The

The Bible and Book of Mormon Testify of Christ, by Greg Olsen

President Nelson has promised that if we will do our best to restore and use the correct name of the Savior’s Church, “He whose Church this is will pour down His power and blessings upon the heads of the Latter-day Saints, the likes of which we have never seen.”3

We Can Help Others Know What We Believe

One of the blessings of using the correct name of the Church comes as we take seriously our responsibility to proclaim the name of the Savior throughout all the world.

Over the years, nicknames such as the “LDS Church” and the “Mormon Church” have been used in place of the name the Savior revealed. The problem with nicknames like these is that they omit the name of Jesus Christ from His Church. In doing so, they misrepresent who we are and what we believe.

We believe that Jesus Christ is the Savior and the Redeemer of the world. Unfortunately, some people think we do not believe in Him or that we worship someone other than Him. By sharing with others as often as possible that we belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we clarify that we worship Jesus Christ. Those we interact with will then begin to see that Jesus Christ truly is central to our beliefs and our lives.

We Can Bring the Power of Jesus Christ into Our Lives

President Nelson taught, “Jesus Christ directed us to call the Church by His name because it is His Church, filled with His power.”4

Jesus Christ lived a sinless life. He overcame all the temptations, pains, challenges, and afflictions of the world. He shed drops of blood in Gethsemane and on the cross as He suffered terrible pain beyond any power of description. He took upon Himself all our pains and sicknesses. Through His atoning sacrifice, He stands ready to help each of us. As we exercise faith in Him and come unto Him, we are “blessed with additional power to deal with temptation, struggles, and weakness.”5

Charleston, South Carolina: Youth

When we state clearly that we are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we also recognize that He is the One who has the power to strengthen us, ease our burdens, and bring joy and peace to our lives. In addition to that, we are also promised to have “the knowledge and power of God to help us take the blessings of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people and to prepare the world for the Second Coming of the Lord.”6

More Blessings Will Come

My friends, just think of the impact we can have by simply using the full name of the Savior’s Church. I testify that Jesus Christ stands at the head of His Church and directs it through His prophets, seers, and revelators. I invite you to seek the blessings of the Savior’s Church and share its priceless truths with others. I know that His Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will bless you, your friends, and your family now and into eternity.