“Thus Shall My Church Be Called,” Liahona, October 2021
In Africa, individuals searching for a church to join reported having dreams. In their dreams, they were instructed to look for a church called by the name of Jesus Christ. As they searched, they found only one church in which the Savior’s name is central—The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
In Latin America, several Latter-day Saints reported that their invitations to friends to attend the “Mormon Church” had met with frustration. That changed when they extended an invitation to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “If your church is called the Church of Jesus Christ,” their friends responded, “we would like to come and see.”
In the United States, a Primary boy invited his neighbors to his baptism. A minister of another faith said he never would have gone to a “Mormon Church” baptism. But because he could tell that the boy’s church focused on Jesus Christ, the minister attended with his wife.
When an airline reservation agent asked a member of the Church for an email address, the member answered, “ldschurch.org.”
“What church is that?” the agent asked.
“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” the member answered.
“I go to work for days at a time without ever being able to speak about the Lord,” the agent said. “Knowing that I am speaking to another Christian just makes my day.”
The Church member quickly updated his airline profile with the Church’s new email address: ChurchofJesusChrist.org.1
These wonderful stories represent the fulfillment of a promise President Russell M. Nelson made to Latter-day Saints in October 2018 and again in April 2020.
“I promise you that if we will do our best to restore the correct name of the Lord’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,” President Nelson said. “We will 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.”2
Recently, via my social media accounts, I invited Church members to tell me about the blessings they have received from using the correct name of the Church. I was touched to receive more than 2,600 responses.
I would like to share some of them with you. They will sound familiar because you have received similar blessings as you have followed President Nelson’s counsel.
I was moved by Jacob’s testimony of how the full name of the Church has helped him focus on the Savior: “I’ve noticed that my focus on Jesus Christ has seeped into every aspect of my life,” he shared with me. “When I take the sacrament, I think of Him and His atoning sacrifice. When I read the scriptures, I pay more attention to His words and other references to Him. This has drawn me closer to Him and has helped me better understand His role as my Savior and Redeemer.”
I felt blessed learning what the Savior’s name means to Beth and Bryce: “I have felt a closer connection to my Savior,” Beth said. “When I am asked what church I go to, and I reply that I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I feel a true sense of belonging. I belong to His people. I belong to His family. I belong to Him.”
Bryce told me that the correct name of the Church helps him “remember whom I serve and whom I seek to become more like. It reminds me that the Savior is the one who gives these teachings and that they don’t come from men.”
Haley, a full-time missionary, said: “Using the correct name of the Lord’s Church brings more power and authority when we teach others of His restored gospel. When I say ‘The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,’ the Spirit of the Lord confirms and witnesses that this is the Lord’s Church restored upon the earth today. I love using the correct name because I am also adding my living witness to that truth!”
And Nicola told me: “Previously, if I said ‘Mormon,’ often there would be that flicker of uncertainty with those not of our faith. You could almost hear the rush of memory of all they’ve ever heard about ‘the Mormons.’ But now there is a peace, most often acceptance. The Savior’s name has power. He brings peace. My testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel has grown just by saying the correct name of the Church. I feel the Spirit each time I say it. Sometimes it is all I get to say about what we believe, but it is enough.”
Harold, a university professor in the United States, said that using the full name of the Church has helped him clarify misconceptions. He told me that one student, attempting to summarize a discussion on religion, stated, “I guess all religions are Christian, except for the Mormons.”
Seeing a golden moment to clear up that misconception, Harold said, “I told the students that ‘Mormon’ was a nickname given to members of the Church because of our belief in the Bible and the Book of Mormon as two ancient scriptural witnesses of Jesus Christ.”
Mary opened her heart to me, sharing how the Church’s full name has blessed her in teaching her children: “My children have less confusion now when I teach them that we are Saints of the Church of Jesus Christ in these latter days versus referring to ourselves as ‘Mormons.’ They used to be confused and ask, ‘Why Mormon? Does that mean we aren’t Christians?’ I feel that this change has helped them when speaking to other children at school who are not believers.”
President Nelson promised that as we use the correct name of the Church, “we will have the knowledge and power of God” to spread the gospel. Teresa inspired me with her story about what happened when a friend at work asked her about the Church. Following President Nelson’s counsel, Teresa began by sharing the Church’s full name.
“He was interested in the Church,” she told me. “He investigated it for several months and then, miraculously, he was baptized by my son, the bishop. I felt so happy that day, and my family too. The promises are true.”
Jordan said that many people still aren’t familiar with the name of the Church. “Using the full name of the Church,” he said, “gives me a chance to explain how the Church is centered on Jesus Christ and why we refer to ourselves as Latter-day Saints.”
When a man asked Chloe if she was a “Mormon missionary,” she powerfully testified, “No, I am a missionary for Jesus Christ.” Chloe told me the man expressed desires to follow the Savior, so she taught him that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is led by the Savior. Then she gave him information about His Church.
In revealing His Church’s name to the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Savior declared, “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). And to the Nephites, he said, “Ye shall call the church in my name,” for “how be it my church save it be called in my name?” (3 Nephi 27:7, 8).
I testify with a Latter-day Saint named Tommie that when we use the full name of the Church, we are blessed and we bless others. Tommie told me, “As I share with others the blessings of being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in a time when strife and fear prevail, I realize I am helping others know that there is refuge from the storm with disciples of Jesus Christ, who care for them and who follow Him.”