Good morning sisters! I hope you all are doing well. I hope you were all able to hear Sister Calton’s talk today on serving and loving those around us. It was amazing! I want you to personally think about how you could better implement this in your own lives. We have had many Young Women who are new to the ward in the past few months and also many who we haven’t seen in a few months. Pray for the Young Women and how you can better serve in the organization and in your calling. Come up with a plan and execute it! Your lives will be blessed and the lives around you will be blessed as well. Win-win!
Today’s lesson is entitled “Why is the correct name of Christ’s church important?” As we have been studying in 3 Nephi 27, the Nephite disciples began establishing the Church throughout the land, they had an important question for the Savior: “Tell us the name whereby we shall call this church.” In response, the Savior declared, “Ye shall call the church in my name”. This is still so important today. Our prophet has focused a lot on this in the last few years. At the General Conference in November 2018, he focused his whole remarks about this subject! Think about how important that was to the Lord then and how important it should be for us as members of His Church.
Our prophet gave us a promise, “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” (“The Correct Name of the Church,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2018, 87, 89).
Wow! What an amazing promise.
We call our church “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” because it is Christ’s church! In 3 Nephi 27:8, the Lord says, “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.” President Nelson clarifies that this is NOT a name change to our church, it is NOT a rebranding, it is NOT cosmetic or a whim, and above all else it is NOT inconsequential.
In the scriptures, the Savior clearly states what the name of His Church should be. If we use nicknames or allow nicknames to be used (such as “Mormon church”, “LDS church”, “Church of Latter-day Saints”), he is offended. Taking out the Savior’s name in the nicknames of the church is a major victory to Satan.
President Nelson states, “When we discard the Savior’s name, we are subtly disregarding all that Jesus Christ did for us—even His Atonement.”
Wow! Before I heard this talk, I had never thought of the name of the Church like this before. Most all of my friends growing up knew that I was “Mormon” but I have since realized that this told them nothing about what I believed except maybe the Book of Mormon. The most important thing that we believe is in our Savior, Jesus Christ and his Atonement. We need that to be the first thing non-members and investigators hear!
President Nelson goes on in his conference address and states (this is too good to not quote!!):
“When we omit His name from His Church, we are inadvertently removing Him as the central focus of our lives.
“Taking the Savior’s name upon us includes declaring and witnessing to others—through our actions and our words—that Jesus is the Christ. Have we been so afraid to offend someone who called us “Mormons” that we have failed to defend the Savior Himself, to stand up for Him even in the name by which His Church is called?”
Wow! We are definitely getting rebuked here but this is clarification that we have needed for several decades. We need everyone to know WHAT we stand for and WHO we stand for.
“Our revised style guide is helpful. It states: “In the first reference, the full name of the Church is preferred: ‘The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.’ When a shortened [second] reference is needed, the terms ‘the Church’ or the ‘Church of Jesus Christ’ are encouraged. The ‘restored Church of Jesus Christ’ is also accurate and encouraged.”
If someone should ask, “Are you a Mormon?” you could reply, “If you are asking if I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, yes, I am!”
So what can we do? We can use the proper name of the church! Always! We can take upon the Saviors name ourselves. We can be true representations of Christ’s church. Our hearts will be changed and we know that is the only way that we can obtain salvation.
I love to think of the little primary children singing proudly “I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!” Let us all have that same enthusiasm when we share what church we belong to to our neighbors and friends.
I loved this lesson and the talk President Nelson gave. It is simple but so powerful. It is also very important, and again, blessings are promised to us if we change the way we refer to our church. “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”.
Thank you sweet sisters! I miss you and meeting with you on the sabbath but I hope you are able to think about the meaning of our Church’s name to you today and the importance of referring to it as “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”. If you have time, please comment below on your feelings or any insights you have. I would LOVE to hear from you!
I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
This is the link to the talk by President Nelson quoted throughout this study guide: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2018/10/the-correct-name-of-the-church?lang=eng