Recently I was asked to be a speaker during sacrament meeting. After I found my seat on the stand and began watching the congregation enter the chapel, the bishop approached me and said, “We have been instructed to remind you to make sure you use the name of Jesus Christ during your talk.”
I assured the bishop that my talk would be Christ-centered. After the meeting, I pondered why it was important for the bishop to offer such counsel. I wondered: “Are we as members becoming too casual by imitating social media platforms in what we say at sacred church meetings?”
My wife and I again contemplated my question later that week as we read the introduction to the September 20-26 outline of the Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Doctrine and Covenants 2021, “We need to abide in [the Savior], immersing ourselves in the scriptures, rejoicing in them, learning His doctrine, and striving to live the way He lived” (Ulisses Soares, “How Can I Understand?” Ensign, May 2019, 7). This apostolic invitation encouraged us to study in more depth the words of Christ and His prophets.
Following the Decrees of Christ and Revelations of Prophets
The Savior Himself has proclaimed, “For thus shall my church be called in the last days, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” (Doctrine and Covenant 115:4). This is an unequivocally clear declaration. We need to tell and teach the world that we believe in Jesus Christ and frequently repeat the Church’s full name with gladness.
At the October 2018 general conference, President Russell M. Nelson explained: “It is a correction. It is the command of the Lord.…If we as a people and as individuals are to have access to the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ—to cleanse and heal us, to strengthen and magnify us, and ultimately to exalt us—we must clearly acknowledge Him as the source of that power. We can begin by calling His Church by the name He decreed” (“The Correct Name of the Church,” Ensign, Nov. 2018, 87-88).
Similar counsel was given by the resurrected Lord when He appeared to the faithful Saints living on the American continent in AD 34: “Ye shall call the church in my name….And how be it my church save it be 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” (3 Nephi 27:7-8).
Nicknames for the Savior’s Church are not appropriate. They omit the Lord’s name and ignore all that Jesus has done and suffered for us—including His great atoning sacrifice. Instead, we need to follow the counsel of Nephi, “We talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and write according to our prophecies, that our children may know what source they may look for a remission of their sins” (2 Nephi 25:26).
Praying to Heavenly Father in the Name of Jesus
Additionally, one of the most important lessons that Jesus taught during His earthly and resurrected ministry was how to pray (see Matthew 6:9-13; 3 Nephi 13:9-13). We are to begin by reverently addressing and thanking our Father in Heaven. Next, we ask to live according to His will, to forgive us and others, and to receive a remission of our sins. One crucial aspect of prayer, however, was not included in the Lord’s Prayer.
Jesus later instructed everyone to close our prayers in His name (see John 14:13-14; 15:16; 16:23-24). When we pray, we are striving to unite our minds, needs, and wishes with the mind of Christ (see Bible Dictionary, “Prayer”). We should take care that we do not rush through the closing words of our prayers. The Savior’s name should be pronounced with clarity and reverence.
We are counseled to pray as the prophet Amulek instructed: “Ye must pour out your souls in your closets, and your secret places, and in your wilderness. Yea, and when you do not cry unto the Lord, let your hearts be full, drawn out in prayer unto him continually for your welfare, and also for the welfare of those who are around you” (Alma 34:26-27).
Sharing the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ with the World
After immersing our minds with the declarations of Christ and the words of prophets, we have gained a greater understanding of why President Nelson is directing us to use the correct name of the restored Church of Jesus Christ, and why our bishop encouraged me to say the Savior’s name during my talk. We are endeavoring and praying to become like those Saints who followed Captain Moroni, “Yea, all those who were true believers in Christ took upon them, gladly, the name of Christ, or Christians, …because of their belief in Christ who should come” (Alma 46:15).
By emphasizing the name of Jesus Christ, President Nelson concludes with this profound prophecy: “My dear brothers and sisters, 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 (see Doctrine and Covenants 121:33), the likes of which we have never seen. We will have 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” (“The Correct Name of the Church,” 89).