Every other weekday I attend Seminary as the Priesthood visitor for our tiny class (there are only two students representing all four years of our high school). It has been quite some time since I’ve graduated from Seminary, but I’ve come to realize the beauty of studying the gospel so early in the morning.
Recently, the teacher shared a lesson on the importance and power of a name, particularly within our religion and our beliefs. We give baby blessings that put our children’s names upon the records of the Church; God asked Adam to name all the beasts of the field, and even Eve; and we, of course, are quite particular about the name of our Church.
If you have ever watched old Church commercials (pre-1990’s) you will see at the end the Church’s name and then the tagline “The Mormons.” This has evolved over the past few decades, and now you don’t see the word “Mormon” attached to the official Church name. Rather, you see a strong emphasis on the name of Jesus Christ. If you see a missionary badge (or any official literature of the church) you will notice that the font of “Jesus Christ” is four times bigger than the rest of the name of the church.
Understanding this, the teacher gave us a handout breaking down the name of the Church and showing the meaning behind it. This comes straight out of the Book of Mormon manual (see 3 Nephi 27:8), but I had never read it before so I thought I would share it here.
“The first two words of the name the Lord chose for His earthly organization are The Church.
“Note that the article The begins with a capital letter. This is an important part of the title, for the Church is the official organization of baptized believers who have taken upon themselves the name of Christ (see D&C 10:67–69; 18:21-25). . . .
“The Church is the way by which the Master accomplishes His work and bestows His glory. Its ordinances and related covenants are the crowning rewards of our membership. While many organizations can offer fellowship and fine instruction, only His church can provide baptism, confirmation, and the ordinances of the temple—all bestowed by authorized priesthood power. That power is destined to bless all children of our Heavenly Father, regardless of their nationality” (in Conference Report, Mar.-Apr. 1990, 20; or Ensign, May 1990, 18).
“By divine directive, the title of the Church bears the sacred name of Jesus Christ, whose church this is (see D&C 115:3–4). . . .
“We worship God the Eternal Father in the name of His Son by the power of the Holy Ghost. We know the premortal Jesus to be Jehovah, God of the Old Testament. We know Him to be ‘the chief corner stone’ upon which the organization of His church is based (Ephesians 2:20). We know him to be the Rock from whom revelation comes to His authorized agents (see 1 Corinthians 10:4; Helaman 5:12) and to all who worthily seek Him (see D&C 88:63)” (in Conference Report, Mar.-Apr. 1990, 19; or Ensign, May 1990, 17).
“It is true that scriptures foretell the final days of the earth’s temporal existence as a telestial sphere. The earth will then be renewed and receive its paradisiacal, or terrestrial, glory (see Articles of Faith 1:10). Ultimately, the earth will become celestialized (see Revelation 21:1, D&C 77:1; 88:25-26). But its last days must be preceded by its latter days!” (in Conference Report, Mar.-Apr. 1990, 18; or Ensign, May 1990, 17).
“A saint is a believer in Christ and knows of His perfect love. The giving saint shares in a true spirit of that love, and the receiving saint accepts in a true spirit of gratitude. A saint serves others. . . .
“A saint ‘refrain[s] from idleness’ (Alma 38:12) and seeks learning by study and also by faith. . . .
“A saint is honest and kind, paying financial obligations promptly and fully, treating others as she or he would want to be treated. . . .
“A saint is an honorable citizen, knowing that the very country which provides opportunity and protection deserves support, including prompt payment of taxes and personal participation in its legal political process (see D&C 134:5).
“A saint resolves any differences with others honorably and peacefully and is constant in courtesy—even in traffic at the rush hour.
“A saint shuns that which is unclean or degrading and avoids excess even of that which is good.
“Perhaps above all, a saint is reverent. Reverence for the Lord, for the earth He created, for leaders, for the dignity of others, for the law, for the sanctity of life, and for chapels and other buildings are all evidences of saintly attitudes. . . .
“A reverent saint loves the Lord and gives highest priority to keeping His commandments. Daily prayer, periodic fasting, and payment of tithes and offerings are privileges important to a faithful saint.
“Finally, a saint is one who receives the gifts of the Spirit that God has promised to all His faithful sons and daughters (see Joel 2:28–29; Acts 2:17–18)” (in Conference Report, Mar.-Apr. 1990, 18; or Ensign, May 1990, 16-17).