- The Lord Jesus Christ knew how important it was to clearly name His Church in these latter days. In the 115th section of the Doctrine and Covenants, He Himself named the Church: “For thus shall my church be called in the last days, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
At baptism, we take upon us the name of Christ. This is significant as the name of the church reflects what we do at baptism.
- We take the name of Christ upon us in the waters of baptism. We renew the effect of that baptism each week as we partake of the sacrament, signifying our willingness to take His name upon us and promising always to remember Him.
Elder Ballard reviews with us what the meaning is behind each word used by the Savior to name his church.
- I have thought a lot about why the Savior gave the nine-word name to His restored Church. It may seem long, but if we think of it as a descriptive overview of what the Church is, it suddenly becomes wonderfully brief, candid, and straightforward. How could any description be more direct and clear and yet expressed in such few words? Every word is clarifying and indispensable.
- The word The indicates the unique position of the restored Church among the religions of the world.
- The words Church of Jesus Christ declare that it is His Church.
- Of Latter-day explains that it is the same Church as the Church that Jesus Christ established during His mortal ministry but restored in these latter days.
- Saints means that its members follow Him and strive to do His will, keep His commandments, and prepare once again to live with Him and our Heavenly Father in the future. Saint simply refers to those who seek to make their lives holy by covenanting to follow Christ.
He makes clear that the full name expresses our belief in the divine mission of the Savior.
- The name the Savior has given to His Church tells us exactly who we are and what we believe. We believe that Jesus Christ is the Savior and the Redeemer of the world. He atoned for all who would repent of their sins, and He broke the bands of death and provided the resurrection from the dead.
Concerning the use of the term "Mormon" Elder Ballard said it is appropriate at times to use but that we should emphasize that we are members of the Church of Jesus Christ when possible and practical.
- We do not need to stop using the name Mormon when appropriate, but we should continue to give emphasis to the full and correct name of the Church itself. In other words, we should avoid and discourage the term “Mormon Church.”
Elder Ballard's plain explanation of the name of the Church provides us guidance on how we should think of ourselves. The name of the Church is important to declare our belief in the Savior Jesus Christ. Although the use of the term "Mormon" is greatly known throughout the world, we need to use this term along with a clarifying description that we are a church founded by Jesus Christ.