3 Things to Teach Children about the Proper Name of the Church

Contributed By Sarah Jane Weaver, Church News editor

  • 24 August 2018

How can parents and teachers talk to children about using the proper name of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? Children will lead the way, says Sister Joy D. Jones, Primary General President.

Article Highlights

  • Teach children about revelation.
  • Teach the “why” behind President Nelson’s statement.
  • Teach children how blessed we are to be members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to testify to our children of the truths we know and live. … This is who we are. This is who we stand for. This is who we follow. This is who we strive to be like.” —Sister Joy D. Jones, Primary General President

How can parents and teachers talk to children about using the proper name of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

Children will lead the way, said Sister Joy D. Jones, Primary General President. Children identify first and foremost as a child of God. “When they say, ‘I am a child of God,’ they believe it,” she said.

When Sister Jones read a statement by President Russell M. Nelson about the official name of the Church, released on August 16, she instantly thought of the words of a Primary song:

I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
I know who I am.

I know God’s plan.
I’ll follow him in faith.
I believe in the Savior, Jesus Christ.
I’ll honor his name.
I’ll do what is right;
I’ll follow his light.
His truth I will proclaim.
(“The Church of Jesus Christ,” Children’s Songbook, 77).

The song, she said, echoes President Nelson’s words.

“The Lord has impressed upon my mind the importance of the name He has revealed for His Church, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” said the statement. “We have work before us to bring ourselves in harmony with His will.”

In recent weeks, various Church leaders and departments have initiated steps to make this happen, according to the statement.

Parents and teachers can also use this important statement to teach children, said Sister Jones. “What an important time to focus on the Savior,” she said.

Parents can follow the example of their children, who sing the song “The Church of Jesus Christ” with enthusiasm and faith, said Sister Jones.

Parents and teachers can use President Russell M. Nelson’s statement about the proper name of the Church to teach children the importance of focusing on the Savior.

Parents and teachers can remind children that every word in the inspired and official name of the Church “is significant.”

Sister Joy D. Jones, Primary General President, and Sister Lisa L. Harkness, First Counselor in the Primary General Presidency, greet a child in Manti, Utah, on June 20, 2018. Photo by Savannah Hopkinson.

“They sing it like they believe it,” she said. “The power of what they are saying, the way they feel it—it is an example to all of us.”

“I feel that President Nelson is calling us all to recognize our spiritual identity before our Savior, to stand up and be the best we can be as individuals and as a people in preparing for His return to the earth. What a meaningful, preparatory time this is.”

Sister Jones said parents and teachers can talk to children about the name of the Church and emphasize three things:

  1. Teach children about revelation.
  2. Teach the “why” behind the statement.
  3. Teach children how blessed we are to be members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

1. Teach children about revelation

Sister Jones said parents can help children recognize that President Nelson is taught by the Lord. “This is an opportunity to teach children about revelation and about the importance of a prophet,” she said. President Nelson “is being taught and guided by the Savior as the Savior directs the affairs of His children.”

2. Teach the “why” behind the statement

Parents and teachers can ask children, “Why is this change important? What is President Nelson teaching us about focusing on the Savior’s name as the Savior directs the affairs of His Church?”

Remind them that every word in the inspired and official name of the Church “is significant,” she said.

3. Teach children how blessed we are to be members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

“This is a wonderful opportunity to testify to our children of the truths we know and live. [We] ‘belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ because this is who we are,” she said. “This is who we stand for. This is who we follow. This is who we strive to be like.”