Respect His Name


Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain (Ex. 20:7).

My name is Lance McDowell. I am six years old and live in Spencer, Iowa. My family likes to study the scriptures together. We read them and talk about what they mean. One of the people I’ve enjoyed reading about is the prophet Moses. The Lord gave the Ten Commandments to us through him. One of the commandments says that we should not take the name of God in vain. My family decided that one way to obey this commandment is to always speak His name reverently.

Some of my friends in school use Heavenly Father’s name in vain. It had always bothered me, but now I thought about it even more. I wondered what I could do about it. I wanted my friends to know that Heavenly Father is special. I decided to ask my mom and dad about it. I wanted to say something to my friends, but I was afraid that they would be mad at me and not play with me anymore. My parents told me two stories that helped a lot.

My mom told me about when she was in school. She wasn’t a member of the Church and didn’t know a lot about Heavenly Father’s commandments. She used His name in vain sometimes without thinking much about it. One day a girl told her that it really upset her when she heard Mom use His name that way, and she asked Mom to stop it. Mom thought about it and made a promise to herself to never use God’s name in vain again. She said she has always been grateful to that girl for standing up for the right.

My parents also told me about one of our modern prophets, President Spencer W. Kimball, who had to have an operation. When he was being taken to the operating room, one of the people helping him used the Lord’s name irreverently. Even though he didn’t feel well, President Kimball said, “Don’t say that. He’s my friend.”

After hearing that, I decided I would try to be like those I had heard about and stand up for the right. The next day at school when I heard one of my friends say something bad, I asked him not to say it anymore. I was still afraid, but it turned out OK. He agreed and is still my friend. I felt good inside because I had done the right thing, just like Jesus always did.

[illustrations] Illustrated by Michael Malm