Special Witness: The Name of the Church


Russell M. Nelson
From an April 1990 general conference address

The Name of the Church

Did you know that Elder Russell M. Nelson likes music and sang in many different choirs in high school and college? He also plays the organ each week in a meeting with the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. He teaches us about the importance of the name of the Church.

The name of [the Church is] a name given by the Lord: “Thus shall my church be called in the last days, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” (D&C 115:4). …

So each word in this name must be important. … If we study the key words in that name, we can better understand the name’s full significance. …

A saint is a believer in Christ, and knows of His perfect love. … A saint serves others, … is honest and kind, … is an honorable citizen, … is reverent, … loves the Lord and gives highest priority to keeping His commandments. …

We live in [the] latter days, and they are really remarkable. The Lord’s Spirit is being poured out upon all inhabitants of the earth, precisely as the Prophet Joel foretold. …

By divine directive [counsel], the title of the Church bears the sacred name of Jesus Christ, whose church this is (see D&C 115:3–4). He so decreed more than once. Nearly two thousand years ago, the Lord said, “Ye shall call the church in my name; …

“And how be it my church save it be called in my name?” (3 Ne. 27:7–8; emphasis added). …

We revere the name of Jesus Christ. He is our risen Redeemer. …

The first two words of the name the Lord chose for His earthly organization are The Church.

Note that the … 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; D&C 18:20–25). …

His church can provide baptism, confirmation, ordination, the sacrament, patriarchal blessings, and the ordinances of the temple—all bestowed by authorized priesthood power. …

As members of His church, we are privileged to participate in its divine destiny. May we so honor Him who declared, “Thus shall my church be called … The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

[illustration] Christ Holding Sacrament Bread, by Del Parson