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Elder M. Russell Ballard: ‘The Importance of a Name’


Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

Elder M. Russell Ballard: ‘The Importance of a Name’


Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

"The Savior's name is the only name under heaven by which man can be saved," Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve said during the Sunday morning session of general conference. "The Lord Jesus Christ knew how important it was to clearly name His Church in these latter days."

Members should teach and uphold that the name of the Church "is known by the name of the Lord Jesus Christ."

"Every word is clarifying and indispensable. The word 'the' indicates the unique position of the restored Church among the religions of the world," Elder Ballard said. "The words 'Church of Jesus Christ' declare that it is His Church."

He explained the phrase "of Latter-day" means that in this time the Church is the same as was established during Christ's mortal ministry and has been restored during 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 in His and our Heavenly Father's presence," he said.

It also means that those who covenant to follow Jesus Christ are seeking to make their lives holy, he said.

"The name the Savior has given to His Church tells us exactly who we are and what we believe," Elder Ballard said. "We believe that Jesus Christ is the Savior and Redeemer of all mankind. …We follow Jesus Christ."

He added that by agreeing to stand as witnesses of the Savior, members should be willing to share with others that they know who they are and that they are members of the Church of Jesus Christ.

"We follow Him by being latter-day saints — latter-day disciples," Elder Ballard said.

He noted that organizations are sometimes given nicknames and although a nickname is not as significant as the given name, there is a proper way to use one. He added there have been nicknames in both ancient and modern times for the Lord's Church.

"Brothers and sisters, just think of what an impact we can have by simply responding by using the full name of the Church as the Lord has declared we should do," said Elder Ballard.

While some Internet sites such as use the term 'Mormon,' once the page is opened, the proper name of the Church appears on the page, he said.

"The Saints in New Testament times were called 'Christians' because they professed a belief in Jesus Christ. That name, first used derogatorily by their detractors, is now a name of distinction; and we are honored to be called a Christian Church," he said.

The nickname 'Mormon' has become acceptable when applied to the members rather than an institution, he said, but members should try to use the full and correct name of the Church.

"Let us develop the habit within our families and our Church activities and our daily interactions of making it clear that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the name by which the Lord Himself has directed that we be known."

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