Elder Russell M. Nelson discussed the name of the Church in Saturday morning's session, noting that in the Doctrine and Covenants, the Lord specifically said, "Thus shall my church be called. . . ."
"Surely, every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord is precious," said Elder Nelson of the Council of the Twelve. "So each word in this name must be important - divinely designated for a reason."Elder Nelson then spoke of the significance of the four key words or phrases in the Church's name:
- Saints. Though the word "Christian" appears in the Bible only three times, noted Elder Nelson, the word "saints" appears in 98 verses.
"Some mistakenly think that the wordT implies beatification or perfection. Not so!" Elder Nelson emphasized. A saint, he said, is one who:
- believes in Christ, knows of His perfect love and shares in a true spirit of that love.
- serves others.
- is tolerant and attentive.
- refrains from idleness; seeks learning by study, faith.
- is honest and kind, an honorable citizen, courteous, pure and reverent.
- loves the Lord and gives highest priority to keeping His commandments; one who receives the gifts of the Spirit.
- Latter-day. "Ultimately, the earth will become celestialized," said Elder Nelson. "But its last days must be preceded by its latter days! We live in those 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."
Developments since Joseph Smith's time, Elder Nelson said, have risen remarkably. Modern communication and transportation systems, political changes and lifting of restrictions have made it possible for the gospel to be preached worldwide.
"Surely the hand of the Lord is apparent," he declared.
- Jesus Christ. "By divine directive, the title of the Church bears the sacred name of Jesus Christ, whose Church this is.
"We know Him to be `the chief cornerstone' upon which the organization of His Church is based. We know Him to be the Rock from whom revelation comes to His authorized agents and to all who worthily seek Him.
"We revere the name of Jesus Christ. He is our risen Redeemer."
- The Church. "The Church is the official organization of baptized believers who have taken upon themselves the name of Christ," Elder Nelson explained. "While many organizations can offer fellowship and fine instruction, only His Church can provide baptism, confirmation, ordination, the sacrament, patriarchal blessings, and the ordinances of the temple - all bestowed by authorized priesthood power."