Editor’s note: “The Spoken Word” is shared by Lloyd Newell each Sunday during the weekly Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square broadcast. This is an encore performance of “Music & the Spoken Word” with a new “Spoken Word” selected and recorded while the choir prepares to resume the weekly performances. This will be given Sunday, Oct. 2, 2021.
To have a name is to have an identity. Our names give us a sense of both individuality and belonging. They distinguish us from others while at the same time connecting us with our family or culture, teaching us about our origin. A name can be a sign of a special emotional bond, endearing us to loved ones. Besides identifying who we are, a name can inspire us to become who we want to be.
Thousands of years ago, the prophet Jeremiah preached the word of God, and like many prophets, he was ignored, opposed and rejected. Jeremiah’s name has since come to mean one who laments or predicts disaster. But Jeremiah’s relationship with God gave him a sense of identity more profound and exalting. “O Lord,” he said, “thou knowest: remember me, and visit me. … Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts” (Jeremiah 15:15–16; emphasis added).
Many people today feel forgotten, unseen and unheard. Sadly, they may lack a sense of belonging and identity. But no matter who we are or where we come from, we are each part of the family of God. He is our Father, and thereby, in a sense, we carry His name. He knows us inside and out — both who we really are and who we really can become. He will never forget or forsake us, and He watches over us with perfect love.
This is what the Apostle Paul tried to teach the Athenians: “God that made the world and all things therein, … hath made of one blood all nations. … For in him we live, and move, and have our being …, for we are also his offspring” (Acts 17:24, 26, 28).
Jeremiah’s name actually means “The Lord exalts,” and what can be more exalting than to know we are all the sons and daughters of God? This is our true identity. This is where we truly belong. We are called upon to help all members of God’s family know where they come from, who they are and who they can become.
Tuning in …
The “Music & the Spoken Word” broadcast is available on KSL-TV, KSL Radio 1160AM/102.7FM, ksl.com, BYtUv, BYUradio, Dish and DirectTV, SiriusXM Radio (Ch. 143), the tabernaclechoir.org, youtube.com/TheTabernacleChoiratTempleSquare and Amazon Alexa (must enable skill). The program is aired live on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. on many of these outlets. Look up broadcast information by state and city at musicandthespokenword.com/viewers-listeners/airing-schedules.