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Why We Must Believe on the Given Name of Jesus Christ

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What is the name of our Savior, the Anointed One spoken of by the prophets and apostles?[1] Does it matter what we call Him? When calling upon the Father, does it matter what name we use for Him? The Lord answered all such questions when restoring His latter-day church. He said our heavenly Father gave us Jesus Christ as the only name by which we can be saved.

D&C 16:4f-4gBehold, Jesus Christ is the name which is given of the Father, and there is none other name given whereby man can be saved; wherefore, all men must take upon them the name which is given of the Father, for in that name shall they be called at the last day; wherefore, if they know not the name by which they are called, they can not have place in the kingdom of my Father.

The first elders of His restored church[2] stated that they knew this to be true, that Jesus Christ is the name we must believe on or we cannot be saved in the kingdom of God.

D&C 17:6aAnd we know that all men must repent and believe on the name of Jesus Christ and worship the Father in his name, and endure in faith on his name to the end, or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God.

Their statement agrees with the testimony the Apostle Peter[3] gave to the high priest and other rulers presiding in Jerusalem. He, along with the Apostle John, were brought before these leaders for healing a man in the name of Jesus Christ.[4] To them Peter declared there is no name other than this name which has been given under heaven for our salvation.

Acts 4:12Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at naught of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Paul, also an Apostle of Jesus Christ,[5] explained why this name is so unique. God the Father gave this name to His Only Begotten Son to be the name above all names.

Philippians 2:9-11Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name; That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

In these last two passages the name Jesus Christ is an English derivation of a Greek translation for our Lord’s Hebrew or Aramaic name. So, would it not be appropriate for us to refer to Him by His Hebrew name? Or should we use the name God has given directly to us in latter day scriptures? Before offering an answer to these questions, please consider the following.

In addition to D&C 16:4f-4g quoted above, the Book of Mormon provides us with added witnesses that our heavenly Father has unmistakably given us a specific name for our salvation. Each of these witnesses echo the same message, that Jesus Christ is the only name that God has given in latter-day scripture for our salvation.

II Nephi 11:36-39And according to the words of the prophets, and also the word of the angel of God, his name shall be Jesus Christ, the Son of God. And now my brethren, I have spoken plain, that ye can not err; Yea, behold, I say unto you, that as these things are true, and as the Lord God liveth, there is none other name given under heaven, save it be this Jesus Christ of which I have spoken, whereby man can be saved.

Mosiah 1:102-103, 116And he shall be called Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of heaven and earth, the Creator of all things, from the beginning; and his mother shall be called Mary. And lo, he cometh unto his own, that salvation might come unto the children of men, even through faith, on his name; … And moreover, I say unto you, that there shall be no other name given, nor any other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent.

Mormon 4:94,95Be wise in the days of your probation; strip yourselves of all uncleanness; ask not, that ye may consume it on your lusts, but ask with a firmness unshaken, that ye will yield to no temptation, but that ye will serve the true and living God. See that ye are not baptized unworthily; see that ye partake not of the sacrament of Christ unworthily; but see that ye do all things in worthiness, and do it in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God: and if ye do this, and endure to the end, ye will in no wise be cast out.

Why note scriptures such as these?[6] They were given in the language of those into whose hands the fullness of the gospel was restored in these latter days. In this way, the Lord has made it clear that the name Jesus Christ is, in fact, the only name our heavenly Father has given to us for our salvation.

In the opening section of the D&C, the Lord explained that each of its revelations had been given after the manner of the language of His servants so they might come to understanding.

D&C 1:5a,5bBehold, I am God, and have spoken it; these commandments are of me, and were given unto my servants in their weakness, after the manner of their language, that they might come to understanding; and inasmuch as they erred it might be made known; and inasmuch as they sought wisdom they might be instructed.

This is also true of the Book of Mormon. God chose the language of this precious book for this same purpose, so those who receive it might come to a correct understanding of His words. This is made evident in its title page. There we read that the interpretation of this precious set of records was brought about by the gift and power of God.

Book of Mormon Title PageWherefore, it is an abridgment of the record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites; written to the Lamanites, who are a remnant of the house of Israel; and also to Jew and Gentile; written by way of commandment, and also by the spirit of prophecy and of revelation. Written, and sealed up, and hid unto the Lord, that they might not be destroyed; to come forth by the gift and power of God unto the interpretation thereof; sealed by the hand of Moroni, and hid up unto the Lord, to come forth in due time by the way of Gentile; the interpretation thereof by the gift of God

Since it was God who interpreted this special book, we can be confident He included the name Jesus Christ in it for His stated purpose, that of bringing the Lamanites to salvation.

D&C 2:6c-6e… and for this very purpose are these plates preserved which contain these records, that the promises of the Lord might be fulfilled, which he made to his people; and that the Lamanites might come to the knowledge of their fathers, and that they might know the promises of the Lord, and that they may believe the gospel and rely upon the merits of Jesus Christ, and be glorified through faith in his name, and that through their repentance they might be saved. Amen.

Any doubt in or about the name Jesus Christ obviously does not come from God. Because God chose the language into which the Book of Mormon would be translated, we know that the interpretation of our Savior’s name is just and true. Therefore, the name Jesus Christ is the name upon which English-speaking people must rely to be saved in the kingdom of God.

The Lord reinforced this truth when restoring – in English – many plain and precious truths that had been taken from the Bible[7], an example of which is found in this next passage.

Genesis 6:53 (IV)… If thou wilt, turn unto me and hearken unto my voice, and believe, and repent of all thy transgressions, and be baptized, even in water, in the name of mine Only Begotten Son, who is full of grace and truth, which is Jesus Christ, the only name which shall be given under heaven, whereby salvation shall come unto the children of men; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, asking all things in his name, and whatsoever ye shall ask it shall be given you.

By latter-day revelation, then, the Lord has left us no room to quibble about the correctness or appropriateness of placing our full trust in the name Jesus Christ. This truth is further reinforced by God’s instruction to beware concerning [ourselves] to give diligent heed to all His lifegiving words which come by way of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.[8]

D&C 83:7a-7eAnd now I give unto you a commandment to beware concerning yourselves, to give diligent heed to the words of eternal life; for you shall live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God. For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light, and whatsoever is light is Spirit, even the Spirit of Jesus Christ; and the Spirit giveth light to every man that cometh into the world; and the Spirit enlighteneth every man through the world, that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit; and everyone that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit, cometh unto God, even the Father; and the Father teacheth him of the covenant which he has renewed and confirmed upon you, which is confirmed upon you for your sakes, and not for your sakes only, but for the sake of the whole world.

This is not all. We must believe that God has forever associated the name Jesus Christ directly with the new covenant that He has renewed in these latter days by placing this name in the Book of Mormon. As such, those who doubt this name perpetuate the condemnation that rests upon the children of Zion for treating lightly the sacred things they have been given.

D&C 83:8a,8bAnd your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received, which vanity and unbelief hath brought the whole church under condemnation. And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all; and they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written…

Believing on the name Jesus Christ as recorded in the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon, is an important step, then, in being set free from this condemnation. For, as we have seen, Jesus Christ is clearly the name the Father has given to us by way of this sacred record. Thus, no one should be ashamed to take upon themselves this new covenant name.

At the same time, we should not insist that people whose native language is not English should only speak the English version of the name Jesus Christ when speaking in their tongue. Recall how on the day of Pentecost the Holy Ghost caused the apostles to speak in tongues such that everyone present heard them speak in their own tongue wherein [they] were born.

Acts 2:1-8And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it rested upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marveled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?

Now, in these latter days, and in preparation for the latter rain spoken of by Joel, the Holy Ghost is again causing people to hear the gospel in his or her own tongue, i.e. of the land wherein they were born. Take for example the prophecy of Lehi who said that the plates of brass should go forth unto all nations, kindreds, tongues and people who are of his lineage.

I Nephi 1:169And now when my father saw all these things he was filled with the Spirit, and began to prophesy concerning his seed; that these plates of brass should go forth unto all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, who were of his seed.

How can the plates of brass, originally written in Egyptian,[9] come forth to all these people except it be translated into their own tongue? According to the pattern revealed on the day of Pentecost, the Holy Ghost is truly able to cause the name of our one and only Savior to be spoken in everyone’s own native tongue (language).

Ultimately, however, no one should be ashamed of the name Jesus Christ, either as given in the scriptures revealed in these latter days. For someday every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. This, I understand, will include each of us confessing our Savior’s name as it is given to us by the Holy Ghost.

Philippians 2:9-11Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name; That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

To summarize, this study letter was written to highlight how and why the name Jesus Christ was given in latter-day revelation. Our heavenly Father gave us this unique name by way of revelation and interpretation for our salvation. Scriptures in the Doctrine & Covenants[10] and in the Book of Mormon,[11] which our Lord identified as the new covenant,[12] confirm this truth.

English-speaking people should therefore never be ashamed to take upon themselves the name given by our heavenly Father, that of Jesus Christ. Neither should they allow anyone to cause them to doubt its authenticity or authoritative nature. For great promises have been made to those who hold fast to and exercise faith in our Lord’s given name.[13]

Helaman 2:25,26Thus we may see that the Lord is merciful unto all who will in the sincerity of their hearts, call upon his holy name; yea, thus we see that the gate of heaven is open unto all, even to those who will believe on the name of Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God; Yea, we see that whosoever will lay hold upon the word of God which is quick and powerful, which shall divide asunder all the cunning, and the snares, and the wiles of the devil, and lead the man of Christ in a strait and narrow course across that everlasting gulf of misery which is prepared to engulf the wicked, and land their souls, yea, their immortal souls, at the right hand of God, in the kingdom of heaven, to sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and with Jacob, and with all our holy fathers, to go no more out.

May all people so receive and rely upon the name that is above all names, the name Jesus Christ. For this name was restored in these latter days for our salvation and by it we will be called forth into eternal life.

Mosiah 11:132For behold, in my name are they called; and if they know me, they shall come forth, and shall have a place eternally at my right hand.

Come, then, and call upon the Father in the name of Jesus Christ as the Holy Ghost gives utterance[14] and enter in the kingdom of heaven as a child of God.[15]

[1] Job 19:23-27, Psalm 2:1-12, 40:5-9 (see Hebrews 10:5-9), Isaiah 7:14-16, 9:1-7, 40:3-5, 42:1-10, 43:3, 45:21:, 49:26, 53:1-12, 61:1-3, Jeremiah 23:5-6, 31:15, Ezekiel 34:11-26, Daniel 7:13,14, Hosea 11:1, 13:4, Micah 5:2, Zechariah 9:9, 11:12-13, etc. with Genesis 15:1-12 IV (John 8:56), Genesis 4:1-13 IV, Genesis 7:52-54 IV; John 20:30,31 & I Timothy 3:16 with Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, etc.

[2] D&C 17:3d & D&C 19:1a-3c with D&C 17:1a-1c, D&C 26:3a-3d & D&C 85:19a-20c

[3] I Peter 1:1-5 & II Peter 1:1-4 with II Peter 1:16-21; see also Acts 10:26-29 with Galatians 2:14

[4] Acts 4:1-7 with Acts 3:1-26

[5] Acts 14:14 & Romans 11:13 with Romans 1:1, Galatians 1:1, etc.; see also Acts 22:1-3 with Philippians 3:3-7

[6] Other similar passages in the Book of Mormon refer to either the name Jesus, e.g. Mormon 4:65, or to the name Christ, e.g. Mosiah 3:11,12. In some cases, both Jesus and Christ are included in the same monologue or dialogue but are separated from each other within the text, e.g. Mormon 3:30 & II Nephi 13:13,14 … 30,31. Obviously, each such instance refers to one individual, the Only Begotten Son of the Father. Even though there are different arrangements of these names found in scriptures, they all represent the formal name which has been given of the Father elsewhere in scripture, which is Jesus Christ.

[7] I Nephi 3:165-209

[8] John 6:63 with John 12:44-50

[9] Mosiah 1:6 with I Nephi 1:1 & Mormon 4:98

[10] D&C 16:4f-4g with D&C 17:6a

[11] II Nephi 11:36-39, Mosiah 1:102-103, 116, Mormon 4:94,95, etc.

[12] D&C 83:8a,8b with Hebrews 8:8-12

[13] Ether 1:101-113 with III Nephi 12:15-19

[14] Acts 2:4 & D&C 12:4a-5b with I Corinthians 12:3

[15] I John 5:1-15 with John 1:11-16, III Nephi 4:47,48, D&C 45:2c, etc.