“If It Be Called in My Name Then It Is My Church”

D. Kelly Ogden, Andrew C. Skinner

In the spirit of fasting and prayer, the disciples asked an inspired question: What should be the name of the Church that Jesus established on the earth? His own answer is simple and indisputable. If it is his Church, it must be named after him: the Church of Jesus Christ. Although we have often been called Mormons and the way of life we espouse called Mormonism, it is not the Church nor the way of life of the ancient prophet Mormon. The same with a host of other name-titles. Catholics are named after the concept of a catholic or universal church. Protestants are so named because of their protesting what Catholics and other orthodox churches believed and breaking off to form other churches—for example, Methodists because of certain methodology, Baptists because of a particular doctrine of baptism, Presbyterians because of doctrine about priests or officers (Greek presbyterion), Episcopalians because of doctrine about bishops or pastors (Greek episcopos means one who oversees: a shepherd, pastor, or bishop) and Lutherans because of Martin Luther. But the true Church of Jesus Christ may be characterized specifically by the use of his holy name.

In these latter days he has given the name of his Church an addition to indicate joint-ownership. It is called The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (D&C 115:4) because it belongs to Jesus Christ and it belongs to the Latter-day Saints, the members or citizens of his kingdom on earth.

Names are more than mere labels; names have power. In a sense, it is astounding that Jesus Christ allows us to bear his very name. Indeed, it is humbling to be worthy to represent the greatest, most powerful Person ever to reside on this earth.

Verse by Verse: The Book of Mormon: Vol. 2