This talk inspired me to make this with Photoshop. I’m not great with Photoshop, but I think it turned out okay. I loved how Elder M. Russell Ballard dissected the name of the Church and talked about the significance of every part – even the seemingly insignificant article “The” at the beginning of the name.
I was also somewhat pleased that Elder Ballard’s talk was kind of a follow-up and clarification of President Boyd K. Packer’s talk in April 2011 General Conference when he talked about how important it was to use the full and proper name of the Church and to refer to ourselves as “members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” or simple “Latter-day Saints.” I know many people wondered what was going to happen to the Church’s “I’m a Mormon” campaign, so I am glad that Elder Ballard clarified that for now, it wasn’t going anywhere, but it’s purpose was to teach people who “Mormons” really are (members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints).
Elder Ballard said, “I have thought a lot about why the Savior gave the nine-word name to His restored Church. It may seem long, but if we think of it as a descriptive overview of what the Church is, it suddenly becomes wonderfully brief,candid, and straightforward.” I am sure many people wonder why the Lord decided to give His Church such a mouthful of a name, but, like Elder Ballard pointed out, it is wonderfully descriptive, and rather brief, when you look at all it really says (see image above).
“I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ. Because we believe in the Book of Mormon, which is named after an ancient American prophet-leader and is another testament of Jesus Christ, we are sometimes called Mormons.” I hope that I get the opportunity to use this response to the question “Do you belong to the Mormon Church?” I believe this response can also be appropriate when asked the question “Are you Mormon?” It’s wonderfully succinct and hits all the important points, while validating the person’s question.
Elder Ballard said, “Surely it would be easier for [people] to understand that we believe in and follow the Savior if we referred to ourselves as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” Just think of how the media coverage might be different today if we had spent the last 100+ years referring to ourselves as “members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”? I do understand that when the Church was first organized it was important to distinguish us from other Christians – and that is still important. We don’t mind being “different” Christians – in fact, it’s the best part of our Church – we are not just another protestant religion. We belong to the restored Church of Jesus Christ.
“The Savior’s name is the only name under heaven by which man can be saved.”
“Do we realize how blessed we are to take upon us the name of God’s Beloved and Only Begotten Son? Do we understand how significant that is?” Do you refer to yourself as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? How do you tell people about the full name of the Church?