The Importance of His Name
If you ask someone if they’re Mormon, there’s a good chance they’ll instead say they are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But what’s in a name? Does it really matter how other people refer to us? Here’s why we believe it matters a great deal.
A Name with a Purpose
We believe that the full name of the Church was given to us by God, and it’s no coincidence that Jesus Christ is at the center of that name. The scriptures teach us that following Jesus Christ means taking His name upon us. We do this by making sure that we follow His loving example in the way that we speak, the way we think—and especially in the way we treat those around us.
To refer to our Church by any other title or nickname that removes the name of Jesus Christ wrongly deemphasizes the central place of Jesus Christ in our beliefs and in our lives. He is the foundation of our doctrine, our faith, our hope, and our joy. Every time we use the correct name of our Church, it’s a simple way to proclaim the sacred mission of Jesus Christ to the world. So, we try to say it often.
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On Palm Sunday, Jesus Christ rides triumphantly into Jerusalem as His followers lay down cloaks and palm fronds in His path. They welcome Him with joy and praise. They know there is something special about this man, even though few, if any, realize the full extent of Jesus’s mission and how He is about to fulfill it.
Like them, we are asked to invite Jesus Christ into our lives. When we welcome Him into our hearts, we will feel His influence in our lives just as joyously as His followers did, not just on Palm Sunday, but every day.
After entering Jerusalem, one of the first places Jesus visits is the temple. There, inside His father’s house, Jesus sees various merchants doing business. To see a place of worship converted into a center of commerce is something that Jesus cannot abide. Speaking with unmistakable authority, He commands them to leave.
Sometimes our own lives can seem as crowded and conflicted as the temple in Jerusalem. Jesus Christ showed us that we can have the courage to remove unnecessary distractions that come between us and our relationship with the Father.
In Jerusalem, Jesus Christ is surrounded by followers and critics. As the master teacher, He does not let the opportunity go to waste. Here, in the last week of His life, He shares some of His most enduring teachings with the assembled masses. He lets them (and us) know that the greatest way we can serve God is by serving our fellow man.
As we come to know the Savior and all that He did for us, it’s natural to wish that we could do something for Him. The wonderful news is that we can. Every time we look around and offer service, love, and compassion to someone else, it’s like we’re doing it for Him.
As Jesus Christ continues to teach His followers, one thing becomes clear—Jesus has a deep knowledge and love of the scriptures. Throughout the week, Jesus often quotes the very scriptures He’s fulfilling.
We also can find strength, guidance, and insight in the scriptures, especially as we read the account of Christ’s ministry as found in the four gospels of the New Testament.
The Last Supper
In the evening, Jesus Christ gathers His Apostles together to share a meal and express His love for them. The Last Supper is a quiet, beautiful moment that takes place before Jesus Christ enters the Garden of Gethsemane later that night. His Apostles don’t understand the suffering He is about to undertake, but they know something sacred is happening as their dear friend and Master invites them to remember Him.
The invitation to us is the same. We are to remember—what He did, who He is, and why it matters more than anything else.
In the early hours of the morning, Jesus is betrayed into the hands of the local authorities. After a series of one-sided trials, He is sentenced to death by crucifixion. While on the cross, He is surrounded by people who cruelly mock Him. But instead of condemning them, Jesus Christ begs His Father to “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
His words are a powerful reminder that Jesus Christ suffered so that all of God’s children can change and repent to find the forgiveness that comes through Him.
It’s hard to imagine the anguish Jesus Christ’s followers must have felt on the day after His death. The night before, His body was lovingly prepared and placed in a garden tomb. Today, they are left to figure out how life can possibly go on without Him.
When we are in desperate need of comfort, sometimes the only thing we can do is pray. But far from a last resort, prayer is one of the most important ways we can feel close to our Heavenly Father when life is at its most difficult.
Early in the morning, Mary Magdalene, a friend and follower of Jesus, comes to the tomb to care for Jesus Christ’s body. To her astonishment, she finds the tomb empty. But she is not alone. A man addresses her, a gardener, she supposes. But then He says her name, “Mary.” And she sees. He is Jesus. The Christ lives.
On Easter, and every day, we can celebrate the incredible joy that comes from knowing that Jesus Christ overcame death and sin so we can too.