What’s in a name? That which we call a rose,
By any other name, would smell as sweet.
She asks a very good question. What is in a name?
I bring this up because one of the main themes of King Benjamin’s address is giving the people a name. What name did he want to give them? Of course, he wanted them to take upon themselves the name of Christ.
Now, we have to remember that the Book of Mormon was written for our time. That means God wanted us to read these inspired words from the aged king for some reason. Why would God want us to learn about these people being challenged to take upon them the name of Christ?
(Yes, I am one for obvious questions.)
Of course, when we get baptized and renew that covenant through our weekly partaking of the sacrament, we are taking upon us the name of Christ. I feel God wanted us to read these words from King Benjamin so that we could more clearly understand what it meant for us to take the name of Christ upon ourselves.
When I take a closer look at Mosiah chapters 2-6 I see the following attributes that are required to be worthy to bear the name of Christ:
- Personal humility
- Childlike faith
- Willingness to serve others
- Compassion and empathy for the poor and needy
- Recognition of our interdependence rather than independence
These attributes create a natural progression in our ability to be more like Christ.
Humility comes when we recognize that without Christ’s atonement, we cannot obtain eternal life. It is His grace, not our skills, that save us.
Once we recognize our dependence upon Christ and that we all are living by faith as we make this challenging mortal voyage, we will find it natural to serve one another. There is no competition for salvation. It is not a race. We need to help one another and be willing to receive help as well.
Finally, as we develop empathy we will create a community of saints that has but one goal, to work together to become of one mind and one heart.
What I think King Benjamin is saying is that it takes a community of people with different backgrounds, opinions, beliefs, and resources to create a sustained environment that can foster in each of us the ability to bear the name of Christ. I feel this is the very definition of a ward.