What’s in a Name?

roseAs Juliet was debating the insanity of the blood feud between the Capulets and Montagues that was an obstacle for her budding romance with Romeo, she said:

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.)

sacramentOf 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:

  1. Personal humility
  2. Childlike faith
  3. Willingness to serve others
  4. Compassion and empathy for the poor and needy
  5. 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.

begChildlike faith comes when we realize we must accept many things without a sure knowledge. We must trust God as a child trusts his or her parents.

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.

helpingOur willingness to serve will help us be more empathetic towards others. We will want to reach out to those less fortunate than we are.

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.


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