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Why Names Are So Important in Our Faith, Including the Name of the Church

What profound insights from Dr. Taylor Halverson: "There is power in naming. A name provides clarity of identity. A name highlights significant characteristics. A name entrusts power and responsibility. A name ensures life."

In the October 2018 General Conference, President Nelson again reiterated the command to use the revealed name of The Church of Jesus Christ.

Does this name really matter?

When Joseph sought the Lord in pleading prayer for enlightenment on that beautiful spring day of 1820, little did he expect a visitation from God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. The very first thing that Heavenly Father did was to call out to him by name: “Joseph”! We are all familiar with the following divine famous words, “This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!” (Joseph Smith—History 1:17).  Yet, even before the revelatory self-disclosure of the Creator of the Worlds, God directly addressed Joseph by name.

Soon after God created our glorious earth, He placed Adam in the Garden of Eden with the command to keep it or guard and protect it, much like we are asked to keep the commandments. But Adam was alone and God knew that Adam needed a strength equal to him to share in the command to care for the creation. Our English word “helpmeet” (often and sadly misunderstood as helpmate) is translated from the Hebrew word ezer knegdo, which means equal and corresponding strength. Before God presented Eve to Adam, Adam first had to name all living things. In all that naming, there was no ezer knegdo found for Adam (Genesis 2:15, 18-20). Only after God created Eve and presented her to Adam did Adam discover his ezer knedgo. And what do we learn in the temple? That Adam named her Eve because she is the mother of all living. In fact, the word Eve is a Hebrew word haiva which means “life.”

Lead image from Wikimedia Commons
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