Latter-day Saint Life

‘My Jesus’: 1 simple way to feel closer to Him (that’s hinted at all over the scriptures)

Senior women talking in community garden
There is power in speaking the name of Jesus.
MoMo Productions/Getty Images

I recently read Nephi’s words, “I glory in my Jesus” and the phrase, “my Jesus,” stood out to me (2 Nephi 33:6). Nephi clearly had a personal connection with Jesus Christ and wasn’t afraid to speak of Him. As I reflected on this phrase, I remembered an experience I had in Sunday School when I was 13. The teacher asked a question and I correctly answered, “Jesus!” But one of my classmates said, “John! You shouldn’t say the name Jesus. That’s disrespectful! You should say, ‘Christ.’”

We know that the Savior’s name is sacred. In the Doctrine and Covenants, we learn that the original name for the Melchizedek Priesthood was, “the Holy Priesthood, after the Order of the Son of God” (107:3). It was changed to the Melchizedek Priesthood “Out of respect or reverence to the name of the Supreme Being, to avoid the too frequent repetition of his name” (Doctrine and Covenants 107:4).

This is an important teaching. We want to have respect and reverence for “the name of the Supreme Being” and “avoid the too frequent repetition of his name.” On the other hand, across the standard works, this specific principle of avoiding frequent repetition of the name of deity appears only one time. In contrast, there are dozens of passages that speak of the name Jesus. For example:

  • “Whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Colossians 3:17).

Whether we use the name “Jesus,” the title “Christ,” or other references for the Savior, I wonder if some of us (myself included) in our efforts to not say His name too frequently, have not said His name frequently enough.

I recently shared my experience as a 13-year-old in Sunday School on social media and asked people for their perspectives. Do you see yourself in these responses?

One woman said, “I homeschool our kids and we used to participate in a Christian sports group for P.E., meeting once a week. The families were from all different Christian churches, and I loved that in conversations, I would often hear moms saying. “Praise Jesus” when someone else would share a good thing that recently happened to them. We aren’t [as] used to saying this in the Church, and to me it wasn’t vain or repetitious; these people were honestly showing their gratitude to Jesus for blessing their lives. Surrounding myself with others who speak often of Jesus has made it easier and more natural for me to speak of him.”

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One friend wrote, “My neighbor [who isn’t a member of the Church] speaks openly of how Jesus is blessing her. I wish I felt comfortable using the same language.” When I asked my friend why she didn’t feel comfortable with this language she said, “I’m not sure. I hadn’t thought about it at all until she said something like, ‘Jesus has really blessed us this year.’ I responded we had been blessed too and wondered why I didn’t feel comfortable using the same words she did. Thinking about it now, I only say ‘Jesus’ or ‘Christ’ when praying, sharing testimony, or talking about scripture. I’m not sure why, but it could be not wanting to overuse His name.”

A young mother wrote, “I’ve seen an increase in using His name in my life since I’ve had children. I want the Savior to be very real to them. The first thing a child does when they meet somebody is ask them their name. I want my children to know who Jesus is and know that He is their friend. So we use His name a lot in our house!”

What a powerful thought: “I want my children to know who Jesus is and know that He is their friend. So we use His name a lot in our house!There is power in the name of Jesus.

Nephi isn’t the only one who was quick to use the Savior’s name.

King Lamoni’s wife said, “O blessed Jesus, who has saved me from an awful hell!” (Alma 19:29).

Alma the Younger exclaimed, “O Jesus, thou son of God, have mercy on me” (Alma 36:18).

Mormon wrote, “I was visited of the Lord, and tasted and knew of the goodness of Jesus” (Mormon 1:15).

Moroni invited, “Seek this Jesus” (Ether 12:41).

Whatever title we choose to use, great power can come into our lives as we, with love and reverence, speak more of the Savior. Elder Neil L. Andersen taught, “To fathers and mothers, to grandfathers and grandmothers, and to those without children of their own who lovingly nurture children and youth, my counsel is to speak more frequently about Jesus Christ. In His holy name is great spiritual power.”

I noticed with interest a recent article that analyzed general conference talks. The researchers found that “since 2000, Church leaders have more than tripled their mentions of Jesus Christ by name.” How would our lives be changed if we followed their example?

Could speaking more of Christ change the way we pray? Help our testimonies become more Christ-centered? How might using the name Jesus affect our social media posts? Change what we say when we tuck in the kids? Influence what we say in a quick phone conversation with a loved one? Transform our Come, Follow Me studies?

Nephi gloried in his Jesus. I think part of the reason he was able to do so is because these words were his reality: “We talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write [of Christ]” (2 Nephi 25:26). As we follow Nephi’s example, we will be able to say with him, “I glory in my Jesus” (2 Nephi 33:6).

▶ You may also like: What true followers of Jesus do: The sacred moment in Lehi’s dream found all over scripture

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