5 Have they not read the scriptures, which say ye must take upon you the name of Christ, which is my name? For by this name shall ye be called at the last day;
6 And whoso taketh upon him my name, and endureth to the end, the same shall be saved at the last day.
(3 Nephi 27:5-6)
The prophet Isaiah promised that the Lord would bless the righteous with an inheritance better than any that could be received from mortal parents:
Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off (Isaiah 56:5).
The prophet Nephi taught that, if we will “take upon [ourselves] the name of Christ, by baptism—yea, by following [our] Lord and [our] Savior down into the water,” then we will receive the Holy Ghost, which will eventually lead us to eternal life (2 Nephi 31:13-18).
King Benjamin called his people together at the end of his life for two reasons: to proclaim that his son Mosiah was the new king, and to “give [the people] a name that never shall be blotted out, except it be through transgression” (Mosiah 1:12). After the people repented of their sins and covenanted to follow God’s will for the rest of their lives, Benjamin said, “There is no other name given whereby salvation cometh; therefore, I would that ye should take upon you the name of Christ, all you that have entered into the covenant with God that ye should be obedient unto the end of your lives” (Mosiah 5:8).
In the passage above, Jesus Christ reaffirms these teachings. “Ye must take upon you the name of Christ, which is my name,” he says. What does it mean to take upon ourselves the name of Christ, and how do we do it?
Elder Dallin H. Oaks taught that the phrase can have a number of different meanings, some obvious, and some more profound:
- When we are baptized, we witness our willingness to take upon ourselves the name of Christ, “having a determination to serve him to the end” (Moroni 6:3, D&C 20:37). We renew this covenant, and reaffirm our commitment to keep it, each Sunday as we partake of the sacrament.
- When we become members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we take upon ourselves His name, because the organization we belong to bears His name. Our willingness to identify with the Church and to publicly proclaim our belief in Him is a form of taking upon ourselves His name.
- When we do His work, we are acting on His behalf, and in that sense, we carry His name.
- In the scriptures, the name of the Savior often refers to His authority. Therefore, we take upon ourselves His name when we receive His authority, particularly through the ordinances of the temple.
- When our sins are washed away by the blood of the Savior, we are spiritually reborn and become His sons and His daughters. (See Mosiah 5:7.) In that sense, we have taken upon ourselves His name by joining His family through a spiritual rebirth.
- To take upon ourselves His name is to declare our intention to be called by His name at the Final Judgment. “In this sacred sense, our witness that we are willing to take upon us the name of Jesus Christ constitutes our declaration of candidacy for exaltation in the celestial kingdom.”
(“Taking upon Us the Name of Jesus Christ,” General Conference, April 1985)
Today, I will renew my commitment to take upon myself the name of Jesus Christ in all of these ways. I will remember the Savior’s promise that those who take upon themselves His name and endure to the end will have eternal life.