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)
Sometime after the Savior’s three-day ministry on the American continent, the twelve disciples whom He had chosen were gathered to consider an important question: what should they call the church? Interestingly, Mormon tells us that they had been “baptizing in the name of Jesus,” and that as they gathered together, they were “praying unto the Father in his name.” In response to that prayer, Jesus visited them and answered their question: they should call the church in His name.
In the passage above, He lays out the doctrinal basis for this instruction. The church must be named after Him because it consists of His disciples, each of whom has promised to take upon themselves His name. We must take upon ourselves His name and endure to the end in order to be saved at the last day.
In the last general conference, Elder Paul B. Pieper explained that the commandment to take upon ourselves the name of Christ has “multiple dimensions” because the word “take” has many meanings. For example, the word can mean:
- To internalize – “By taking upon ourselves the name of Christ, we commit to take His teachings, His characteristics, and ultimately His love deep into our beings so that they become part of who we are.”
- To acknowledge – “When we take upon us the name of Christ, we accept Him as our Savior and continually embrace His teachings as the guide for our lives.”
- To assume a responsibility – “When we take upon ourselves the name of Christ, we take upon us the responsibilities of a true disciple, we advocate His cause, and we ‘stand as witnesses of [Him] at all times and in all things, and in all places that [we] may be in.'”
(“All Must Take upon Them the Name Given of the Father,” General Conference, August 2018).
Today, I will recommit to take upon myself the name of Jesus Christ in all of the ways described by Elder Pieper. I will strive to acquire His attributes by following His example (3 Nephi 27:21, 27). I will acknowledge Him as my Savior and accept the truth of His words. I will also take seriously my responsibility to stand as a witness for Him and to advocate on His behalf. I will remember that the heart of my discipleship is my commitment to take upon myself the name of Christ.