King Benjamin told his son Mosiah that he had two reasons to call the people together: to declare that Mosiah was now the 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 heard his message about Jesus Christ, they repented of their sins and entered a covenant to serve God for the rest of their lives. Benjamin then gave them an admonition:
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.
What does it mean to take upon ourselves the name of Christ?
- It means to enter a relationship with Him. Benjamin told the people that they had become “the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters,” because He had spiritually begotten them (Mosiah 5:7). Taking upon themselves His name was a way of acknowledging that relationship: they were born again because of Him. Therefore, He was now like a parent to them.
- It means to represent Him. When Alma challenged his people to be baptized at the waters of Mormon, he told them that they would “stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places” (Mosiah 18:9). They would now be His people, and they would be expected to bear testimony of Him.
- It means to strive to be like Him. Jesus asked, “What manner of men ought ye to be?” And then He provided the answer: “Even as I am” (3 Nephi 27:27). Of course we aren’t perfect, but a person who takes upon himself or herself the name of Jesus Christ makes a sincere and diligent effort to emulate Him, to do what He would do if He were here.
Today, I will continue to take upon myself the name of Christ. I will remember and honor my relationship with Him. I will stand as His witness at all times. And I will do my best to emulate His attributes and His character.