King Benjamin told his son Mosiah that he was going to give his people “a name that never shall be blotted out, except it be through transgression” (Mosiah 1:12).
When the people gathered, Benjamin shared some things he had learned from an angel. Among the teachings of the angel was the importance of the name of the Savior—Jesus Christ. “There shall be no other name given,” the angel said, “nor any other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent” (Mosiah 3:17). (See also Acts 4:12.)
After the people received a remission of their sins and promised to do the will of God for the remainder of their lives, King Benjamin told them that they would now “be called the children of Christ.” He said:
This is the name that I said I should give unto you that never should be blotted out, except it be through transgression; therefore, take heed that ye do not transgress, that the name be not blotted out of your hearts.
What does it mean for a name to be blotted out? Here are three definitions from the Oxford English Dictionary:
- Cover writing or pictures with ink or paint so that they cannot be seen.
- Obscure a view.
- Obliterate or disregard something painful in one’s memory or existence.
I think it’s useful to visualize a word being covered with ink so that it can no longer be seen. It may still be there, but it’s no longer visible and therefore no longer remembered.
King Benjamin told his people that the only way the Savior’s name would be “blotted out” of their hearts would be through transgression. When we commit sins, when we knowingly do wrong, we invite feelings into our hearts which can overpower our focus on God. Our transgressions can, in effect, spill ink on our hearts, obscuring and overcoming the name which we had previously written there. If we do not repent, we may begin to disregard the covenants we have made and fail to remember the gifts we have received from Him.
King Benjamin told his people that it was important for them to retain the Savior’s name written on their hearts, because that it the name by which God will call us at the last day (Mosiah 5:12). If we have lost sight of that name, or if it has ceased to hold any significance for us, then we may simply not hear when we are called.
Today, I will do what I can to retain the name of Jesus Christ written in my heart. I will remember that sinful behavior can overpower the quiet and peaceful feelings associated with my commitment to the Savior. I will repent frequently so that I do not lose my focus on Him.