Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Taking the Name of Jesus Christ

            Last week I reviewed a general conference talk given by Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf about becoming true disciples of Jesus Christ. His main points for us were: Believe in Jesus Christ, Love as He loved, and Do as He did. I opened my Ensign this morning to read another conference talk and came across one with almost the same ideas.

            This talk was given by Elder Robert C. Gay of the Presidency of the Seventy and is titled “Taking upon Ourselves the Name of Jesus Christ.” Each time we partake of the sacrament we promise to take upon us the name of Jesus Christ, but many of us wonder exactly what it means. Elder Gay suggests several ways in which we take upon us His name.

            The first meaning of the statement “take upon ourselves the name of Christ” is that we will faithfully “strive to see as God sees” according to Elder Gay. “The Savior looked upon the Samaritan, the adulterer, the tax collector, the leper, the mentally ill, and the sinner with the same eyes. All were children of His Father. All were redeemable.” Do we look around us and see the many children of God and recognize that He loves them as much as He loves you and me?

            The second meaning of the statement is that “we must not only see as God sees, but we must do His work and serve as He served” according to Elder Gay. “God will work wonders among us as we sanctify ourselves. We sanctify ourselves by purifying our hearts. We purify our hearts as we hear Him, repent of our sins, become converted, and love as He loves.”

            The final meaning to the statement is that “we must trust Him” according to Elder Gay. We must believe that He has power to save us, and we must believe what He tells us.

One of my favorite scriptures is John 4:4, which reads, “And he must needs go through Samaria.” Why do I love that scripture? Because Jesus did not need to go to Samaria. The Jews of His day despised the Samaritans and traveled a road around Samaria. But Jesus chose to go there to declare before all the world for the first time that He was the promised Messiah. For this message, He chose not only an outcast group but also a woman – and not just any woman but a woman living in sin – someone considered at that time to be the least of the least. I believe Jesus did this so that each of us may always understand that His love is greater than our fears, our wounds, our addictions, our doubts, our temptations, our sins, our broken families, our depression and anxieties, our chronic illness, our poverty, our abuse, our despair, and our loneliness. He wants all to know there is nothing and no one He is unable to heal and deliver to enduring joy.

            Elder Gay continues by saying that the grace of the Savior is sufficient to save all of us. “He alone descended below all things. The power of His Atonement is the power to overcome any burden in our life. The message of the woman at the well is that He knows our life situations and that we can always walk with Him no matter where we stand.”

            The Savior knows each one of us better than anyone else knows us, and He still loves us and wants to help us. He is our Elder Brother, and He will bless us if we will let Him.

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