Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Remembering Our Name

I think we all sense the stready moral decline of the United States and the world in general.  Ruth Bell Graham, wife of Billy Graham famously said, “If God doesn't judge America, He'll have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah."  We have seen some and can expect increasingly political and social pressure on the Church of Jesus Christ as the Church chooses to take a stand on moral issues in an increasingly immoral world. 

During this past General Conference, President Dallin H. Oaks stated that the Church will take a firm stand on social and moral issues when they impact the Plan of Salvation.  In many other instances, regarding the politics of New York, Kirtland, Missouri, Nauvoo, and Utah; the Church has endured considerable adversity and been an example of being a peacemaker and enduring persecution with patience. The Church moved away from initial race integration fearing being labeled abolitionists and to make peace with our Missouri neighbors.  We moved away from polygamy as a social welfare system to make peace with an antagonistic, secular Utah Territorial government. 

Elder Uchtdorf talked about “weltschmertz” which is a great German compound word that refers to the “the sadness caused by brooding on how the world is inferior to what we think it ought to be.”  Elder Uchtdorf taught that the remedy to this dispair is to dedicate ourselves to the Lord's cause and in doing so we can find that our lives are full of purpose meaning and peace.

In the face of greater impending adversity and judgement, President Russell M. Nelson delivered the perfect spiritual advice.  As God’s people, first and foremost, we must remember and never forget the name by which we are called— the name of Jesus Christ.  What we call ourselves and what others call us is a big deal. We cannot forget Jesus Christ in our Church’s name because this is the only name by which we can hope to be saved. 

Rabbi Chaim Richman talks about the Book of Exodus (Shemot = names).  According to him, Jewish Rabbi's say that Hashem delivered Israel from Egypt even in their idolatry because they had kept their Hebrew names, language, clothing and identity. According to Rabbi Richman, remembering their names brought Israel deliverance from Egypt.  

Our leaders are focusing us on the most basic fundamental principles so that, despite our failings, we may also qualify for deliverance: 1. our name 2. sabbath day observance 3. ministering. 4. home-centered learning. 

No comments: