Thursday, October 18, 2018

“Too Frequent Repetition of His Name”

In the ongoing discussion regarding President Nelson’s instruction to use the full name of the Church and avoid abbreviated versions or nicknames, one scripture I haven’t seen mentioned is D&C 107:1–4:
“There are, in the church, two priesthoods, namely the Melchizedek and Aaronic, including the Levitical Priesthood.
“Why the first is called the Melchizedek Priesthood is because Melchizedek was such a great high priest.
“Before his day it was called the Holy Priesthood, after the Order of the Son of God.
“But out of respect or reverence to the name of the Supreme Being, to avoid the too frequent repetition of his name, they, the church, in ancient days, called that priesthood after Melchizedek, or the Melchizedek Priesthood.”
Setting aside for the moment the anachronisms in this section, such as the term church being used for pre-Melchizedek times or the assumption that the modern LDS definition of the word priesthood existed in ancient days, I have to wonder which approach to using the Lord’s name is correct. Is it somehow offensive to Jesus to use his name too frequently, as indicated in D&C 107? Or is it offensive to him to not use his name every time we refer to the Church? Do we show respect for his name by not using it too frequently or by using it as frequently as possible? This is confusing.