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.


  1. Jesus Christ is not God. The original name of the priesthood had the name God in it. Is it possible that the word God before being translated was actually the name of God? There is even as presented a difference unless you falsely believe that jesus christ and God are the same being!

  2. Anyone who says that Jesus Christ is not God simply does not understand the scriptures. And that doesn't mean that the Father and the Son are the same being.

  3. Thanks, Anonymous. But let's make a point about names. We do not know God the Father's name. It is not God. That is a title. It is not Elohim, which is also a title and is actually plural, meaning generally "gods" or "deities." We do know Jesus's mortal name, which is NOT Jesus Christ. That is a name with a descriptor attached (Christ meaning Anointed One). D&C 107 is obviously not making a distinction between names and titles and is probably referring to not using the title "Son of God" too frequently. The history of section 107 is complicated and problematic in some ways because it introduces anachronisms into the scriptural record (see my recent Dialogue articles (issues 51.1 and 51.2) and William V. Smith's Dialogue article about priesthood revelations (issue 46.4) for more info. But it does make a strong point about not using the name (or title) of the Supreme Being too frequently. I am just saying we can't have it both ways. So which is it? How do we show reverence and respect, by using the name frequently or using it infrequently?

  4. I guess we could refer to the name of the church as The Church of Yeshua Ha'Mashiach of Latter-Day Saints.