By Chris Layton
The LDS church has spent a great deal of energy lately distancing themselves from being called “Mormons” or “LDS” considering it to be a negative thing and it seems to be a big deal. So is it a big deal?
Current presiding elder of the LDS church Nelson says that “Nicknames (like the term “Mormons”) are a major victory for Satan”.
The question then needs to be asked. “How important is the name of the church? Does the church that carries the right name and all it’s associated legal trademarks have the legal rights to the keys to the gates of heaven?”
Let’s refer to the scriptures for this answer:
“And Jesus again shewed himself unto them: for they were praying unto the Father, in his name; and Jesus came and stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them. What will ye that I shall give unto you?
And they said unto him, Lord, we will that thou wouldst tell us the name whereby we shall call this church; for there are disputations among the people concerning this matter.
And the Lord said unto them, Verily, verily I say unto you, why is it that the people should murmur and dispute because of this thing? have they not read the scriptures, which saith ye must take upon you the name of Christ, which is my name? for by this name shall ye be called at the last day;…
[Now here is the important part, the name of the church comes with a caveat, or in other words a qualifier]
…and whoso taketh upon him my name AND endureth to the end, the same shall be saved at the last day(3 Nephi 27:2-5)
Now earlier on we see that those who were baptized into the church were baptized into the church appropriately called “The church of Christ” exactly according to Jesus’ instructions which we can see as follows:
“And they which were baptized in the name of Jesus, were called the church of Christ” (3 Nephi 26:21)
Not the church of Jesus Christ, but rather simply called “church of Christ” but what is important here, is that Jesus said that the name of the church is one thing, but it is another thing as to whether they accept his teachings. He said:
“…..but if it be called in my name, then it is my church, IF IT SO BE THAT THEY ARE BUILT ON MY GOSPEL” (3 Nephi 27:8)
Is it possible for a church to be called in the name of Jesus Christ and not be His church or does the name of the church become the saving grace for the members?
“but if it be not built upon my Gospel, and is built upon the works of men, or upon the works of the Devil…
(like the Catholic church which does not bear His name which the LDS church president Nelson says that the doctrinal differences are not as significant or as important as what they have in common)
verily I say unto you, they have joy in their works for a season, and by and by the end cometh, and they are hewn down and cast into the fire, from whence there is no return; for their works do follow them: for it is because of their works that they are hewn down; therefore remember the things that I have told you.” (3 Nephi 27:11-12)
Q: Can the Church of Jesus Christ reject the Gospel they were built on?
A: They can and do. it’s called Apostasy and only the church built upon the Gospel of Jesus Christ can Apostatize and God said that they would Apostatize when He said:
“And thus commandeth the Father that I should say unto you at that day: When the Gentiles shall sin against my Gospel, and shall be lifted up in the pride of their hearts above all other nations, and above all the people of the whole earth, and shall be filled with all manner of lyings and of deceits, and of mischiefs, and all manner of hyocrisy, and murders, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, and of secret abominations; and if they shall do all these things, and shall reject the fulness of my Gospel, behold saith the Father, I will bring the fulness of my Gospel from among them; and then will I remember my covenant which I have made unto my people, O house of Israel, and I will bring my Gospel unto them:” (3 Nephi 16:10-11)
Q: Has the Catholic church Apostatized?
A: No. She has been faithful from the beginning to her founder, the Devil. She was never built upon the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
So it’s not only possible to carry the right name and still be rejected by God, it’s highly likely. God said that the gate is narrow and only few find it. It’s the multitudes that find the wide one that accepts everybody and doesn’t discriminate.
In the end, we find that the name that the church which is in heaven at the moment is called “The Church of the Firstborn”
and it does discriminate:
“Last of all, these are they who will not be gathered with the saints, to be caught up unto the church of the Firstborn, and received into the cloud. These are they who are liars, and sorcerers, and adulterers, and whoremongers, and whosoever loves and makes a lie. These are they who suffer the wrath of God on earth” (D&C 76:102-104)