InthenameofJesusChristamen

Last year, I was asked to speak in my ward’s Sacrament meeting. We moved to Bluffdale, Utah, in July of 2020 and, because of my pregnancy with and the birth of Knudsine, I had only been to church a handful of times. This particular Sunday would be the first Sunday the entire ward was invited to attend all at once in over a year. Being in a new ward in a new town, surrounded by unfamiliar faces, having been given a strict time limit—my anxiety was strong that morning. Even an extra half-dose of my medication couldn’t stop my hands and voice from shaking.

Now, a year later, I still wonder if I made a mistake at the end of the talk. It’s a mistake I consciously try to avoid. I know others make it, too. Did I close my talk with a hasty “InthenameofJesusChristamen”?

At our stake conference this past weekend, I heard speaker after speaker close their talk in this way. I hear it at the end of prayers and testimonies. No matter where I go, I hear this phrase spoken in much the same way.

When we do this, we are reducing the most important statement of our talk into a trite, vain idiom. This statement is meant to be a testimony to the congregation that the address we have just given is not simply our own words and opinions, but the words and teaching of Jesus Christ. We have just shared gospel truths taught and illustrated by our Savior Himself, and yet we fail to show His name the reverence it deserves. Surely His name should be spoken slowly and emphatically.

This statement adds an extra importance to our talks as a whole. Because we end an address in the name of Jesus Christ, we need to be sure that all of the words and ideas expressed in our talk are inspired by the Lord. I’ll admit, I’m the kind of person who composes sermons in her head—especially after a very trying day of difficult news—but they’re mostly sermons I will never give. Why? Because they are my own opinions, not ideas I feel the Lord is impressing me to give.

This coming weekend is the general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ if Latter-day Saints. As you listen to the addresses of the General Authorities during the conference, listen for the reverence with which they speak the name of our Savior during and at the close of their talks. Then, we can all make an effort in our own lives to do the same.

Author’s Note: Wards are geographical units in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as congregations. A stake is a larger geographical unit composed of a number of wards.

Sacrament Meeting is the main weekly meeting of a ward. A Sacrament is offered, allowing us to remember the atoning sacrifice of our Savior, Jesus Christ. After the Sacrament, members of the congregation who have been invited to do so will share a talk on a certain gospel principle.

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