Not to be overly literal, but the Book of Mormon has a notion in it that I am having a hard time wrapping my head around: faith in the name of Christ.
Let’s look at a couple of passages:
Mosiah 1:11 – 12
11 And moreover, I shall give this people a name, that thereby they may be distinguished above all the people which the Lord God hath brought out of the land of Jerusalem; and this I do because they have been a diligent people in keeping the commandments of the Lord.
12 And I give unto them a name that never shall be blotted out, except it be through transgression.
9 And lo, he cometh unto his own, that salvation might come unto the children of men even through faith on his name; and even after all this they shall consider him a man, and say that he hath a devil, and shall scourge him, and shall crucify him.
And moreover, I say unto you, that there shall be no other name given nor any other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent.
Mosiah 5:8 – 10
8 And under this head ye are made free, and there is no other head whereby ye can be made free. There is no other name given whereby salvation cometh; therefore, I would that ye should take upon you the name of Christ, all you that have entered into the covenant with God that ye should be obedient unto the end of your lives.
9 And it shall come to pass that whosoever doeth this shall be found at the right hand of God, for he shall know the name by which he is called; for he shall be called by the name of Christ.
10 And now it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall not take upon him the name of Christ must be called by some other name; therefore, he findeth himself on the left hand of God.
So what do you make of this? There are several other examples, these are ones that I just happened to stumble across today.
According to the first Article of Faith, it is Christ himself that we are supposed to have faith in. Why do we have all this information about having faith in his name? King Benjamin’s whole speech is an attempt to get his people to do things with this name? What is the significance?
Could it be another instance of the vicarious nature of the Gospel? By taking Christ’s name upon ourselves are we allowing the Atonement to take effect in our lives? Faith in the power of the name to ward off evil? Faith in the name as an intermediary with the Father? Faith in the power with which we are endowed when we take his name upon us? Faith in the power of prayer and the opportunity thereby to petition God (always done in Christ’s name)? These possibilities of interpretation just came off the top of my head. How do you think this doctrine should be taken?