Family Hame Evening
Baptism and the Name of Christ
Baptism and the Name of Christ
Song: When Jesus Christ Was Baptized (CS 102)
Scripture: Doctrine and Covenants 68:27
"And their children shall be baptized for the remission of their sins when eight years old, and receive the laying on of the hands.”
Moroni said that “all those who were true believers in Christ took upon them, gladly, the name of Christ, or Christians … because of their belief in Christ” (Alma 46:15).
As we take upon us the name of Christ, we covenant to be obedient to the principles of the gospel. All we do should be based on Christ’s example. If we do this gladly, we will find joy in living the gospel. We will feel good about ourselves and have the desire to do what is right. At baptism we covenanted to take upon us the name of Christ.
1. Prepare two pieces of paper for each family member, one with his first name on it and one with his last name on it. Make the first-name slips of different colored paper and the last-name slips of one color, or write each child’s name in a different color for the first name and in the same color for all of the last names. Then hide them in the room.
2. Number six slips of paper, one through six, and place them in a hat or bag from which to draw them.
Tell your family members that there are two pieces of paper hidden in the room that belong to them. Have each family member hunt for the two papers that belong to him. After all have found their names, explain that they had to search until they found the only paper with their first name, but they could take the first paper they found with their last name.
Their first names belong to them individually, but their last name belongs to everyone in the family and shows they are a member of the family. Talk about the children’s names and why you chose them. Point out that they each have a different first name but that they all have the same last name. Talk about how important your family name is, how proud you are of your name. If you know any historical or special facts about how your family name came to be, use them. Try to develop a feeling of love and pride for your family and family name.
Our family stands for certain things. What are some of these things? (believe in the gospel, try to be friendly)
What each member does reflects back on the family. Each of us have the responsibility to help make our family name respected.
Point out that just as we were born into our family when we came to earth, we are born into another family when we are baptized. At baptism we become members of Jesus’ church or members of his family. We make a covenant with Heavenly Father to take upon us the name of Christ.
I Take upon Me the Name of Christ
Tell your family that after Jesus was killed, his faithful followers, those who had been baptized, were persecuted. Paul the Apostle came to Antioch in Syria where a group of Church members were to teach people about Christ.
Have someone read Acts 11:26 aloud. Explain that the enemies of the disciples started calling the followers of Jesus “Christians” after the name of Christ to set them apart. The name was given as an insult, but was accepted gladly by the followers of Jesus. They were glad to be called Christians and were proud of the name.
• How does it make you feel to realize that you have actually taken upon you the name of Christ, that you are a Christian?
• Are you glad to be called a Christian? Why?
Tell your family the following story, which illustrates how one little girl felt about becoming a Christian:
Sarah was eight years old. She was excited to be eight but worried at the same time because she wanted to be baptized. Her mother and father were not active in the Church, and she didn’t know what they would say. Sarah had learned from her Primary teachers how important baptism was. She knew that if she was baptized she would be promising Heavenly Father that she would go to church, even if she had to go alone. She would also be promising to live right and obey the commandments.
• Do you think this was a hard decision for Sarah to make?
Sarah prayed about it and decided that it was important that she be baptized. She knew it was what Heavenly Father wanted her to do. Her parents agreed that she could be baptized.
She felt good when she was baptized. She knew Heavenly Father and Jesus were happy. She knew that if she worked hard, the Holy Ghost would help her keep the commandments and be a good influence on her family.
• How do you think Sarah felt when she took upon her the name of Christ and became a member of his family?
When we make the commitment to be baptized and take upon us the name of Christ, we need to live our lives as Heavenly Father and Jesus would want us to.
If you encounter a situation where you are having a hard time making a decision, ask themselves, “What would Jesus have me do?”
Tell the following story by President George Albert Smith:
What Have You Done with My Name?
“A number of years ago I was seriously ill. … With my family I went to St. George, Utah, to see if it would improve my health. … In St. George, … I became so weak as to be scarcely able to move. It was a slow and exhausting effort for me even to turn over in bed.
“One day, under these conditions, I lost consciousness of my surroundings and thought I had passed to the Other Side. I found myself standing with my back to a large and beautiful lake, facing a great forest of trees. There was no one in sight. … I realized, or seemed to realize, that I had finished my work in mortality and had gone home. … I began to explore, and soon I found a trail through the woods which seemed to have been used very little, and which was almost obscured by grass. I followed this trail, and after I had walked for some time and had traveled a considerable distance through the forest, I saw a man coming towards me. I became aware that he was a very large man, and I hurried my steps to reach him, because I recognized him as my grandfather. … I remember how happy I was to see him coming. I had been given his name and had always been proud of it.
“When Grandfather came within a few feet of me, he stopped. His stopping was an invitation for me to stop. Then … he looked at me very earnestly and said:
‘I would like to know what you have done with my name.’
“Everything I had ever done passed before me as though it were a flying picture on a screen—everything I had done. Quickly this vivid retrospect came down to the very time I was standing there. My whole life had passed before me. I smiled and looked at my grandfather and said:
‘I have never done anything with your name of which you need be ashamed.’
“He stepped forward and took me in his arms, and as he did so, I became conscious again of my earthly surroundings. My pillow was as wet as though water had been poured on it—wet with tears of gratitude that I could answer unashamed.
“… Honor your fathers and your mothers. Honor the names that you bear, because some day you will have the privilege and the obligation of reporting to them (and to your Father in heaven) what you have done with their name.” (“Your Good Name,” Improvement Era, Mar. 1947, p. 139.)
• Do you think President Smith was glad he had acted like a Christian and kept Heavenly Father’s commandments?
Emphasize that because he had so lived, he made his grandfather and Heavenly Father happy.
• Do you live in such a way that others can tell you are part of Christ’s family?
• Are you glad to be called by Jesus Christ’s name?
Challenge each family member to live as one who has sincerely taken Jesus’ name upon him.
The Straight and Narrow Path
On a poster or a large piece of paper, draw a path moving upward. Near the middle of the path draw a door or gate across the path. Label the path “Way to Eternal Life.”
Have family members read 2 Nephi 31:13–18 and suggest labels for the parts of the pathway before the gate (for example, repentance and faith) and the gate itself (baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost).
Ask the family what labels they might put on the pathway after the gate. After they have discussed the possibilities, have someone read 2 Nephi 31:19–20, and complete the labeling.
• What is meant by “feasting upon the word of Christ”? (Reading and studying the scriptures.)
• What does the phrase “endure to the end” mean? (Keeping Heavenly Father’s commandments throughout the rest of our lives.)
Explain that baptism is not an end but a beginning. Conclude by reading 2 Nephi 31:21. Bear your testimony about the truthfulness of Nephi’s words.
“Lesson Thirteen: Baptism and the Name of Christ,” Family Home Evening Resource Book, (1997),52