The Mormon Channel

Thursday, October 27, 2011

What Is In A Name?

What is the significance of a name?

A name can tell you a lot about someone or something.  A name can teach you history, culture, and characteristics of some person, a certain place or area, or anything in general.  For example, the name of the city of San Francisco alone can teach us quite a bit. 

San Francisco is Spanish for Saint Francis and is named after the Catholic Saint Francis of Assisi.  The name teaches of San Francisco's history of being founded by Catholic priests from Spain who settled there in the 18th century.

Names of people can also give you historical insight of their genealogy.  My mother's maiden name is Bunker. 

In the American Revolutionary Ward for Independance there was a brutal battle that helped dictate America's chance for victory at a place called Bunker Hill.  That hill was named after my family.  Also, Bunker is derived from the French "Bon Quer", which translates to "Good Heart" in English.

My father's name actually has quite some meaning as well. 

When analyzing it, most would think that it is of English or Welsh origins and tells of ancestors that lived in a land of many wells.  The fact, though, is that my dad was an actor, and when he changed his life around to follow Christ, he legally changed his birth name to his stage name, Chris Wells, and changed it a little farther to the name I know him as and have carried on from him: Christian Wells.   

Just as my dad changed his name in order to follow Christ, we likewise promise to "take upon [ourselves] the name of Christ, by baptism" (2 Nephi 31:13).  In other words, we promise to be Christians when we are baptized.  To be a Christian is more than simply acknowledging that Jesus Christ was something special, but to represent Him and His teachings in all that we do.  A follower of Christ will "bear one another’s burdens... mourn with those that mourn... comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and... stand as [a witness] of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that [they] may be in (Mosiah 18:8-9)."

"A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. (John 13:34-35)"

Thursday, October 20, 2011


I love my family.  As I go around as a missionary talking to many many people, I become sorely troubled at the distances people may place on certain members of their immediate family.  In many homes there is much hurt, much sorrow, much pain, and many who lack faith or trust in each other.  However, I am grateful for the fact that my parents and my two brothers are my best friends in the world.

I am also grateful that most of my brothers and sisters whom I come in contact with here in the Bible Belt are loving caring people who put their family first.

Why are families so important to us?  For me, it is the first place where I learned the basic necessities of life: how to eat, how to walk, how to share, how to play, how to love.  The home is the first experience that we have in this mortal existence, and for that reason God placed us in families to be a protective safeguard from the dangers of the world.

God loves each and every one of us.  He knows us personally and loves us with a perfect love.  He is the Father of our Spirits, and because He wants us to experience the same joy which He has, he has given us the opportunity to create our own families here on Earth.  Imagine the love a young couple have for their newborn...

God gives us an opportunity to gain a glimpse of the Love which He has for us by allowing us to raise His precious children.  God knows that this preparation of creating and raising a family is central for us to "prepare to meet God" (see Alma 34:32).  In fact, Heaven is in reality a continuation of the ideal home.

Because God knows that we find joy in our family relationships, He intends for them to not last 'til death do us part', but for time and all eternity!  It is through the sealing keys which Christ gave to Peter (see Matthew 16:19) , who in turn restored them to the prophet Joseph Smith (see Doctrine & Covenants 27:12-13) that our families are able to be sealed to each other after we depart this time of mortality. 

In fact, for our homes to be eternal, it is to be done in the Lord's house; holy temples dedicated to the Lord.

Learn more of how families can be together forever and what we can do in this life to work towards an eternal family.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Lesson on Nails and Individual Worth

The other day, Elder Price and I helped a family get their roofing replaced!

It was a hard project to get all of the roofing off the roof and what not, but it was fun!  As we were getting all of the roofing off the ground around the house, I began to notice that there were nails strewn about everywhere!

As I began picking them up, I began to think:

I have to pick all of these nails up one by one.  There are a whole bunch to find, but I have to find them one at a time.

As I kept picking these nails up off the ground, I realized that's the way our Savior labors.  He suffered for all of us, but He did so on an individual basis.  Through Him our Father in Heaven created cosmos and galaxies and worlds and planets beyond number (see Hebrews 1:1-2).  Through the vastness of the eternities, His most important work is us.  He knows His sheep, and He goes out to gather the one.

"Brothers and sisters, the most powerful Being in the universe is the Father of your spirit. He knows you. He loves you with a perfect love." ~Dieter F. Uchtdorf

"For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. (Moses 1:39)"

Friday, October 7, 2011


Growing up in San Francisco, I was raised by goodly parents who taught me to pay my loyalties to the great and mighty San Francisco 49ers.

Though the football team has had tremendous success in NFL history, it is the original 49ers of the mid-1800's (for whom the team is named after) that I wish to focus on.

California is known as the Golden State because of the rumors spread throughout the world around 1848.  It was told that there was an abundance of wealth to be gained by simply picking up golden nuggets that were strewn all about Northern California.  That was the exception, however, as there was generally little more than flecks of gold to be found, and most who left their homes or countries to obtain some "easy cash" left disappointed.  However, some, obtained great wealth.

"Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great. (Doctrine and Covenants 64:33)"

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


So imagine you are cruising down the highway in your SWEET Ford GT 1000!

As you're speeding down the freeway, all of the sudden you see an ice cream truck pull up next to you with his music BLASTING like crazy!!!  He's signaling for you to stop and pull over, so you do, thinking he might be giving you some free ice cream!  Instead...

he gives you a speeding ticket!  Now would you honestly be inclined to pay that speeding ticket if an ice cream man gave it to you?

Now imagine you're blazing down the freeway in that sweet supercar of yours, and then you hear sirens and notice that red and blue lights going off.  Yep, the coppers got you... :(

You would DEFINETLY feel more inclined to pay that ticket, wouldn't you?  That's because that cop has the authority from the state to issue speeding tickets.

How does this analogy apply to the Gospel?

Just as the state gives authority to police officers to issue tickets and so forth, the Lord gives His priesthood authority, or the permission to act in His name, to worthy men here on Earth.

So how does one obtain the priesthood?  The Apostle Paul, in his epistle to the Hebrews, teaches us that:

"And no man taketh this honour (the priesthood) unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. (Hebrews 5:4)"

So how did Aaron receive the priesthood?

By revelation and by the laying on of hands (see Exodus 28:1 and Articles of Faith 1:5). 

Aaron didn't receive his authority by paying to go to school to receive a degree (like Simon the magician attempted to do [see Acts 8:18-20]) .  The twelve disciples whom Christ gave the priesthood to did not receive their authority by simply feeling inspired to go and do something (Christ taught them "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you..." John 15:16).  They received the priesthood through Jesus Christ, who held the authority, by the laying on of hands.

Why is authority important?  Even though the ice cream driver was trying to do what was right and keep the road safe, and though his intentions were perfectly good, he did not do it under the direction of the state.  When Jesus Christ was baptized, he went "from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him (Matthew 3:13)."  Christ came from Galilee to "Bethabara beyond Jordan (John 1:28)", which is about 50 miles, to be baptized by John the Baptist because he held the authority to baptize.

That authority was lost when Christ's church fell away into apostasy, but that same authority to baptize which John the Baptist held has been restored to the Earth!  In May of 1829 John the Baptist himself appeared to the prophet Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdry and ordained to them "the Priesthood of Aaron (see Joseph Smith History 1:68-72)."

What our bold claim is that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the only church on the Earth which holds the priesthood authority to perform saving ordinances such as baptism and the sealing of families for time and all eternity.  If this is true (which I know it is), this message is the MOST important message the world has ever held!  You can know for yourself and allow the missionaries to teach you wherever you are.  I promise it won't hurt.