As I continue to read in Genesis 12 I have been pondering upon the great prophet Abraham.
Coincidentally or not, my precious son William ( five-years old ) asked me a question that could be answered because of our father Abraham.
At night when I put my children for bed, we gather for prayer ( thankfully Kevin joins us for prayer ), after prayer I take turns studying the scriptures with each child.
Will randomly asked me after scripture study last week, " Well, what is my real name Mommy? "
I said, " It is William Allen Turano. Your first name comes from Grandpa Turano and your middle name is the same as Grandpa Pack's name. "
Will responded, " No, No, I mean what did God name me? You named me those names. What was my name in heaven before I came to earth."
At that moment I was not sure what to respond to Will except that when he goes to the temple someday Heavenly Father can help him understand more.
Will, If you would have asked me that question this week, and not last week, I might have had a better answer for you.
Through this great prophet Abraham in the Old Testament you have been blessed to be called many names by God; if you keep your baptismal covenants, which include taking upon yourself the name of Jesus Christ, and if you keep the covenants that you will make in the temple someday.
This great Abraham was referred to as :
God's friend ( James 2:23 )
Father of many nations ( Genesis 17:4 )
Prophet of faith ( Hebrews 11: 8 )
Blessing to all the families of the earth ( Genesis 12: 3 )
It is especially neat that you asked such a question of truth Will. You were right that your name is William to us, but you are much more than William to God. You see God giving his son's and daughter's a name through Him is one of His patterns; it is symbolism or a way to remember that when we submit ourselves to Him, give up our lives to Him, and become new creatures through Jesus Christ, every part of us will change, and we will become a new person; thus through out the pattern in the scriptures, a new name is given as well.
When Abram ( Abraham ) was ninety years old the Lord appeared to him and changed his name to Abraham ( Genesis 17 )
Jesus changed Simon's name to Peter ( Matthew 16:18 )
Saul, after having his great conversion was given the name of Paul ( Acts 13: 9 )
Jacob was promised " a company of nations to come forth from him " and his name was changed to Israel. ( Genesis 35: 10 )
And Will, in many scriptures ( one of those being Galatians 3:29 ) we learn that if you are Christ's or in other words a member of His church then you are Abraham's seed, or child " according to the promise " which means that you also bare Abraham's names.
So Will, God did give you a great privilege to carry a great name before you came to this earth. You have been blessed to be raised in His church on the earth. Jesus Christ's church, so you are His.
Even before you came to earth William, I have no doubt that you were known as
God's friend ; Future Father of Many Nations ; God's Faithful Servant ; The Leaven ; The Salt ; Joint-Heir with Christ ; God's Chosen ; Peculiar ; Blessing To All The Families of The Earth ;
Abraham's Child ; Child of God and my favorite all;
Thank you Will for reminding me whom it is that I am as a Latter-day Saint. Thank you for caring about your Heavenly Father enough to want to know what HE CALLS YOU.
Thank you for reminding us all the names that we bare as members of Christ's church and what marvelous blessings that we have now as His, in His Kingdom on earth ; and for what we have to look forward to if we keep our covenants..... in the next life.
We are so very blessed. Let's show Him how thankful we are and how much we love Him through our choices and desires. I hope to live worthy of the blessings and names that we are worthy of as we keep our covenants the best that we can, and repent daily as we know that no one is perfect on earth besides Him.
I say this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.