25 Names of Christ: Alpha & Omega

Christ the Lord, Jehovah, identifies himself as Alpha and Omega in several places from the Book of Revelation (1:18, 11, 21:6, 22:13), to the Book of Mormon (3 Nephi 9:18) as well as in the Doctrine & Covenants:

“I am Alpha and Omega, Christ the Lord; yea, even I am he, the beginning and the end, the Redeemer of the world. I, having accomplished and finished the will of him whose I am, even the Father, concerning me” (19:1)

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland teaches: “These are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. Their meaning is synonymous with “the first and the last” and “the beginning and the end,” suggesting the permanent, everlasting, never-failing presence of Jesus Christ in the great plan of redemption, in His triumph of life over death, in salvation from sin. He is omnipresent, immovable, and victorious from start to finish in the cause of eternal life. He is with us through it all, always reliable and always nearby.”

Through my study of the names of Christ, it occurred to me just how all encompassing He is. At the same time, He is both the Lamb and the Shepherd, the Author and the Finisher, the Son of God and the Son of Man, the Advocate and the Judge, The Creator and the Savior, the Bread and the Water, the Lamb and the Lion, the Everlasting Father and the Son of Man, the Master and the Servant, the Beginning and the End, Alpha and Omega.

As President Nelson said, “He has numerous names, titles, and responsibilities, all of eternal significance”. I believe that one of the reasons for His many names and titles is to teach us of His character. With the limitations of our language, one name cannot hold all that He is; and through a study of all of His names, we may better know His character.

When we are baptized, we promise to “take upon [ourselves] the name of Jesus Christ” (D&C 20:37). When we partake of the sacrament, we renew that promise. (D&C 20:77)

Ruth L. Renlund teaches “When we take upon us the name of Jesus Christ, we identify ourselves with Him as His disciple…Linking ourselves with His name helps us identify with Him and changes us as we take on His attributes and characteristics.”

Strong’s Concordance teaches that the Greek translation of ‘name’ as used in the context of believing on the name of Christ (1 John 3:23) is ‘onoma’, which means “the manifestation or revelation of someone’s character”. Also that “According to Hebrew notions, a name is inseparable from the person to whom it belongs, i.e. it is something of his essence.”

As we promise to take upon ourselves His name each week, may we also take upon ourselves His character. May we develop within ourselves the characteristics of an advocate, a shepherd, a servant, a Teacher, a Lion, a Lamb and a Mediator. May we also consider how He has been and continues to be all of these things and more to us and add our voices to the Testimony of the Apostles in declaring “God be thanked for the matchless gift of His divine Son.” (The Living Christ)

Sources:

Jeffrey R. Holland–Witness for His Names, Deseret Book (2019)

Ruth L. Renlund–The Power to Change, BYU Speeches, Dec 3 2019

Strong’s Concordance of the Bible

Don’t Miss This, Moroni 1-6

The Living Christ–The Testimony of the Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/the-living-christ-the-testimony-of-the-apostles/the-living-christ-the-testimony-of-the-apostles?lang=eng

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