I love the stories of God’s encounters with mankind. He doesn’t appear as an all-powerful God ready to wield His power. Instead, He affirms our relationship to HIm by uttering our most personal possession-our name. I LOVE this.
Remember Samuel. The Lord woke him out of his sleep three times in one night by calling him by name. Samuel mistakenly thinks that Eli is calling to him. Finally Eli figures out what is going on and tells Samuel to converse with the Lord. “And the Lord came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel.” He knew Samuel. (1 Samuel 3)
Remember Moses. When Moses is called to deliver captive Israel, the Lord speaks to him face to face. And in that interchange the Lord says, “I have a work for thee, Moses, my son.” The Lord then calls him by name at least 3 more times. He knew Moses. (Moses 1)
Remember Jeremiah. Jeremiah is foreordained to be a prophet and the Lord appears to him to issue the call. A question and answer follows which the Lord opens in this way: “Jeremiah, what seest thou?” He knew Jeremiah. (Jeremiah 1)
Remember Nephi II. He is a prophet among the Nephites just prior to the Savior’s birth. He lived in perilous times. But he was steadfast and immoveable. The Lord came to him and spoke these words: “Thou are Nephi, and I am God” (Helaman 10). He knew Nephi.
Think Joseph. A 14 year old boy in a grove of trees behind his home uttering his first vocal prayer. He had faith but I don’t know that he really knew what was about to happen. (Although I have learned that spiritual experiences like this don’t just happen-they are always preceded by feelings of heaviness and a knowledge that SOMETHING is about to happen.) The Father and the Son appeared to him in answer to his prayer. The first word that the Father speaks is ‘Joseph’, then Christ is introduced and finally the instructions are given. He knew Joseph.
Remember Abraham. Abraham was shown many details of the creation by the Lord. He was also shown one of the Grand Councils in Heaven. After being shown the event, the Lord said to him: ‘Abraham, thou are one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born.’ The Lord knew Abraham. (Abraham 4)
The pattern is set. The doctrine is true. You, too, are known-by name-to God our Father and to His Son, Jesus Christ. They could never forget you. They would never forget you. And if you had the privilege of seeing them tomorrow, They would call you by name. Isn’t that beautiful?