By what name shall we address the Father?


God, the Father, refers to Himself by a variety of names. The implication is that one name alone is inadequate to describe His nature. The the sermon outline, "The Name of God" for a list of names and their meaning.

When you address your parents, I would assume that there are a variety of names you could use. In English I refer to my father as "dad" when it is a casual conversation, but I use "father" when I am talking about him in a formal setting. Most children know they are in trouble when Mom calls them by their full formal name instead of just their given name or their nickname. In the same way, the name we address God often reflects why we are approaching Him. Are we coming to Him about our personal problems? Do we need to request protection or ask that justice be done? Are we coming to Him to thank Him for His many blessings? Or are we amazed at His overwhelming kindness? In each situation, we might select a name that most adequately represents our relationship to God at that moment in time.

More important is how we treat references to God. Because of who He is, He ought to be treated with the greatest of respect. See the lessons "Holy is His Name" and "Regarding God as Holy" for more details.