Names play a significant part in our lives. Names can identify or distinguish one another in society. Our names are more than just the title we answer to, they represent our identity as individuals and can be an important link to our ancestors and the past. In many cultures, names are passed down from generation to generation, carrying with them the tradition and history of our families.
Your good name connects you with your past family history. Your righteous living, your example, your teachings, and your worthwhile service will bless numerous people with your vision. Elder Tom L. Perry February 11, 1997.
Discovering Purpose & Inspiration Behind Children’s Names
Reshare from Passing Down the Faith (See www.passingdownthefaith.org for more inspiring articles.)
I truly believe that God is in the tiniest details of our creation, even when we do not believe we were inspired or that He possibly could be, yet somehow He is—involved in the work, our lives, and every step of the way, even down to our names.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you”Jeremiah 1:5.
In the Hebrew culture, the names of children were considered “the result of a partnership between their effort and God’s response.” The names given at birth are not accidental. They are to some extent, prophetic.
The importance of a mission individually, and as a family has been heavy on my mind. As a mother, I have children that struggle with their testimony and it weighs heavy on my mind how to help or rescue them. After learning about the importance of this particular part of our identity—our names, I wanted to see if I was ‘inspired’ and if there was something in the child’s name that could help them in their suffering or give them some more purpose and direction. As I have been studying each of them out—some taking hours, digging deep—I was able to see just how integrated their names, mission, and identity was/is. I found that some of the names even matched parts of their Patriarchal blessings and recent priesthood blessings. How could that be?
Every single name has a responsibility to ‘turn back to the fathers,’ and every single name has a mission to fulfill or attributes to live up to that fit them perfectly. For example, one child has the name of a martyr who defends Jesus Christ which has matched more than one blessing that they have had in their life. Another is a honeybee which is the symbol of Utah, and if you knew how that child’s heart they are very much connected with Brigham Young—to stand with him and his great legacy here in Utah, you would see what I am talking about. Other children will defend religious freedom, help a prophet, and one known for physical strength like Porter Rockwell. Only one child out of our five were we told specifically to name, the other four children we never felt inspired as their names were chosen for different reasons, but can see how God was still directing the affairs of our family when we thought it was only us.
To preserve this Gospel heritage in future generations, God through our identity has turned the hearts of our children to the Father, and if they will listen and take their name seriously, it will give them the mission a few of them are looking for. What does the Lord expect of them to do? He expects them to play a part in the final scenes prior to His coming.
To help capture the hearts of your children turn them to their fathers, introduce them to their identity through their name, and see what it does in your home! I know for me, in the short few months of learning just how important the names of my children are, and how connected it is to their identity has anchored them. God truly does know us! He knows who I am and who you are meant to be and through our names, we become a partner with God to fulfill a mission in building up his Kingdom.
Choosing Meaningful Pet Names
12-year-old Mary shares how she has taken the naming of her animals very seriously. She says:
“one reason behind this is that whenever we use that person’s or animal’s name we are reminded of the meaning behind the name. This helps us to always be thinking about important things that matter instead of thinking about silly names like Socks or Domino.
Another reason why we do this is that many of the amazing people in our history had important names. An example of this is Jesus Christ’s name, which has a lot of important meanings behind it. We also use names from history that will remind us of the values and principles that they lived by and that we can learn from.
In Proverbs we find that “a good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold” (Proverbs 22:1).
One of our baby bucks we named William Wallace, and one of our doe we named Amy. The name Amy reminds us of Amy Carmichael. Amy Carmichael sacrificed lots of things to help the people of India and teach them about God. Here are the names of some of our chickens: Eliza Snow, Louisa Beaman, Helen Mar, Rachel Ivins, and Joseph Smith. Some of our goats are named Lehi, Teancum, Eve, Esther, Charity, Kindness, and Hope.Excerpt from A Christ-Centered Home
Mary would like to know some of your animals’ names? Comment below!