“The way a book is read — which is to say, the qualities a reader brings to a book — can have as much to do with its worth as anything the author puts into it…. Anyone who can read can learn how to read deeply and thus live more fully.”
~Norman Cousins

Writing is where we truly learn. Join the Journey.

I read from my scriptures (book), but you can find scripture reference here.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Remember Your Names

Helaman 5: 5-7

Remember Your Names

In our family we have had opportunity to research our family history. As we have done so we have learned of the many sacrifices for good that our ancestors have given. Like Helaman, we chose to name our children after those members of our family that have gone before. Sometimes we liked the name, other times there were special stories that we touched our hearts. In this way we not only pay respect for our family, but we hope to instill in our children the honor and respect of their ancestors good name.

A few stories that come to mind from my father's family.

I have a great Aunt Hope who was my grandfather's sister. She had a bible with her family history in it, that was given to me after she passed away. I remember meeting her when I was very young. She had a beautiful voice that she used to sing in church with. She and Grandfather used to sing together. As a young girl, her husband (Uncle Glen) was very kind to me and always had a smile for me. I really liked being around this part of my family.
My grandfather was the only son, and his sisters were very dear to him. He had one sister who died very young from diphtheria and had to be buried underneath an apple tree on the back 40 acres. He was always very grim when he spoke of this sister. Being around him when he spoke of her made you feel that he still grieved for her. It was as if he did not understand why she had to die at such a young age. I could have named my daughter after this sister but chose in stead to honor my grandfather by naming her after the sister that lived. I name her Hope. I also wanted to honor the love that my grandmother gave to me whenever we visited Michigan, so I gave my third child her middle name, Margaret and my 4th child Hope, her first name Christine.
This was my way of honoring the love and goodness that I felt from my grandparents on my father's side. It is a wonderful thing to remember them every time I call their name. It is a wonderful thing... to remember the joy, the love, the good times, and the memories that they gave me at such a young time in my life.
We also chose to honor my husband's family by naming our son after a great grandfather and a grandfather. I did not know much about him at the time of my son's birth, but have loved learning more about him and the strength he brought to my husband's father's family. We can only speculate as the origins of many of our family names but because Robert Lee was from the deep south and was born in the late 1860's, it is not hard to conjecture on the source of his name. Robert E. Lee (a confederate General was very popular figure at that time). So our son has some deep confederate roots rooted deep into the origin of his name.

As we have done genealogical research I have been impressed by how often families would honor the names of presidents, political heroes, or other famous people. My gg grandfather's middle name was Pinckney. I did not realize where this name came from because it seemed to pop up from no where. After doing a bit of history research I realized that several people named their sons Pinckney after the Thomas Pinckney Treaty which gave American navigational rights on the Mississippii and created better relations with Spain.
Also as we did research I was often baffled by "strange" or archaic names. One grand mother carries the name of Kizzy (short for Keziah). I was dumbfounded at first thinking it was a strange name to name your daughter, but then I did some Bible research and discovered that Keziah is the second daughter of Job (after his wealth is restored). Asenath is another Biblical name that was popular in the late 18th century.

Names carry with them responsibilities and hope. Parents want to name their child in such a way as to instill a sense of history as it give them a sense of belonging to a family. They also want to help them find place in their contemporary future, so they try to balance the name with something that might be more in vogue.
It was a great surprise to us then when we chose to name our daughter Hannah Rebeccah (after my g grandmother) only to find 6 months later that we now knew of 13 other Hannah's that were 6 months or younger. And.. we were equally surprised to discover somewhere in the recesses of our genealogical tree(1600's Massachusetts) that I had an ancestor who married a woman with the exact name of our daughter!

Names are important. We take on our ancestors physical traits as they pass down through the gene pool. We take on much more when we have stories to remember them by. Stories that remember the good they stood for, the lessons they taught, and the love that they gave to the families they shared their lives with.
I also believe that parents name their children names that will remind them of certain things in their lives. We chose to combine our own names and create a unique name for our first daughter. It served to remind us of the love we have for one another. A humorous side note to our daughter's name was discovered when we entertained a Russian guest.
As we sat at the breakfast table one morning enjoying bagels with butter and jam, I asked our guest about her language and what things meant. Looking at the jam I asked her to tell me what the Russian name for jam was. She got a smirk on her face that slowly turned into a gentle laugh. She looked at my daughter and said "Malina".
Malina said, "yes". She said, "malina." that is what jam means in Russian. We had a good laugh when we discovered that our name for our daughter actually meant raspberry.
What names have you given your children and why? What did your parents name you and your siblings?Why? How does your name help you remember the love of your family?
Words and Phrases

vs6 remember to keep the commandments of God
vs 6 the names of our first parents - parents teach us of love.. they bring us hope with their good name
vs 6 remember your names ye may remember them when we remember the names of our parents.. we can find courage to do for them what we lack courage to do for ourselves. This is the strength of family
vs 6remember their works,- We all know that no one is perfect, but if we can focus on the good works of someone in our family, then we can have strength to help us accomplish good works too. A friend said that she thought of her daughter as the "best of her best". We all keep trying to get better... if we can remember the good, then we can find strength to keep it going.
vs 6they were good
vs 7 that it may be said of you. - remember the good of your family name and it becomes part of who you are. Remember the good and the sacrifice and you find purpose under the sun.

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