What’s in a Name?

To feel more useful while on bed rest, I recently asked my ward Relief Society president to provide me with names of a few sisters who might need a letter for some reason or other. So today I wrote to one sister who, to my knowledge, I have never met before.

On an impulse, I looked up the woman’s first name on the internet, just to see what it means. The meaning and origin of her name were a little more complicated than I’d predicted: in my experience, most names mean something pretty straight-forward, like “gracious,”or “God is my strength,” or “dove.” (you know who you are, dove!)

Taking the impulse as possible inspiration (I was certainly praying for inspiration – writing to someone you’ve never met can be pretty scary!), I started discussing the meaning of the sister’s first name in the letter.

Before long, I felt the letter was going nowhere, fast. So I sent up a small prayer, hoping Heavenly Father would lead my words.

As I kept writing, I realized that this sister didn’t only carry her own name. By being baptized into the church, she had also taken upon her the name of Christ. (maybe the seed to that thought had been planted earlier in the day when I read 2 Ne 31:13, which talks about that very thing)

Taking upon us the name of Christ through baptism. Now that is definitely a topic worthy of discussion.

But that discussion will have to wait.

See, I just wanted to share with you the feeling I had when I realized that my name is paired with Christ’s. The thought that without His name attached to mine, my own name is pretty much worthless. Without Christ by my side, I am basically a nameless nothing. He gives my name, me, meaning. Without His atonement in my behalf, I would be lost forever.

And with Christ by my side, His name linked with mine?

Now, that’s a different story.

I don’t know if my letter will do anything for the sister I’m sending it off to. But when I finally signed the letter, my name had taken on new meaning to me.

What does it mean to you to have your name linked with Christ’s?


  1. jonashagman says:


  2. For me it was cool to be on s mission and represent all the things that matters most: my family, church, my country (with the swedish flag on my chest) and Savior. To have that physically connected with the essentials of my life gav me much motivation and power to move forward. I rarely experienced my mission to be hard as I was on the Lord’s errand.
    Thank you for the reminder of what I still should stand for.
    What is in a name? It is identity, it is said to be the most precious word in one’s vocabulary. I bet when you hear the name Lukas or Jonas your world brightens up cause they are yours. Am I right?
    A name is belonging, belonging to nationality, people, social status, to your husband (in more ways than one, the one’s who are married know what I am saying). A name can make you plain as yogurt or interesting like rattle snake pie. What is in a name? I believe it is heritage, as well as future and hopes for success.

    What a big responsibility to choose a name! Make your next a great one!!
    Miss you sis! <3

  3. By the way…awesome initiative to get an opportunity to serve <3

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