Sunday, July 25, 2010

What’s in a Name? (A talk on Names, Family, and the Savior)

I gave the following as a talk in Church this morning. I thought my family might want to read it. Hope you enjoy.

When a new baby joins this earth, he already has so many things going for him- a body, parents who love him, grandparents, aunts and Uncles. There’s automatic wiring in his brain, ready to learn about the world and progress. He has DNA- possibly an ear for music or a taste for cooking. He may even be wealthy in his infant state, and some babies already have their own room and a closet full of clothes when they are born. One thing that will set him apart from other people though- is his name.

It’s one of the first things we ask when a babies born. What’d they name him? What is the word that will signify their life, their mannerisms, they’re personality?

I’d like to talk about Names this afternoon. I’ll discuss the significance of names in our culture, what I hope our family name will represent, and how we take upon ourselves the Name of the Lord.

Names gives you an identity, makes you separate. Names of families or sports teams or fan clubs can unify a group of people- signifying a shared identity. There’s a sense of ownership there- which is why some people get upset if someone “steals” a baby name they’ve chosen- but I chose it first- it’s mine! There goes my unique child!

In the scriptures the Lord gives new names to some prophets in the Old Testament, as their identity changes. When they dedicated themselves to the Lord, and their lives changed into disciples, they were given a “new name” by the Lord. From Abram to Abraham, and or Saul to Paul.

I feel as though we go through this change slightly, you know someone is from church when you hear “Sister or Brother Daley” rather than Mrs. Or Mr. And missionaries go through this transformation as they are now referred to Elder or Sister all the time.

Names by themselves usually aren’t anything special- it’s what they represent or allude to or sound like that has all it’s appeal. I loved my name Jacqueline growing up because I fancied it sophisticated. And I chose each of my children’s names partially because of their meaning, and I chose some “family names”- Names chosen from our ancestors. Just like names from the Old Testament, where every name has a meaning, and I hope that giving my children their grandmother’s name will be in a sense a prophecy- that they will live up to the standard set by their ancestor.

As I pondered this talk, and yesterday’s Pioneer day, I thought a lot about my ancestors, John’s ancestors, and how sometimes they are just names on a chart, but there are lives behind each name. And each life contributes to the family identity and my personal identity. As I hear stories of hard times and faith and difficulties, I am reminded that every time period has trials like mine- and the same blood ran through their veins that runs through mine- so perhaps I can be just as strong and just as full of Faith.

If you’ll indulge me for a few minutes, I’d like to tell you some family stories, and what I feel they represent for the DALEY family name. It is my hope that this will inspire you to go home and call your parents, your great Aunt Hildy or whatever and ask them to tell you about their life. Write it down. Email it out to all your cousins. You’ll be happy you did. Sit and talk with your family, figure out what you want your name to be known for in the world. You could even make a family mission statement and read some Covey books and you’d be well on your way to family unity.

DALEY- Want our family to be a family of…

Courage- Sally Ridley Buchanan - middle Tennessee (unknown) (6th great grandmother)

Sally Buchanan worked with her husband, Major John Buchanan, at their home, Buchanan's Station, a fort in Davidson County. Like all the settlers in middle Tennessee, families initially lived together within the walls of these stations for protection from the Indians.

When 400 Indians attacked Buchanan's Station in 1792, Sally Buchanan, a large woman, was pregnant with her first child. There were only 17 men inside the fort. As the men began to run low on ammunition, Sally "came amidst the raking fire of bullets singing through the picketing" and with a bottle of whiskey in one hand and an apron filled with bullets, she began to distribute her supplies, making several rounds around the fort. When one of the women at the station became hysterical and decided to take her children outside the walls of the fort to surrender to the Indians in an effort to save their lives, Sally ran out and brought her back convincing the woman that she would see victory. And they did gain victory. She lived to have 13 children. I hope the Daley name represents Courage like Great Grandma Sally Buchanans’s.

Affection: John’s grandparents- John’s Grandpa Mathew was 19 he was working in a random outpost town during the depression, for the gov’t and moonlighting as a Boxer. One night he went to a dance and fell in love at first sight with a girl on the dance floor. He danced all night, and gave up his ride home to walk her home- all 5 miles to her house and then the miles back to his camp. They were married a year later, Throughout their lives, they worked side by side- even on their Canadian logging operation, and every year in the garden, side by side, even at the dinner table. I hope the Daley name represents Love and Affection like Grandma and Grandpa Daley’s.

Adventure: My great grandma, Clara Petrina Schlumpberger- was working in Seattle, in the early 1900’s as a school teacher. She was told she wouldn’t be able to survive working in Alaska. She said she could. Someone dared her to go. So she did- and taught for 50 years in Alaskan outback. Small communities of 10 families and 2 dozen children, she was the teacher, the firemen, the nurse, etc.

Her daughter Jacki (my namesake) was married at 19 and lived in a gold mining camp as a newlywed. In the wintertime when there was 10 feet of snow, they utilized their second story window to leave the house. And there’s no need for a freezer- You just go out back and cut some frozen meat off the dead moose hanging from the tree. I hope I have a sense of adventure and endurance like my Grandma Jacki and Great grandma Clara.

Persistence: Judy- Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis while in her 30’s, she’s now in her 60’s. For the last 15 years, as it accelerated and took her into a wheelchair, she’s gone to Water Aerobics at her local YMCA. It’s the only exercise she can do, so she does it with vigor. She’s fighting against her body to deteriorate. She also took care of her husband after his multiple strokes, and learned to communicate with him even though he couldn’t talk or have enough motor control to write or sign. Seeing them together, still having fun and enjoying each other’s company was moving. I hope the Daley name represents Persistence like Aunt Judy.

Creativity and Optimism- Grandma Susie - My Grandma died a few years ago when Sophia was still a baby. Here is an excerpt from the ulogy my Father gave at her funeral.

Mom buried two husbands and a son. Mom had never worked outside the home, but she went to work. She did oil photo refinishing, and was good at it. She worked to keep our family together. I can only imagine how difficult it must have been for her, but I can assure you that it was not made evident to me, maybe to Jud and Judy, as they were older, but not to me. In this trying period of her life, she painted and produced some of her best art. She did not wallow in self pity. She moved on. She did not see through jaded eyes. Life to her was beautiful. That’s the way she saw it and as such, that’s the way she painted it. Flowers, beautiful landscapes, smiling portraits, to her the canvas was not meant to dark and dreary but vibrant, full of color and life.

At 85 she was telling slightly off color jokes at the Thanksgiving table. She had a sense of humor about everything- even joked to the cardiologist he was prescribing rat poison. After she had a few drinks she would sit and tell stories, but she had to sketch as she told stories, she thought in pictures. I hope that the Daley name represents this Optimism and Creativity like Grandma Susie.

Faith: Mom- Grew up Catholic Her friends down the road, the Oberg’s, who rode on the bus with her, invited her to Primary. She went to Primary on Tuesday nights for a year, then started going to Sunday meetings. The church helped her survive a tumultuous home full of alcohol abuse, and she knew she had another family to run to if she needed help--her church family. She wasn’t allowed to be baptized as a child, so she attended until she was 18- and then was baptized. I remember my mom serving in the church as Primary music leader even though she can’t carry a tune, and as Relief Society president. That was one calling she thought about turning down, simply because she didn’t think she could fill such a big role. But she accepted anyways. And she had fun and loved it once she started serving.

Then there are John’s ancestors, the Ord family. They came over in the 1840’s from England, leaving a good railway job and comfortable circumstances, only to stay in Iowa too long waiting for their Handcarts and crossed the plains with the Martin Handcart company. They made it to Utah through miraculous circumstances, and went on to settle in the valley near the future Manti temple.

I hope that the Daley name represents Faith like my Mom’s and the Ord family.

There is another name that we have or “take upon ourselves” in this life- the Lord’s name.

The Lord is fairly protective of his name- he commands us not to take it in Vain, or in other words, not to deface it by using it idly, or making promises in his name that we don’t intend to keep.

The list of names given to the Lord is long and exhaustive- if you pause and think of all the names given to Christ, All shed some light on various aspects of his nature and mission. Lord: Savior, Messiah, I am, Immanuel; Jehovah; Lamb of God; Living Water; Redeemer; Alpha and Omega, Anointed One; Bridegroom, Good Shepherd.

One way the prophets of the past, particularly in the Book of Mormon, speak of the Lord’s name is “believing on his name.” What is the meaning of this phrase?

First, let’s see what Alma says. In Alma 5:48, Alma is testifying of Christ coming. He says:

I know that Jesus Christ shall come, yea, the Son, the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace, and mercy, and truth. And behold, it is he that cometh to take away the sins of the world, yea, the sins of every man who steadfastly believeth on his name.

(Alma 5:48; Alma 9:27; Alma 11:40; Hel. 14:2.)

Elder Oaks in May 1985 titled “Taking upon us the Name of Jesus Christ.” He discusses believing on Christ’s name. He says:

The scriptures proclaim that the Savior’s atoning sacrifice was for those who “believe on his name.”

Thus, those who exercise faith in the sacred name of Jesus Christ and repent of their sins and enter into his covenant and keep his commandments (see Mosiah 5:8) can lay claim on the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Those who do so will be called by his name at the last day.

Another time we hear about the Lord’s name upon us is during the Sacrament prayers. Each week when we partake of the sacrament, we renew our baptismal covenants and we signify we are “willing to take His name upon us.” We are witnessing to God that we want to do HIS work, in HIS way, to be marked of the believers to others.

The Lord also signifies over and over in the Scriptures that he puts his name upon a church, or the Temple or a work to signify it is his- and to give us Authority.

Elder Bednar discusses this in May 2009 in his General Conference talk “ Honorably Hold a name and standing” He first explains about the Lord placing his name upon the work of the Temple. I’m going to paraphrase a little here.

In Doctrine and Covenants 105, 109, and 110 the Lord speaks about

  1. the Temple being built “built unto my name” (D&C 105:33; see also D&C 109:2–5; 124:39).
  2. Joseph Smith petitions the Lord “that thy servants may go forth from this house armed with thy power, and that thy name may be upon them” (D&C 109:22
  3. And when the Temple is finished, the Lord declares: , “For behold, I have accepted this house, and my name shall be here; and I will manifest myself to my people in mercy in this house” (D&C 110:7).

Elder Bednar explains the significance of these scriptures. He says:

These scriptures help us understand that the process of taking upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ that is commenced in the waters of baptism is continued and enlarged in the house of the Lord. As we stand in the waters of baptism, we look to the temple. As we partake of the sacrament, we look to the temple.

We pledge to always remember the Savior and to keep His commandments as preparation to participate in the sacred ordinances of the temple and receive the highest blessings available through the name and by the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ. Thus, in the ordinances of the holy temple we more completely and fully take upon us the name of Jesus Christ.

So, to summarize, when we believe on the Lord’s name, and enter into his covenant in the waters of baptism, we access the Atonement and have his name upon us. Then when we covenant in the temple, we do so with the Lord’s authority (doing things in his name) and in his House, (that was built unto his name). As we leave the Temple and go back into the world, we do the Lord’s work- in His Way and hopefully we are viewed as one of Christ’s disciples.

Just as my family name represents Persistence, Love, Faith, Adventure, etc, and it sets me apart from the world and provides an identity with my Family. The Lord’s name upon me sets my actions and intentions and destination to be different from the world- but the same as the other Followers of Christ.

I want to bear you my witness that I know the Savior atoned for my Sins. I know that his name and Authority is upon his Temples, and in them we do the work of the Lord- for ourselves, and then for our eternal Family. We can honor our family name and Christ’s name by being a disciple of Christ and living up to the Covenants that we’ve made. In this journey it will not be easy, it will be full of Trials and difficulty. But the Lord is by our side, and he will help us. When we call upon his NAME and ask for his help to guide and inspire us.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...