Perspectives on Latter-day Saint Names and Naming: Names, Identity, and Belief, edited by Dallin D. Oaks, Paul Baltes, and Kent Minson, is an exploration of the significance and practices surrounding names within the context of the faith and culture of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
With recognizable contributors such as Eric A. Eliason, Don E. Norton, John A. Tvedtnes, Joseph Fielding McConkie, John Gee, Stephen D. Ricks, and Brad Wilcox, as well as the editors, this thought-provoking anthology examines the intricate ways in which names shape and reflect an individual’s sense of self, familial connections, and place within the broader community.
The book delves into the historical, cultural, theological, and covenantal dimensions of naming within the Church, exploring its impact on personal and communal identity. The editors have curated articles that examine the scriptural and theological foundations, the historical development, and the contemporary practices of naming children and places in the Latter-day Saint faith. Readers will find how names carry a sacred and transformative power, both in personal spiritual experiences and in important religious rituals, such as baptism and temple ordinances.
The articles tackle contemporary issues and challenges related to names in LDS culture. For instance, there are discussions surrounding the use of middle names, surnames, and the adoption of nontraditional or diverse names within the faith. This includes culturally significant names associated with Latter-day Saints, such as names derived from the Book of Mormon or Church history and parents choosing the last names of General Authorities as first names for their children. The editors aim to foster a broader understanding and appreciation of the complexity and diversity in naming practices of Church members. Overall, the book presents various viewpoints and research findings, providing a comprehensive overview of the subject.
Perspectives on Latter-day Saint Names and Naming is a valuable resource for both scholars and members of the Church interested in the intersection of religion, culture, and personal identity. This anthology invites readers to reflect on the power and significance of names and their integral role in shaping individual and communal identities of Latter-day Saints.