Tuesday, October 4, 2011

What's in a name?

I was in a win-win situation for naming our eldest child, named after his dad and both grandfathers.  The other was just as easy after both of my brothers.  I've always been happy with my own, and all the nicknames that have fit me so well.  There is value and substance in a name that is beyond expression.  For example, "And under this head ye are made free, and there is no other head whereby ye can be made free. There is no other name given whereby salvation cometh; therefore, I would that ye should take upon you the name of Christ, all you that have entered into the covenant with God that ye should be obedient unto the end of your lives." Mosiah 5: 8  Perhaps that is why people are so easily offended when we don't remember theirs.  Sadly, names don't come easy to me.  Even after several years of knowing a person, I can draw a blank.  I suppose that living in the same area and having few move-ins helped to not exercise that part of my cerebrum.  Or maybe it was the hours practicing head stands that caused dain bramage.  But nothing was quite as trying as my mission, in regards to this skill, or rather lack thereof. 

For those that don't know I went Spanish-speaking.  Not only did I need to learn their names, and remember them, but many were names with which I was completely unfamiliar.  After reading Kevin!!! I remembered an incident from my mission.  I sat in a room with my companion, our member friend, who's name, of course, I can't recall.  He introduced us to a dozen of his closest friends and we taught them.  Nearing the end of the lesson, I felt more familiar with some of their names, and decided to use them instead of say, "Usted [you]."  "Calendario,..." I don't remember if I said anything else.  I was embarrassed for having said his name wrong.  And everyone was in gales of laughter at my expense.  So I asked him what his name was.  The response, "Candelario."  I thought, 'Well, I was close.  Besides neither makes sense; calendar, candelabra.  Same dif.'  Well shortly after my mission, I saw a couple in the temple (there are benefits to living in the same state where I served.)  I happily greeted a family who frequently fed us... "Sister Galavis!"  um.  It was Galvan.

So if you are greeted with a happy generic, "You."  Please don't feel I don't know or care about you.  I just don't remember names.  I'm all the more amazed, daily, that God knows each and every one of ours.  Exodus 33:17

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