Strong Mormon Women’s Names
I’ll be having my third and final baby in 5 weeks, and she’s a girl. I always thought I’d be wading through girls’ names, trying to find just the perfect one. After all, there are so many lovely options.
But, when I actually had to choose a name, I’ve found that I wasn’t excited about the search I had so looked forward to. Throughout my pregnancy, I have had a very specific name in mind, and as much as people try to help me broaden my horizons, I remain set on just one name. My family reads to me from baby naming books, my friends send me links of good baby-naming websites, yet I remain stuck. I just think this baby should be named Emmeline.
I love it because it’s after a long-time editor and frequent contributor (often under pen names) of Woman’s Exponent and former Relief Society president, Emmeline B. Wells. I love it because her nickname could be Emma. Look at that! Two strong Mormon women covered with one name! And, I’ll admit that I love it because she has a cousin who will be 13 months older than she who’s name is Eliza. Seriously, I can hardly wait to get pictures of those two together.
But, perhaps, I’m limiting myself and her by not exploring more options. And, I’m a little ambivalent about this name because it is so similar to my name, “Emily.” That’ll make things difficult for the rest of the family. And, with the current knowledge of famous Mormon women, I suspect that most people will think I was vain and just made up a name that was similar to my own.
I know that I do so want her to share a name with a strong Mormon woman. I think it is in large part because I hope that such a name will give her power and strength to thrive, grow, even work for change in the Church. I also want her (and myself) to proudly tell the story of the woman she was named after when the topic comes up; I know I always love to do that with my namesake, Emily Dickinson.
I told this to my husband, and he thought these were good reasons to stick with historical Mormon women. (Well, that and the fact that the only name I could settle on from the Bible was Jezebel because really, that woman gets a bad rap!) So, he went through his parents’ copy of History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by B.H. Roberts in search of some names and came back saying, “Huh, there really aren’t many women in that book.” It was nice (or naive) of him to think otherwise.
So, in the past couple days, I have felt like I should make one last push. But, I’m pretty lazy, which is why I turn to you.
What strong names (Mormon or otherwise) have you or would you pick for your daughters and why? Has your name helped you feel stronger or more confident in your life? How so?