Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Power of a Name

I've been delving into family history lately.
Fascinated with it actually.

Upon my research and such, I am finding names of people with character, love, compassion, gentilness, and various characteristics  I would love to model my life after.

I've made notes on my computer of people I'd like to name my children after. And last night as I read more about my grandmother, Phyllis Cook Smith, I thought, I want her name to be my middle name.

I began google searching what it would take to change my name--money, DMV's, records, etc. This process couldn't even happen until August when I'll finally come home.

Then, as I kept thinking about it, wanting to make it happen, I realized--I already do carry her name with me. I am her descendent. I carry apart of her name with me. It may not show up on my legal records, or my drivers license or engraved on my scriptures, but I carry her name and everyone else that has gone before me with me.

I don't have to have her name apart of mine to try to live up to it. Actually, because it is not apart of my formal name, I want to live up to it and honor it even more, so that others will know I am associated to such wonderful women--Phyllis and my mother Vivienne--without having to have their name apart of mine.

Even more so than this, I bear the name of Jesus Christ with me always. His name is not apart of my formal name either--but I have promised to live like He did when I was baptized at the age of 8. I promised to help those in need, to stand as a witness of Him, to mourn with those that mourn, and comfort those in need of comfort. (see Mosiah 18). Ultimately, I hope my daily actions reflect that of Jesus Christ.

The power of a name has changed the way I live my life.

I want to live worthy to not only brea the name of Lewis, but all those who sacrificed in their own way to make it possible for me to be on this earth.

Because I bear the name of my ancestors, I surely try to stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before me. If I do that, I know I can not do wrong. They are people of faith, love, sacrifice and devotion. 


  1. I love her and miss her! I agree - her name is so beautiful.

  2. Names are so fascinating and can carry so much meaning and other times mean not much at all...personally I want the names I give my children to be meaningful in some way.

  3. Beautifully said Emily. Just wait till you have your own children. Jason and I have had so much fun carefully sifting through our family records and learning more about our forbears. I wanted each of my children to have their name remind them of those who came before, of those who sacrificed so much, and who they should be like. I had all my names picked out, just like you. But then I got married, and over time I have felt more and more like his family history is mine also, and I love those people and their names just as much as my own. Eternal families and temple covenants are a beautiful thing.

  4. Emily, Wow, I can't believe you looked into getting Phyllis as your middle name. Her name came up as a middle name option if we had had a girl. She is a wonderful person to try to emulate and I agree names are important but living your life honoring that person is more important.


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Maira Gall