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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: December 02, 2019 11:26AM

"Give me the names for things, just give
me their real names,
Not what we call them, but what
They call themselves when no one's

Not sure who authored that famous quote, but it makes me sad for those who believe in Mormonism and let others define them, let others "name" them, let others determine their worth.

Is there anything more demeaning than the New Name given in the temple? What is the temple anyway but a tool in the continual Mormon agenda of stripping the identity of every last individual--even as they strip you and clothe you in their clothing all the same?

Praised to be sheep. Praised to surrender one's own essence.

"I am what I am and what I am is my own special creation."

I read about a couple with a wonderful relationship and they said they met at a time when each had come to "like themselves, knew who they were, and valued their independence." The very opposite of the Mormon New Name Game.

And that quote about names made me think about Warrior's insightful posts lately about finding yourself, claiming yourself.

Losing the church was easy once I knew. Finding myself was not such a piece of cake.

The poster who once was Elias.

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Posted by: kathleen ( )
Date: December 02, 2019 11:46AM

And every man who went through the temple that day ended up with "Elias."

Temple workers are gathered for the pre-endowment briefing, and the matron (in my case) holds up a card with the name that everyone reads--far too sacred to be uttered aloud.

It's one reason we are sworn to such secrecy. They wouldn't want anyone saying, "Hey, wait! I got that name, too!" Not like you're John Jacob Jingleheimer Smith or something.

--Sarah (me and million others.)

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Posted by: Human ( )
Date: December 02, 2019 11:50AM

From Harold Bloom's Jesus and Yahweh: The Names Divine, riffing on Hillel:

"Man is obliged to make endeavours, for 'If I am not for myself, who will be for me?' But he cannot achieve much through seclusion and separation, and he must remember, 'And being for my own self, what am I?' Nor may he forget that his time is limited and he dare not procrastinate--'And if not now, when?'"

Being for myself was no piece of cake either, especially when confronted, after leaving LDSinc, with the question, what am I now?

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: December 02, 2019 12:03PM

From a review I thought might interest you of "Oblivion Banjo," The poetry of Charles Wright who seems to argue in images rather than propositions. I believe you like poetry?

"More interested in the process of thinking than in its content, Wright follows words and thoughts where they seem to want to go---a policy that prevents him from faking his conclusions."

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Posted by: Human ( )
Date: December 02, 2019 12:37PM

Fitting sentence on Charles Wright. Funny, I just went through The World Of The Ten Thousand Things: Poems 1980-1990 last year, delightedly.

Arguing in images rather than propositions is wonderfully said, and can be said for a lot if not all of imaginative literature. I think in images rather than words or numbers, so poems, short stories and novels make easier and more sense to me than philosophy, for example. Also, I relish human freedom and the kinds of naming and un-naming games that are played in poetry and imaginative prose. Here's a splendid example from Virginia Woolf's The Waves*: "The day waves yellow with all its crops." It doesn't make sense literally, for how does a day wave, let alone wave yellow? Yet we can see it exactly and we know exactly what is meant.

Allow me to indulge a bit. Here's a quote from a book that was absolutely necessary to me after formally leaving LDSinc, setting the mormon gossip-mills a-fluttering:

"Young man anywhere, in whom something is welling up that makes you shiver, be grateful that no one knows you. And if those who think you are worthless contradict you, and if those whom you call friends abandon you, and if they want to destroy you because of your precious ideas: what is this obvious danger, which concentrates you inside yourself, compared to the cunning enmity of fame, later, which makes you innocuous by scattering you all around?

"Don't ask anyone to speak about you, not even contemptuously. And when time passes and you notice that your name is circulating among men, don't take this more seriously than anything else you might find in their mouths. Think rather that it has become cheapened, and throw it away. Take another name, ANY other, so that God can call you in the night. And hide it from everyone."

--Rainer Maria Rilke--
--The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge--

I needed that book then (early 20s). I still need it today (early 50s) and trust I will need it twenty and thirty years hence.


*example lifted from James Wood's How Fiction Works

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: December 02, 2019 03:48PM

You always have the best quotes.

I know everyone will find a different meaning in those words, but what I see there, is "mystery is your friend." Align yourself with your self alone.

Keep 'em all guessing?

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Posted by: gemini ( )
Date: December 02, 2019 11:50AM

I was Deborah...oooh, aaah. I even went into the old testament and underlined it in red pencil lest I ever forgot what it was. Or, horrors, my DH ever did. You know, I never did find out what his new name was. But, now it all seems so silly, like the secret clubhouse antics it seems like now.

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: December 02, 2019 12:06PM

That was my name too. There were a ton of Deborahs! So special!

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Posted by: Dave the Atheist ( )
Date: December 02, 2019 01:07PM

His sacred but not secret top secret name is Bob.

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Posted by: bspcnot ( )
Date: December 02, 2019 12:09PM

Is anyone privy to the actual names being used? Like is there a list somewhere? Do all of the temples coordinate?

It sort of reminds me of the Nazi code machine called the Enigma. Perhaps, they secretly have one in each of the temple president's office?

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Posted by: [|] ( )
Date: December 02, 2019 02:02PM

>Is anyone privy to the actual names being used? Like is there a list somewhere? Do all of the temples coordinate?

Yes there is:

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: December 02, 2019 03:24PM

That's only a partial list. Mine is not on the list.

It's cool that people are assembling the set, though.

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Posted by: messygoop ( )
Date: December 02, 2019 03:51PM

Lot's Wife Wrote:
> That's only a partial list. Mine is not on the
> list.
> It's cool that people are assembling the set,
> though.

By chance was your new name was Pilar?

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Posted by: messygoop ( )
Date: December 02, 2019 03:54PM

I no longer recall what my new name was. And I no longer remember the date I went for my endowment.

I am in serious mormon heaven doo-doo.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: December 02, 2019 05:14PM

> By chance was your new name was Pilar?

No, I think that's where I received my new title of Ineffable Bitch. . .

It could have been from some cousin or another, but I think I received it in my initial endowment session. So I guess there is some discernment in the church after all!

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: December 02, 2019 05:00PM

[|] Wrote:
> >Is anyone privy to the actual names being used?
> Like is there a list somewhere? Do all of the
> temples coordinate?
> Yes there is:
> le/

I'm of the impression that not everyone proceeds to the bottom of this webpage, which is a shame because the information to be gleaned is fascinating. To save you the time, here's the amusing content:

   "Fanny Stenhouse wrote that in 1860...

   "A new name was then whispered into my ear, which I was told I must never mention to any living soul except my husband in the Endowment House... There was among our number a deaf woman; Mrs. Whitney had to tell her her name once or twice over, loud enough for me to hear, and thus I found that her new name, as well as mine, was Sarah. To make the matter worse, another sister whispered: 'Why that is my name, too!' This entirely dispelled any enthusiasm which otherwise I might have felt. I could well understand that I might yet become a Sarah in Israel, but if we all were Sarahs, there would not be much distinction or honor in being called by that name. As a matter of course, I supposed that the men would all become Abrahams. (Tell It All, The Story of a Life's Experience in Mormonism, pgs 360-361)

   "Ann Eliza Young, wife of Brigham Young, reported that in 1860 or 1861 she received her new name, and wrote...

   "If the Mormon doctrine were true, there would be a mighty shouting for 'Sarah' at that time, as every person whose name I have heard was always called the same. It was the name that was given me, and I have known many others who received it. (Wife Number 19, pg 361)

   "Hans P. Freece wrote to his son...

   "Yes, I have been in the Endowment House more than once. In 1865 my first wife and I, with others of the faithful, went through ...we had received new names, and we had lost our identities. My new name was a secret until I heard someone yell into the ear of a deaf brother, 'Your new name is Abraham.' I gave a sudden start, for I thought that name was for me alone. Forty years have rolled by, and every man with whom I have had conversation has told me that his name was Abraham. (The Letters of an Apostate Mormon to his son, 1908)

   "Caroline Owens Miles discussed her endowment and marriage, which occurred on October 24, 1878, saying that the woman who performed her washings and anointings...

   "...whispered my new and celestial name in my ear. I believe I am to be called up on the morning of the resurrection by it. It was Sarah. I felt disappointed. I thought I should have received a more distinguished name. She told me that my name must never be spoken, but often thought of, to keep away evil spirits. I should be required to speak it once that day, but she would tell me in what part of the ceremony, and that I should never again have to speak it.(The Boston Daily Globe, Monday, April 18, 1881)

   "From the above, it appears that the new name originated with the story of Abram and Sarai in the Old Testament, who received the new names Abraham and Sarah respectively, and that everyone until at least October 24, 1878, received these two names regardless of the day of the month."

I'm fascinated by the fact that it HAD to be by divine revelation that on October 24, 1878, the following rules went into effect: New names were chosen at the discretion of the temple worker...

   "In a meeting with the workers in the Saint George temple, John D. T. McAllister of the temple presidency said;

   "With regard to new Names, give easy names to be understood: Scripture names or names not in the Scripture, there are many good names of those who have lived upon the earth which are easy to understand[;] don't give any fanciful names, [and] be sure they get the New Name and that they understand it. (Minutes, Meeting of Workers in St. George Temple, August 31, 1880, typed excerpt, Buerger Papers)"

You see how amenable to ridicule the process was/is? Good ol' ghawd tells Joju that EVERYONE gets Adam or Sarah as his/her new name. But then ghawd changed his mind and the temple stalwarts were told to hand out whatever names they liked, subject to what passed for common sense.

But then again, ghawd changed his mind and again it HAD to be via revelation, the church was instructed that beginning on 01/01/1965, two lists of names, one male, one female, were to be used, with each name assigned a particular alphabetical order. Because ghawd is a ghawd of order? Sure!

I found another silly bit of nonsense. I'm of the tribe of Manasseh but had I driven up to St. George on the 11th of May, 1965, my super soaker name would have been Ephraim!

And all the Ephraimites who went for the first time on the 21st of the month between 01/01/1965 and 06/25/1974 were given the super soaker name of Manasseh!

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: December 02, 2019 12:17PM

The temple is indeed about the dissolution of the individual identity and its recreation as a church drone. So too the mission.

Cults do that.

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Posted by: valkyriequeen ( )
Date: December 02, 2019 12:29PM

My temple name was Victoria; my husband can't remember what his was, but he thinks it was Neal.

How are those for ancient names?

The creepy thing was that we were out shopping one day, and some stranger looked at Jorge, mistaking him for somebody else, and said: "Hi Neal"! Cue the Twilight Zone music.

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Posted by: kathleen ( )
Date: December 02, 2019 12:46PM

My Pop and his sibs reached an age where they were asked what they wanted to be officially called. Their answers went on record. No one got to name them but themselves.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/02/2019 01:15PM by kathleen.

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Posted by: caffiend ( )
Date: December 02, 2019 12:48PM

Everybody who was initiated on a given day was given the same mantra. A novitiate who forgot his mantra was amazed that after asking a few questions, his supervising guru knew his mantra to remind him. Obviously, one of the questions was "when were you initiated?"

I imagine they rotated on a monthly or other periodic basis. Yearly would be a lot to memorize.

In one of his early comedies, Woody Allen walks by a stressed-out guy on a phone, who is telling his guru, "Help me--I forgot my mantra!"

I can now reveal my secret, very sacred mantra:


This way, I become one with the center of the Universe.


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Posted by: messygoop ( )
Date: December 02, 2019 12:57PM

The santa scene from the Christmas Story movie sums up how I felt that day. All these people leaning into my face to tell me to pay attention and learn because there would be no help (if you can call that) on my next visit. It was overwhelming.

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: December 02, 2019 01:02PM

In recovery from Mormonism, besides recovering from the wounds inflicted, we are also tuning into another meaning of recovery---the recovery of a lost object. The recovery of the self beneath the yards of white fabric and green aprons.

What helped me the most in unearthing, recovering, my true self was this:

"You are interesting to the extent you are interested."

Curiosity, for the sake of curiosity itself, unencumbered by a reward or an end, will take you where you need to go, serendipitously. Not necessary to always know where you are headed--I didn't--just keep the wheels spinning and the eyes wide open. Curiosly, curiosity will also lead you to your own kind.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: December 02, 2019 01:27PM

> In recovery from Mormonism, besides recovering
> from the wounds inflicted, we are also tuning into
> another meaning of recovery---the recovery of a
> lost object. The recovery of the self beneath the
> yards of white fabric and green aprons.

Very good.

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Posted by: Breeze ( )
Date: December 02, 2019 04:23PM

Yes, very good, Done and Done.

That, and this entire thread gives me chills! You understand!

It was those intermittent months, sometimes years, when I was the most deeply immersed in the cult, and when the cult members were most abusive, that I lost my sense of self. A few times, I was willing to throw myself under the bus for the sake of "The Church." This not only ruined some of my best years, but did damage to my soul. It was like I had betrayed my own self, and that's the ultimate betrayal. The deepest, most difficult battle for recovery has been to forgive myself.

My mother lived to be almost 100, and she was an amazing lady, to the end. People would ask her what her secret to long-life was, and she said, "Curiosity."

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Posted by: Tevai ( )
Date: December 02, 2019 04:47PM

Looking at this from another perspective:

What if Mormons got to choose their own "new names"?

I thought of this because one of the names mentioned above is my self-chosen Jewish name, when I went through the Jewish conversion process and became a Jew.

In my case, I chose the name because I identified with/aspired to the biblical (Old Testament) original, and I have never regretted my choice.

Some of those in my conversion class chose names of their own (often blood) relatives--for instance, a paternal grandmother who was, under Jewish law, a Jew. (Some also chose names of Jewish relatives--from both sides of the family--who had died in the Holocaust, or had been caught up in the Holocaust.)

[Jewish legal descent is matrilineal only, so fathers, and all of the father's biological line, are irrelevant when determining "Who is a Jew?." Children born to Jewish FATHER/non-Jewish mother parents, which is the most common situation, are not Jewish, according to Jewish law, unless they later choose to go through formal conversion.]

In any case, all of us had free choice of any "Jewish"/Hebrew name we wanted as our own, and I did choose one of the names mentioned above.

What if, from the perspective of LDS authorities, members of the LDS church had this same right? This would appear (to me) to be one way of pragmatically solidifying any given individual's connection to all things LDS.

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Posted by: ptbarnum ( )
Date: December 02, 2019 10:17PM

Mine was Emma. I was soooo thrilled because I was 5ish months along with twins and Emma Smith was a twin mom too...I didn't stop to remember what happened to the twins she actually gave birth to and how that related to my two passengers. Now I think about her reproductive problems and I get the skeevies about how brainwashed I was because I glossed right over the idea of what it must have been like for her to have to give v-birth to two little corpses.

Later I found out we all get the same based upon the day and felt so ridiculously gullible. When I was ready to quit I told my husband everything, including the tidbit about the names. In spite of that, he still felt too superstitious for years to tell me his secret name, so I eventually looked it up. I told him what I'd done and he shrugged and admitted he hated it because Reuben made him think of sandwiches and he had trouble not laughing at the whole aprons and dingle dangle thingy on his hat. Being BIC he couldn't bring himself to tell me even though he thought it was dumb, he was afraid of lightening bolts from the CK.

The cult doesn't care who you are, they care about your money. An Emma, a Reuben, an Elias, a Sarah...we all look like cash, why bother getting creative with secret names? As far as self-discovery products go, it doesn't even rate one star reviews. The Sims has better personality resolution than TSCC and it's a video game.

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Posted by: snowball ( )
Date: December 03, 2019 01:56PM

I agree with the previous post that the new name didn't foster much self discovery.

My "new name" was Timothy, which doesn't even conjure up a yummy sandwich--but maybe that's because I haven't created it yet--hmmm?

Anyway, when I was a missionary I scoured Paul's letters to Timothy for clues and secret knowledge. Alas, I never arrived on anything game changing. And I guess that raises the real issues with these new names--there's not much more to it. At least your astrology sign has a few vague points of wisdom affixed to it so at least you can see which ones might apply.

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