Coming up with a name for your little one can be a daunting, yet wonderful process.
For members of the Church, the idea of “Mormon baby names” conjures up the image of Pain and Panic from Hercules saying, “Remember, like, a few years ago, every other boy was named Nephi, and the girls were all named Emma?” An article published in early 2015 even notes how Mormons, especially in the mountain states of the US, are known for truly unique names.
It may seem hard to find a name to honor the heritage of your faith while giving your child a name they can not only live with, but be proud to bear. However, we’ve got a list of fairly special baby names with some pretty distinctive LDS ties to help you get started. Check out the five names for boy and the five names for girls below.
5 Mormon Baby Names for Boys
Gideon – In the Book of Mormon, Gideon was a faithful leader of the Church and an eventual enemy to the wicked King Noah. When Noah ordered his men to flee and leave their families behind, Gideon refused. After their freedom for Noah’s rule, Gideon helped his son Limhi lead his people away from the captivity of the Lamanites. He was murdered in his old age as he pleaded with the apostate Nehor to turn from his evil ways. The Nephites named one of their most important cities after Gideon.
The name Gideon has Hebrew origins and multiple meanings, including “mighty warrior,” “feller” and “hewer.” While the name has risen in popularity during the last decade, it currently sits in the 300s of most popular boy names.
Amos- Amos is the name of a father and son dedicated to protecting the “holy things”, which included the records which would eventually become the Book of Mormon. Amos the Younger held the charge, after his father who lived during the greatest era of peace and prosperity of the Book of Mormon, for over one hundred years. He passed them to his brother Ammaron, who was instructed by the Holy Ghost to hide the records due to the extreme wickedness of the people. Ammaron then instructed the boy soldier Mormon to dig them up when he was older.
Amos is a Hebrew name that means “carried by God.” It was a popular name in Puritan times, but declined in the modern era. However, it has recently risen up the list in the last few years and now sits 700s of most popular boy names.
Orson – Orson has been the first name of multiple LDS apostles, especially during pioneer times. Examples include Orson Hyde, known for his historic mission to the Holy Land, Orson Pratt, and Orson F. Whitney, who penned the lyrics for the popular hymn, “Savior Redeemer of My Soul.” It is also the name of popular LDS science fiction writer Orson Scott Card.
Orson has Latin origins and means “bear cub.” The name is so unique it hasn’t charted on popular name lists since 1901.
Porter – Orrin Porter Rockwell was a close friend and bodyguard of the prophet Joseph Smith. He was baptized into the Church when he was only 16 and is most remembered for the prophecy given to him by Joseph that if he never cut his hair and remain faithful the Lord would protect him.
The name Porter means “gatekeeper” and has been steadily rising in popularity since the early 2000s.
Spencer – Spencer is a classic name and has prominent ties to modern-day LDS prophets. Spencer W. Kimball was the 12th President of the Church and was known being the prophet to announce the Priesthood was available to all worthy males, regardless of race. Spencer is also the middle name of Thomas S. Monson, the 16th President of the Church.
Spencer means “dispenser of provisions” and ranks high on popular name lists.
5 Mormon Baby Names for Girls
Sariah – Sariah was the matriarch of one of the most famous families in the Book of Mormon, the wife of Lehi, and the mother to Laman, Lemuel, Nephi, Sam, Joseph, and others. She is regarded as a woman of faith, sacrifice, and resilience. The name Sariah is unique to the Book of Mormon and is often considered a combination of the words Sarah and Mariah. According to some, Sariah means “princess of the Lord”, from the origin of the Sarah’s meaning.
Alma – For members of the LDS faith, the name Alma is most often associated with the great prophets and missionaries of the Book of Mormon. Because these figures were men, it may seem strange to pick the name for a girl. However, Alma has historically been a female name and is thought to be inspired by the Latin word for nourishing. It was a popular name throughout the 1800s.
Eliza – A form of Elizabeth, Eliza is best remembered in LDS history for being the name of Eliza R. Snow. She was the second Relief Society President and known as “Zion’s Poetess.” Many of her poems were transformed into hymns which are still in the LDS Hymnbook today, including “O My Father”, “How Great the Wisdom and the Love”, and “In Our Lovely Deseret.”
Eliza’s long form Elizabeth means “my God is an oath” and is extremely popular in the United Kingdom.
Martha – Martha isn’t just a Biblical name; it is almost the name of the first female Senator in the United States, Martha Hughes Cannon. A Democrat, Martha Cannon beat out her husband, a Republican, for the seat. She was a physician, a suffragette, a plural wife, and the mother to three children.
The name Martha is generally considered to be Aramaic and means “lady.” It was a popular name throughout the 20th century, but has recently seen a dip beginning in the 1960s.
Ardeth – Ardeth G. Kapp was the ninth general president of the Young Women’s organization. She is revered as a role model and author and has also served with her husband as mission president and matron of a temple in Canada. Ardeth is a completely unique name and is thought to be a variant of the name Ardith and means “blooming fields.”
Have a baby name you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below.
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Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.