Sunday, March 02, 2008

What's In a Name?

I've never really liked my name. Somehow it just doesn't seem to fit me. Of course, I'm not sure what name would. And nearly every time I hear of someone named "Craig," he's a screw-up. Whether it's a fictional villain, a suspect in a crime investigation, or an United States congressman in an airport bathroom, they all seem to be named "Craig." So you understand why, every time my wife points out someone is named "Craig", I say, "There are too many Craigs in this world."

But considering how I got my name, I'm lucky to be named Craig. I'm the ninth of eleven children and the sixth of eight boys in my family. The two oldest in my family are girls followed by three boys, one girl, two boys, then me, then two more boys. My second oldest sister, Sherri, was fifteen when I was born, and she was tired of having little brothers. She wanted a little sister more than anything. And when she heard that she had a new baby brother, she refused to come to the hospital to see me. In an effort to persuade her to come, my parents told her that she could name me if she would visit me in the hospital.

Now, Sherri was going through a rebellious phase, and I often wonder what my parents were thinking when they endowed her with the power to name me. After all, I would have to live with my name for the rest of my life. For all they knew, she would name me "Earth," "Wind," "Fire," or maybe "Prince." Instead, she named me "Craig Lee." I suppose I dodged a bullet. That or Mom and Dad exerted a little more influence on Sherri than I know about.

But my name is starting to grow on me, a little. I'm a little old fashioned and like it when names have meaning or purpose behind them. Throughout the scriptures we see examples of mothers or fathers giving their children names for a particular reason. We read about Leah and Rachel's competition in Genesis and how they used the names of their sons to "one-up" each other. (See Genesis 29:31-35; Genesis 30:1-24). The name of our Savior holds special meaning which He received through revelation. (See Luke 1:28-33; 2 Nephi 10:3). Jesus means savior; Christ means anointed. Therefore, Jesus Christ means Anointed Savior. In the Book of Mormon, Helaman named his two sons Lehi and Nephi after the two great prophets who left Jerusalem and came to the American continent.

He told his sons, " Behold, I have given unto you the names of our first parents who came out of the land of Jerusalem; and this I have done that when you remember your names ye may remember them; and when ye remember them ye may remember their works; and when ye remember their works ye may know how that it is said, and also written, that they were good. Therefore, my sons, I would that ye should do that which is good, that it may be said of you, and also written, even as it has been said and written of them." (Helaman 5:6-7).

Lehi and Nephi were to live up to their names. And they did. Both were great missionaries and prophets who received revelations and visions daily. (Helaman 11:18-23; See also Helaman 5; Helaman 7-11).

I'm not named for any prophets so I've looked up my name now and again. Craig means "crag," which basically means a rocky place. Lee means "meadow." And, again, I've never been very impressed with the meaning of my name, until a few days ago.

In northern England and Scotland there are geological formations called a "crag and tail." Crag is spelled "craig" in Scotland. And the tail can also be called a lee. A crag and tail (or craig and lee) is formed through glaciation. As a glacier carves away at the earth, occasionally it runs into a resilient mass of rock. Although the glacier strips away the soil and vegetation covering the rock, the rock stands firm and un-eroded. The crag also protects the soil behind it from the glacier. So a ramp-like lee, which the glacier could not strip away, extends behind the crag.
(The crag and tail is on the right. Ignore the diagram on the left.)


Considering the meaning of my name, I have a lot to live up to.

The world's eroding influence inch-by-inch cuts away at the rich soil of the Gospel and Families. Yet here and there, there are resilient crags refusing to budge who shelter those they love and all others who will stand behind them from Satan's onslaught.

May I be one of them.

I guess Sherri did a pretty good job after all. And maybe there aren't enough Craigs in this world.

5 comments:

mistyp said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mistyp said...

Sorry, spelling error above forced me to delete... Here's the second try...

You're cute MY Craig! :) I love you just the way you are!!!! Thanks for always looking at things from a different point of view! You're amazing!!!!!!!!!!!

Delajean said...

Craig Lee, you are well named! The glaciers of life will not wear you down. Have faith and stand firm!!

Prof. Osler said...

That's a great take on your name. At least the Craig wasn't followed with "Larry." I don't even want to know what that geologic formation looks like.

[kɹeɪ̯g̊] said...

There aren't.

And its a good name.