Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Useful New Resource to Explore Meanings of Book of Mormon Names

The plausibility of Book of Mormon names has been an interesting and fruitful area for students of that ancient volume of scripture. There are many stories to be shared such as the 20th century discovery of archaeological evidence showing that the name Alma in the Book of Mormon was not necessarily a silly blunder ("everyone knows it's a modern female name as in alma mater") since it actually was an ancient Jewish male name. For those interested in the possible ancient roots of Book of Mormon names, now there is a large online resource compiling extensive research. The Book of Mormon Onomasticon project at BYU is worth exploring, a point that is made over on the FAIR Blog in the article "Names and Meaning: Zoram as a Case Study" by Neal Rappleye.

Based on the proposed Hebraic meanings related to the concept of "rock," Neal finds it significant that name of Laban's servant or slave is not revealed as Zoram until he takes an oath to be a free man and leave Jerusalem with Nephi. This has parallels to being given a new name. He finds his identify or obtains a new one as he is made free and enters a covenant, and then he becomes a rock, solid and faithful. It's an interesting thought, and Neal feels that Nephi is being deliberately symbolic in withholding the name of Zoram until he makes the covenant. An interesting hypothesis. One of many areas to explore and ponder as we learn more about the Book of Mormon and its ancient touches.

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