1. David Larsen

    Great observation. It is also interesting that, besides the Pope, Catholics have a general tradition (I don’t know if its so popular anymore) of giving regular lay members a new name when they are either baptized or confirmed. They usually take the name of a Saint. Although they often don’t go by this new name, it is part of a long-held tradition. My mother, whose name is Maureen, was given the new name Theresa when she was confirmed (she still goes by Maureen–she is no longer Catholic, but that is beside the point). This is also common when someone enters one of the orders (to be a nun or monk, etc.).

  2. Thanks for the additional insight. I had no idea that Catholics also gave a new name upon baptism or confirmation into the church. I wonder what they say their reasoning is for doing so.

  3. I was recently in the company of a Navajo men who told me of the practice they have of bestowing a ceremonial name. The name is given in a Blessing Way ceremony and is to be kept secret all of one’s life. The name is only shared with a medicine man who may use it to heal you. The name is given in conjunction with a small white stone or shell that is usually worn in the hair. Upon death the name is used to enter the presence of the Creator.

  4. Thanks Joseph for the fascinating insight! The American Indians have much to teach us. I would be interested to know if the “Blessing Way” ceremony has been documented or researched anywhere. I want to learn more about the Hopis and their ceremonies, particularly with the kiva. I believe Boyd Petersen talks about another interesting Indian practice in which an Indian priest anoints another on different parts of their body. I wonder if that is related to the “Blessing Way” ceremony. I’ll have to dig that one out of Nibley’s biography.

  5. This is what a shot search provided . I doubt that details of the Blessingway are published.


    The story of the creation of the Navajo people and their emergence onto their sacred homeland is recounted in a ceremony known as the Blessingway, which is the foundation of the Navajo way of life. Blessingway focuses on the story of Changing Woman, who is the inner form of the Earth through its seasonal transformations. She is the major deity for the Navajo.

    The Navajo are instructed that in the beginning, First Man and First Woman emerged onto this world near Huerfano Mountain in New Mexico. One day, First Man found a baby on a nearby mountain. The baby matured in four days and became Changing Woman. Changing Woman created the four original Navajo clans from her body. Her sons rid the land between the four sacred mountains of dangerous monsters and made it safe for the clans to inhabit. The Blessingway recounts in detail the instructions Changing Woman gave to the Navajo people she created. These teachings concern history and major religious practices, such as girl’s puberty rite and the consecration of a family’s hogan. When performed in its entirety, the Blessingway is a two-day ceremony whose purpose is to obtain peace, harmony, protection, and to help realise the goal of a long happy life.

  6. Rebekah

    The Catholic church has a lot of ritual and practice that is pretty close or similar to LDS Temple ritual. You should check out the Investiture Ceremony for Catholic Nuns. See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcZ8H4fzB5M This is from the movie The Nun’s Story that stars Audrey Hepburn. A lot of things just by this one clip alone is enough for LDS to understand and recognize.

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