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Baby Naming - Father Out?


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About to get married for the first time at a somewhat late age and in the whole time, pre- and post-mission, leading up to this moment I have been looking forward to being a strong and compassionate father in the gospel, one who is involved with my wife and children, loves them and doesn't abuse or neglect them. You can fill in more blanks from here. But I received something of a shock a couple days ago as my fiancee and I met with our stake president for the sealing recommend interview and he said that only the wife should be involved in naming the children, that after everything the mother goes through in bearing and delivering the children that the father shouldn't be arrogant enough to assume that he has any say whatsoever in what the children will be named. Of course the mother phsyically goes through a lot ore than the father does in bringing children to the earth and I am very cognizant of that lopsided state of affairs but I had always thought it would be both partners discussing the matter until they came to mutual agreement but now I'm finding out I'm a pretty bad person for thinking I could have any say in the matter. Is there some kind of scriptural/spiritual precedent for this that I should have been enlightened enough to catch before this late stage in my life? I guess maybe it was specific direction just to me to only bow out of this one area of concern?

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This isn't doctrinal. It sounds like the SP is trying to be sensitive to the needs of the woman which is nice, but he goes overboard here. Marriage is a partnership in all things. I'd ignore anyone giving advice that says one partner or the other is in charge and the other has no say. Total crap.


My wife and I always discussed and came to agreement and are happy with the results. If a marriage can't handle both participating in naming a child there may be other issues going on.

Edited by HappyJackWagon
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Unless that was tongue-in-cheek playful kidding are you sure you want to get married?


I'm hoping it was trongue-in-cheek. Like I said, it was rather shocking that all of a sudden this was coming up in an interview with the stake president. Wonderful fiancee. Wonderful stake president. Very odd circumstance.

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It sounds like the SP is trying to be sensitive to the needs of the woman which is nice


Yes, agreed. And there's no problem with that part. I now wonder if he had been reacting against accounts he'd heard of overbearing fathers who conversely would not take input from their wife on this issue.

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You can ignore the SP. Trust me.



On top of that when I got married my SP said something that was directly opposing what my wife's said. Needless to say, we followed the counsel of her SP.


One said that we should not use birth control and let the kids come. The other said to use birth control and have kids when you are ready.

Edited by Mola Ram Suda Ram
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This is probably the strangest 'counsel' I have ever heard, if you can even call it that. You will preside in your home. Your family is your stewardship, not your Stake President's. He has no say over who does what in your family. You and your wife should raise your children together as equal partners before God (one would hope). Why would naming them be her job alone???


My husband and I decided together what we would name our children.


Most curious advice!!! 

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I'm with Dr. Steuss.


Your stake president was sharing his opinion and nothing more.  The mother does not have a 'right' to name the child just because bearing a child is unfair for the mother.  That's crazy!


If you felt that way and she agreed then that would be fine because it would have been decided by both of you but it's not doctrine and it's odd that he would treat it like he has the final say on the proper way to handle such things.


And i'm seriously hoping you fiancee was just joking because it also seems crazy to me that she had been harboring those ideas as well.  

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My counterargument would be that if that is the case then if you are ever the sole breadwinner you get absolute power over the money because you are the one who went through the pain and discomfort of earning it. ;)

I doubt the principle will stand.


Well said.


I just was trying to go into this without any semblance of creating a power struggle.

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Perahps I should e-mail the stake president and say, "Kinda worked up over this and I don't want to misunderstand but maybe you could clarify... Oh, and, believe me, I'm making a very concerted effort to not be a domineering husband and father. But this feels a little funny."?

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Perahps I should e-mail the stake president and say, "Kinda worked up over this and I don't want to misunderstand but maybe you could clarify... Oh, and, believe me, I'm making a very concerted effort to not be a domineering husband and father. But this feels a little funny."?

I would just let it go. All that is is advice. And you don't have to accept it.

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If it really bothers you then pray about it and see if the stake president was inspired to tell you that. Then see if the Lord confirms that inspiration.

If the Lord doesn't direct you that way or it doesn't bother you then figure it is family tradition in his home or just something he did out of respect for his wife or something, then you and your wife work together on names.

Personally, DH and I created this child together. It made sense to name each of them together.

Edited by Rain
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I have never heard of this..but maybe what that SP is really saying..she names the baby and you bless the baby with the name.  A very small concession here don't you think?  Odds are..Mom is going to be thinking of you and your wants and needs too.  I don't see anything wrong with giving the women of the LDS church this privilage, 

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If I were in your shoes, I would do the following:


1. I would circle back to the stake president and ask him if he was serious about his counsel.


2. I would express whatever concerns you have about his counsel.


3. I would specifically ask the stake president if he expects me to follow his counsel, and what his response would be if I should decline to do so (that is, would he deem his counsel something more than mere friendly advice).


4. If the stake president responds and says he had been serious, and that he expects me to follow his counsel, I would tell him I would like to take the matter to the area presidency.  I think the area presidency would almost certainly resolve the matter in a satisfactory way.


5. I would not say publicly anything disparaging about the stake president.  I think we should respect both the individual and the priesthood position he holds, even if he erred in his counsel in a particular instance. 





Edited by smac97
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This would seem to be something in the form of advice from your stake president.  You, as a couple, can choose to follow it or not.

Sounds like the SP is really into private doctrine. This is his personal opinion because there is no gospel doctrine associated with the naming of children. Nothing in scripture, nothing in even GA advice from the GC podium.

He is entitled to his opinion (and I can see where he's coming from, and there's a small point in there somewhere), but he is not entitled to dispense it as if it were doctrine, which is what it sounds like he is doing.

Now, when it comes to child begetting and rearing, your wife and you are equal partners. If she wants to name the baby Ondansetron, and you think that is not appropriate, then it behooves you veto her idea and propose a better idea. And if the shoe were on the other foot, then she should veto you and suggest an alternative. Maybe the SP's point, as it were, is that in case of a hung jury on the baby's name, that she has the final word. But it's still his opinion.

In our family of a total of 12 children, naming got a little chaotic. There are two daughters, one named by Mom and the other named by Dad. Of the sons, about half were named by Mom and half by Dad. There was never any dispute or disagreement. Someone came up with a name and if it fit, then that's what the kid got named. Of our fraternal twin boys, we were expecting a boy and a girl. Well before their births, the boy was awarded the name David, and the girl got Stephanie. I don't know why in either case. In the delivery room the firstborn was "the" boy, and he got tagged David right away. In fact, he was first greeted with his name when the doctor put him on my wife's chest as he prepared to deal with the second baby. There he was swaddled in his receiving blanket and Mom said to him "Hi, David!" Sweet! Then came the girl. Except she was a he! Obviously Stephanie wouldn't get it, so we were a little nonplussed. The next day one of the older sons came by to see the new ones and we asked him if he had any suggestions. He looked into the air for a moment and said "How about Danny?" Bingo! Except his official name was Daniel, and nobody has ever called him Danny. In honor of his "her" name, we gave him the middle name of Stephan (my decision). David got James. Again, I don't know why. Sounds good, though.

The last boy was named by Mom, and he was named after a young man in our previous ward whose family my wife admired, and the young man's name, who was big and strong, was Nathan. Our son was 11 lbs! So of course he was Nathan. I gave him his middle name, Paul, because my Dad one time told me that if he had had another son, he would have named him Paul.

Your baby will belong to both of you, and he or she will have both of you in him or her. The baby is yours (plural), not hers. Name the child according to what feels right, and give him or her a name that will inspire while at the same time not embarrass.

Sorry for the rambling. I'm just trying to say, Do it YOUR way! The plural "your".

Edited by Stargazer
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