Journal of Book of Mormon Studies


Bible, Old Testament, Law of Moses, Book of Mormon, Language, Names, Modern Church, Culture


Anthropological perspectives lend insight on names and on the social and literary function of names in principle and in the Book of Mormon. A discussion of the general function of names in kinship; secret names; and names, ritual, and rites of passage precedes a Latter-day Saint perspective. Names and metonymy are used symbolically. Examples include biblical and Book of Mormon metonymic naming, nomenclature, and taxonomy. Biblical laws of purity form the foundation for a pattern of metonymic associations with the name Lamanite, where the dichotomy of clean/unclean is used to give name to social alienation and pollution.