I would like to give my baby a name from the Book of Mormon. Are there any names for girls in the Book of Mormon, besides Sara and Abish? Is it OK. to name a girl Nephi? Is there a female version of Nephi?
Marci, from Ontario, Canada
Actually there are three girl’s names mentioned in the Book of Mormon. There is Abish, as you state, but rather than Sara, there is Sariah, and there is also Isabel. You probably would not want to name your daughter Isabel. The first verses where these names are mentioned in the Book of Mormon are listed below—
1 Ne 5:1 And it came to pass that after we had come down into the wilderness unto our father, behold, he was filled with joy, and also my mother, Sariah, was exceedingly glad, for she truly had mourned because of us.
Alma 19:16 And it came to pass that they did call on the name of the Lord, in their might, even until they had all fallen to the earth, save it were one of the Lamanitish women, whose name was Abish, she having been converted unto the Lord for many years, on account of a remarkable vision of her father–
Alma 39:3 And this is not all, my son. Thou didst do that which was grievous unto me; for thou didst forsake the ministry, and did go over into the land of Siron among the borders of the Lamanites, after the harlot Isabel.
Concerning your question of the propriety of naming a girl Nehpi, stranger things of this nature have been done. For instance, my 10th generation progenitor, Samuel Gorton, named one of his daughters Mahershalalhashbaz, which is actually a boy’s name. So if you wished to name your daughter Nephi, you have a scriptural precedent in Isaiah 8:1, 3.
To find a feminine equivalent of the word Nephi is a little problematical. However, here is an account of one such endeavor that you may possibly want to consider.
“Thomas Brown was a miner, which occupation he had followed all his life. His youth and early manhood had been spent among the coal pits of the Tyne, England. It was here that the Gospel found him, and as he was an honest seeker after truth, it did not take him long to realize the precious boon which had come to him. He had been a member of the Church some years when he married. His wife was a woman of some culture, having had more opportunities for education than he had. She possessed an (?) nature, which the poor miner often found difficult to properly nourish. Still, they lived happily enough, and in time a wee baby girl came to their home to brighten them with her pranks, and teach them gentleness and patience. Thomas was an attentive student of the Book of Mormon, and a great admirer of the sacred record. When it came to naming the baby he turned to his book and searched its pages for a name. But he soon found that female names were rather scarce there, and he had nearly given up the task when his wife suggested a change of the name of one of the Nephite prophets to the feminine gender.
“Feminine what?” queried the unlearned father, while the mother laughed at his astonishment, and taking the book began transforming names. Nephi, Ammon, Helaman, and others were tried, but without success.
“Alma,” Thomas cried, “Almi, Almina,” he exclaimed, as he repeated the word over and over. “I’ve beat you with all your learning. How does that sound? Almina-now I call that quite musical, as they say.”
His wife agreed with him, and so Almina became the baby’s name, by which she was ever after known among the children of men.”(The Contributor, Volume 13)