|From left to right: Dave Walton, Brian Smith, Ted Beck, Zach Hutchins, Kylan Rice.|
Not pictured- Bishop MacBeth and Jason Andrews
|this blanket has made it to 6 baby blessings- thanks Aunt Shirley!|
|Love this crazy bunch|
Alara was blessed on Sunday the 1st. For those of you who have been waiting to learn the story behind her name, here’s the deal (blessing transcription to follow): I was given sole naming rights by Alana when Lincoln was named. As I pondered what we should call this new baby girl, I formed an exhaustive list of female names in the Bible as well as Hebrew words in the Bible that might work as a girl’s name and have significant meaning (that’s where Tsela came from). One day as I read the list to Alana, I misread my wretched handwriting, reading “Naarah” as “Alaarah.” Alana said, “I like that—I didn’t know Alaarah was a Bible name.” I looked down, discovered my mistake, and told her that it wasn’t. We moved on to other possibilities. Then, on Labor Day, September 7, after I had finished giving our children back-to-school priesthood blessings, Alana asked for a blessing. With that blessing came several very clear spiritual promptings, as outlined in her blessing:
“Our Father which art in Heaven, by the authority of the holy Melchizedek Priesthood which we hold, we present this child to give her a name and a blessing, and the name by which she shall be known is Alara Eden Hutchins. Alara, we counsel you that as you reflect on the name which you have been given that you will understand that it is and will be a blessing and a source of comfort and counsel in your life. And we admonish you to reflect on that name and the circumstances which led to your receiving it as a parable or a story from which you will draw insights about the way that our Heavenly Father communicates with his children and your relationship with family members and with your Father in Heaven. Like your siblings, Alara, your mother and I desired to give you a name from the scriptures, and as we searched, we compiled many names and didn’t find among those names the one that was appropriate for you. During that process of prayerful pondering, your mother requested a blessing, and as I, as your father, laid hands on her head, I was given to know that you specifically chose to come to our family so that you would have her as your mother and that she was someone who you knew in the preexistence and who you were excited to come and see, that you regarded her as a role model and something of a spiritual celebrity. I counsel you to look to her, after whom you are named, as an example and exemplar. We bless you that you will draw strength from your study of the scriptures and from the example of righteous women in the scriptures, particularly of Eve and her example and her choices in the garden of Eden, that you will see her as an inspiration and pattern in your life. We bless you that as you do so that you will receive revelation and will be guided throughout the course of your life, and we say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”
A few concluding thoughts about Alara’s blessing: 1) Lincoln followed me up and was briefly trapped in a forest of legs, directly underneath Alara, before I broke up the circle and asked him to go back to his seat. He was funny. 2) The blessing dramatically undersells the “spiritual celebrity” aspect of that blessing I gave Alana. The impression was that she is universally known in the heavens and that Alara shouted for joy when she found out she had the opportunity to be her daughter. 3) Beyond studying Eve, I had the impression that Alara should study the creation itself as a pattern—something that got lost in my attempt to vocalize.