You Did Not Name Your Son
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“You Did Not Name Your Son,” Ensign, Oct. 1996, 57

“You Did Not Name Your Son”

Everyone in our ward knew that the Borups were expecting their first child, so I was not surprised when I heard Brother Borup’s voice on the phone: “Bishop, we have just become the parents of a beautiful baby boy!” The excitement in his voice quickly subsided as he continued. “We have been informed that our son may not survive the night. We don’t know exactly what is wrong, but we know it’s serious. We want to name him while he is still alive. Would it be possible for you to come to the hospital now and perform this ordinance for us?”

“I’ll be there immediately!” I dropped the phone and ran to the car.

Brother Borup was waiting for me at the hospital entrance and escorted me to the scrubbing room. While we prepared to enter the baby’s room, Brother Borup’s father arrived. At that moment, I received the strong impression that the baby should be anointed and given a priesthood blessing and that this should be done by members of his own family.

Acting on the strength of this impression, I said, “Brother Borup, I feel that we should administer to your baby. This ordinance will be appropriate at this time. Your father could anoint him, and you could seal the anointing and give your son a priesthood blessing along with a name.”

Brother Borup replied, “I’m too upset. I’m sure I would not be able to do it as it should be done. My wife and I have talked this over, and we want you to do it for us.”

The impression was so strong that I responded, “I am honored and will be happy to perform this ordinance for you. However, you and your father belong to this little boy’s family. This may be the only privilege you will have to perform an ordinance for your son. I’ll stand right at your side and prompt you if you need help, and your father may assist you too.”

With this offer of support, Brother Borup reluctantly agreed to perform the ordinance. Brother Borup’s father anointed his grandson, and Brother Borup sealed the anointing and pronounced a very spiritual blessing upon his son. The blessing was so touching that the three of us stood silently for a moment while tears streamed down our cheeks.

Suddenly I realized Brother Borup had not named his son. Gently I placed my hand upon his shoulder and apologetically said, “I’m sorry I failed to prompt you at the time, but you did not name your son.”

Brother Borup, while wiping tears from his eyes with his handkerchief, said, “I know I didn’t name him. I received a strong impression that it would not be necessary to name him at this time. I’ll have that privilege at the next fast and testimony meeting.”

Early the next morning I received another call from Brother Borup. “I’m still here in the hospital. The doctor has just examined our son and finds that the life-threatening symptoms he had yesterday have disappeared. There seems to be nothing wrong with him this morning. We will be able to take him home as early as tomorrow if there are no further complications.”

Two weeks later, on fast Sunday, Brother and Sister Borup brought their baby boy to sacrament meeting where Brother Borup gave him the name of Byron Borup III and pronounced upon him another very special blessing.

  • LaVerd John is an instructor in the high priests group of the North Ogden First Ward, North Ogden Utah Stake.

Illustrated by Robert McKay