Monday, December 19, 2011

Why I Like the Jewish Custom of Not Using God's Name

The reason I personally like the custom of not using God's name is that it doesn't tie God to one name - allowing God to be all names to all people. I absolutely think God would allow and appreciate that - and I have a personal experience as to why I say that.

My name is Curtis Ray. I grew up as Ray to my friends and most family, since my father is Curtis. However, I also have an uncle Ray on my mom's side of the family - so my mom's side of the family called me Curtis Ray. Professionally, I often am called Curtis - and I sign using my full name. I was Dad to my kids until a few years ago, when my wife was the YW Pres. in our ward. One of the YW started calling her Mama DeGraw, and, by default, I became Papa DeGraw. My own kids now call me Papa most of the time, and my Google name is Papa D. (Which was a result of the abbreviated way Mama DeGraw ended up being used.)  At Church, I am Brother DeGraw or Ray - but when I served in a small branch in Ohio I was Brother Ray. When I taught high school, I was Mr. DeGraw - or Mr. D.

So, I am:

Curtis Ray
Papa D
Papa DeGraw
Brother DeGraw
Brother Ray
Mr. DeGraw
Mr. D

I really don't care what people call me, as long as they are comfortable with what they use - and they are being respectful.

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