When Mike and I found out we were going to have a boy I was temporarily crushed because it meant I had to throw out my 2 page list of girl names. But after a day or so, my disappointment faded and we then started thinking up names for our future son. We looked through several baby name books and when something popped out at one of us we’d write it down. When we read over our chosen names to each other it was a mess because neither of us liked the other’s selections AT ALL. We couldn’t agree on anything, and that’s how it was practically the last 4 months of my pregnancy.
As we sat in Sunday school class one morning, I started flipping through the Bible for name ideas. Shephatiah? Hezekiah? Elijah? Haggai? Zechariah? No, no no. This wasn’t working. Then I just saw the word “vessel” in one of the verses. It might have been Isaiah 52:11 which says “be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord.” Well I jotted the word down and told Mike about it. Mike found another scripture with a reference to vessels. Towards the end of Moroni 7:31 it reads: “…to prepare the way among the children of men, by declaring the word of Christ unto the chosen vessels of the Lord, that they may bear testimony of him.” The more we thought about it, the more we liked it. It was the first name we actually agreed on!
The dictionary says a vessel is “a person regarded as a holder or receiver of something, especially something nonmaterial” like a vessel of love, or a vessel of grace or mercy. We thought, "how perfect." Not only does the name sound beautiful but the meaning behind it is beautiful as well.
We wanted our son to be a literal vessel, or a person by which others could learn through. A person that others could receive the gospel through. A “holder” of love, charity, compassion and other Christ-like qualities. "A chosen vessel of the Lord." What a name, right? I always wanted my children to have unique names with significant meanings. Vessel seems to meet both requirements to me.
But because it is so unique, I often find myself repeating the name several times to strangers or having to explain the meaning behind it. Over the phone people will confuse the name with “Russell” or will ask, “Oh you mean like a blood vessel?” That’s what we get for choosing such an original name I guess.
For awhile there we were thinking of using the middle name Omen. Even though there are good omens, the word “omen” is more often used negatively as in a “bad omen.” We eventually decided against it.
While I was in the hospital right after our little boy was born, we had to figure out a middle name to put on the birth certificate. Taking one more look through the baby name books we came across the name Noah, and we went with it. We felt like it sounded good with Vessel, plus it’s the name of a really cool prophet, so it was settled.
As far as nicknames go….we have a plethora of them. We call him “Shippy” a lot, for a couple of reasons. Before he became more mobile and started losing all his baby fat, he was such a roly poly baby that we always said “he’s as big as ship.” Grandma Bates often calls him “da ship.” Also, vessel is another word for ship…so we just call him Shippy. Other nicknames include, “Shippy Shipmeyer,” V-Dawg,” V-Bone,” “Mr. V,” just plain “V,” “Vessel-kun,” “booger,” and so on. Anyway, hope this post helps anyone who was curious!