A Book of Mormon Names Movement?
One of our especially helpful Utah names contacts is Dr. Cleveland Evans, an associate professor of psychology at Bellevue University in Nebraska. He makes the following observations from scanning the public records for names (both national and in Utah):
"I am comparing the years 1982, 1990, and 1998, and I am personally amazed that 1998 was the one of those years with by far the most boys named after characters in the Book of Mormon.
In 1982 there were 17 Ammons, 8 Jaroms, 3 Almas, 1 Corianton, and 1 Moroni. In 1990 there were 9 Ammons, 10 Jaroms, 2 Almas, 2 Nephis, 1 Moroni, and 1 Mormon. In 1998, there were 29 Ammons, 14 Jaroms, 8 Moronis, 7 Nephis, 7 Almas, 2 Mosiahs, and 1 each Kumen, Lamoni, and Teancum.
Is there some sort of "Back to the Book of Mormon" movement going on among new parents in Utah right now?
As for girls --- in 1982, 3 Sariahs; in 1990, 5 Sariahs; and in 1998, 29 Sariahs. Of course Sariah is also somewhat of a special case; with the present great popularity of both Sarah and Mariah, Sariah would be bound to occur just because it contains fashionable sounds. [From the pop singer Mariah Carey, in case you haven't figured it out. - Wes]
And I have quite a few examples now of Sariahs being born all over the country. In most cases I think these are probably girls whose parents have independently invented the name by combining the sounds of Sarah and Mariah and have no idea that they've recreated a name from the Book of Mormon."