I know that my moniker, handle, nickname, blog name, what ever you want to call it, stumps a few people. I am pretty sure that most of you aren’t even for sure about how to pronounce it. And if you are sure, I am sure that there was a time when you were pronouncing it wrong. Well, here it the chance for you to get it all straight. You will learn the proper pronunciation, and you will be even better educated, about the origins and possible meaning of Gazelem.
It is not Gazelle-M. It is not Gaze-Elem. Or Gaz-Elem. It is pronounced Ga-ZEY-lem. You will note that the “ZEY” part is in all capitol letters. This is because the emphasis on the word is placed there. That means you say the “ZEY” part stronger than you say the rest of the word. We do this with all multi-syllable words. Computer for example has the emphasis on the “PU.” If you put is somewhere else people might look at you funny.
Okay, so, now that we know the proper pronunciation, let’s practice it a bit. Go ahead say it out loud, the guy in the cubicle next to you, won’t understand what you are doing, but that’s alright, he thinks you are crazy any way. So, three times out loud, say “Ga-ZEY-lem. Ga-ZEY-lem. Ga-ZEY-lem.” Good, now there won’t be any miss understandings.
HOW I CHOOSE GAZELEM?
If you are looking for the reader’s digest version skip the next two paragraphs.
When I first got into the “on-line” seen (honestly it was back in the BBS days, if you know what that is you can join me in the geek club), I needed what was then referred to as a handle. I wanted something that started with a G (or Gr) because my last name is Grant, and I thought that would make it a part of me. So, finding the Griffon to be a very fascinating mythical creature, I adopted it.
However, when the Internet became what it is today. I soon found that I wasn’t the only person who liked to use the Griffon as their handle. So, I needed something new. At first, I just changed the spelling to Gryphon. And I really liked that for a while, but I was still finding that it was used quite often, and I wanted something more unique.
My sister-in-law’s husband is into EverQuest. And he told me that his character in the game was called Gadianton. Gadianton is perhaps one of the evilest people who lived in Ancient America. He is written about in the Book of Mormon (you can read about him here.) Well, I obviously wouldn’t want to associate myself with a evil person in history. But it gave me the idea.
I opened up the Book of Mormon to the very back, and there is a pronunciation guide to all of the names, places, and other non-English words at the back. And I started to look at all the “G” words. That is where I found the name Gazelem. Gazelem is only mentioned in the Book of Mormon once. So, I had to make sure he was a man of good.
WHO WAS THE FIRST GAZELEM?
I am not a big scholar on this subject, just a casually interested person. However, I will share what little I know about Gazelem.
First, my asking the question “who” is perhaps wrong. Because there is some debate that Gazelem might actually be stone. However, I am of the mindset that Gazelem is a person. I personally think that Gazelem was a servant of God who was responsible to care for the seer stones (that we ultimately used in the translation of the Book of Mormon into English).
Gazelem was also a pseudonym of the Prophet Joseph Smith. As many of you know the persecution of Mormons in the early years was very harsh, and it was a common practice, that when news (or revelations) were published about the Prophet and other prominent Church members, they would use pseudonyms to try and protect their identity.
Again, I see the Prophet’s use of this name as further evidence of my interpretation of who Gazelem was. Because Joseph Smith was a keeper of the Seer Stones for a while, and thus, he could be referred to as Gazelem.
SO, WHAT NOW….
Nothing really. Now, you know more than you ever cared to know about my moniker, its origins, and my own personal insanity about researching this servant of God.