Tuesday, November 10, 2015

How to add to your patriarchal blessing

If you’re like me, you have had your patriarchal blessing for a long time and have phrases of it that come to your mind at various times that give you important perspective as you think about your challenges and opportunities. 

Or sometimes you may realize that the phrase you thought meant one thing turns out to mean something even more.   This has been my experience.  I got my patriarchal blessing around age 14 and there was a good portion of my blessing that I didn’t understand until more than 15 years later.  I thought particular phrases meant one thing and then later a different meaning was revealed by life circumstances and challenges.  Often the meaning of blessings promised is so much more expansive than I previously imagined.  Other times, the warnings turn out to be incredibly targeted.

If you are like me, you may have some short, pithy phrases of instruction in your patriarchal blessing.  You may become extra-sensitized to mentions of those phrases in talks or conference.  I have noticed occasionally conference talks use phrases from my blessing. When that happens, I immediately sit up and take notice because it is as if the Lord is speaking directly to me, giving me additional instruction pertaining to my patriarchal blessing.  It is almost as if the Lord is explaining my blessing to me or even promising me additional blessings for following the instructions in my blessing.

This happened recently at a regional conference and I was so excited I wrote as much as I could about what I’d heard so I could save it.   Then I hit upon the idea to study other phrases from my blessing using the scriptures or LDS.org to see what I could find that would expand my understanding of the instructions or the blessings.   So far I’ve been searching one particular phrase and I’m learning a lot, so I wanted to challenge you to try the same thing. 

Our patriarchal blessings are scripture personal to us as individuals, and they deserve study just like the standard works and conference.  And it stands to reason that scripture and conference talks will give us more perspective on our blessings, since they came from the same source—Heavenly Father.

This isn’t a short-term project, so it is going to take a while.  There are all kinds of different ways we can approach it, but I think the best way to start is always to focus on parts that are most interesting to us right now.

Possible Approaches
·      Add footnotes.
·      Write a sentence-by-sentence commentary in your own words.  Include dictionary definitions of major words, even words you think you know.
·      Compile a personal commentary using applicable scriptures.
·      Compile a personal commentary using only conference talks.
·      Create an exhaustive commentary on your blessing with all the resources you have gathered so far.

 If you have tried this kind of thing before, will you share how that experience helped you?


Rozy Lass said...

What great ideas! I don't recall ever hearing a phrase from my blessing (which I sometimes have felt was so generic it could be anybody's) in any general conference address, but I'll have to do some searching to be sure. I have often wondered if blessings become invalid because of major sin, and change after repentance. Have you ever heard of anyone getting a second blessing?

Michaela Stephens said...

Yes, I've hard of other people getting second blessings, but the stories I heard came from patriarchs. They had people request second ones for various reasons.

If you feel like your blessing is generic, perhaps fast for a testimony (or a deeper testimony) of it. You need to know it is specifically for you.