bytor2112

Patriarchal Blessings

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I am grateful for my Patriarchal Blessing and have at times been amazed at the accuracy. I know that we are told that sometimes,the blessings may not occur during this life. But, what about blessings that say someone is going to marry in the Temple but doesn't or that someone is to serve an honorable full time mission but doesn't or can't do to circumstances beyond their control?

Why would a Patriarch pronounce things that do not come to pass if led by the Spirit to do so? We know the Lord knows the future and would know if circumstance or even choices made by an individual would prevent or preclude them from doing certain things. 

I have pondered this for a while as I have met people who's blessing said they would marry in the Temple and they did not or that they would serve missions and they did not. It would be easy to dismiss and say, it was because they chose to not do these things. And that may even be true....but, why then would this be part of someone's blessing? A blessing from the Lord who knows all including what we will do.

Thoughts?

Edited by bytor2112

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In additon to my own, I have read the seven blessings of our children, my wife's. and both of my parents'. All of them include a sentence that says something like "… according to your faith and worthiness."

Lehi

Edited by LeSellers

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So, the blessing is not a recitation of future events, but of possible future events? My blessing said I would experience a health problem...I did, unexpectedly. (Heart attack). What of those that are faithful and worthy and still those things do not come to pas?

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1 minute ago, bytor2112 said:

So, the blessing is not a recitation of future events, but of possible future events? My blessing said I would experience a health problem...I did, unexpectedly. (Heart attack). What of those that are faithful and worthy and still those things do not come to pas?

Joseph Fielding Smith (or some other prophet/apostle) was adamant that man would never walk on the moon. When they did, the apostle/prophet was asked about it. He said "Well, I guess I was wrong about that, huh?"  

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2 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

 

Joseph Fielding Smith (or some other prophet/apostle) was adamant that man would never walk on the moon. When they did, the apostle/prophet was asked about it. He said "Well, I guess I was wrong about that, huh?"  

Well, he spoke as a man right? Patriarchs are men to be sure, but the blessings they pronounce are from God and the only ones ( I think) that are recorded in the church.

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6 minutes ago, MormonGator said:
7 minutes ago, bytor2112 said:

So, the blessing is not a recitation of future events, but of possible future events? My blessing said I would experience a health problem...I did, unexpectedly. (Heart attack). What of those that are faithful and worthy and still those things do not come to pas?

Joseph Fielding Smith (or some other prophet/apostle) was adamant that man would never walk on the moon. When they did, the apostle/prophet was asked about it. He said "Well, I guess I was wrong about that, huh?"  

It was Joseph Fielding Smith, but no one, especially not him, claimed that he was acting as a prophet.

But to bytor's query, all the blessings will come to pass. Some will happen in this life, others may not occur until the next.

Lehi

Edited by LeSellers

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8 minutes ago, LeSellers said:

It was Joseph Fielding Smith, but no one, especially not him, claimed to have been acting as a prophet.

But to bytor's query, all the blessings will come to pass. Some will happen in this life, others may not occur until the next.

Lehi

Good. I'm doing this from memory. Glad I got the name right. Aren't I brilliant? 

And my bigger point is to remember that these men are also mortal men who can make mistakes. 

Edited by MormonGator

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12 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

my bigger point is to remember that these men are also mortal men who can make mistakes. 

When a patriarch pronounces a blessing, because he is the Lord's chosen mouth, He, the Lord, is obligated to grant those blessings.

Remember Isaac's blessing to Jacob. The patriarch thought he was blessing Esau. When the elder son came to ask for his blessing (which he had sold to the younger son for a mess of pottage), the father told the son that the blessing was fixed and that he could not change it. The same thing applies to modern patriarchs: the blessing is fixed.

Quote

32 And Isaac his father said unto him, Who art thou? And he said, I am thy son, thy firstborn Esau.

33 And Isaac trembled very exceedingly, and said, Who? where is he that hath taken venison, and brought it me, and I have eaten of all before thou camest, and have blessed him? yea, and he shall be blessed.  3And when Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father.

35 And he said, Thy brother came with subtilty, and hath taken away thy blessing. 36 And he said, Is not he rightly named Jacob? for he hath supplanted me these two times: he took away my birthright; and, behold, now he hath taken away my blessing. And he said, Hast thou not reserved a blessing for me?

37 And Isaac answered and said unto Esau, Behold, I have made him thy lord, and all his brethren have I given to him for servants; and with corn and wine have I sustained him: and what shall I do now unto thee, my son?  38 And Esau said unto his father, Hast thou but one blessing, my father? bless me, even me also, O my father. And Esau lifted up his voice, and wept.

39 And Isaac his father answered and said unto him, Behold, thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above; 40 And by thy sword shalt thou live, and shalt serve thy brother; and it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck.

Lehi

Edited by LeSellers

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LeSellers...I am not sure how some blessings can happen in the life to come. For instance, being told you would have excellent health and will live a long life, but instead are sickly and die young. We will all be raised to incorruption, so, how then does this type of blessing get fulfillled?

Edited by bytor2112

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35 minutes ago, bytor2112 said:

I am not sure how some blessings can happen in the life to come.

There are some things I just take on faith. Gabriel told Mary "With God, all things are possible." I suspect we'll know then more than we do now.

Lehi

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I have a slightly different view of patriarchal blessings.

I once heard that patriarchal blessings were originally for two purposes: to tell you what tribe you were in and bless you to come forth in the morning of the first resurrection.  I believe I heard that this is all that is technically required in a patriarchal blessing, and one can expect this part to be accurate.  

The rest of the patriarchial blessing, however, is just that - a blessing.  Almost always, what the patriarch says is inspired by the Spirit, and what he says will come to pass (either in this life or the next, or sometimes if we live up to a condition first, etc.), just the way a normal blessing (e.g., for comfort) works.  With this in mind, just as it is perfectly conceivable that an elder at some point in history has misspoken when giving a blessing of comfort, it is perfectly possible that at some point in history a patriarch may have misinterpreted the spirit and misspoken in this part of the blessing.  I personally believe that 99.9% of patriarchal blessings are inspired by the Spirit and will be fulfilled one way or the other.  But, I do allow for the possibility for human error outside assigning the tribe and the blessing to come forth in the morning of the first resurrection.  

Anyhow, that's my understanding of how patriarchal blessings work.  Feel free to disagree/correct/debate, and I will try and track down where I got this information from.

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5 minutes ago, DoctorLemon said:

I have a slightly different view of patriarchal blessings.

I once heard that patriarchal blessings were originally for two purposes: to tell you what tribe you were in and bless you to come forth in the morning of the first resurrection.  I believe I heard that this is all that is technically required in a patriarchal blessing, and one can expect this part to be accurate.  

The rest of the patriarchial blessing, however, is just that - a blessing.  Almost always, what the patriarch says is inspired by the Spirit, and what he says will come to pass (either in this life or the next, or sometimes if we live up to a condition first, etc.), just the way a normal blessing (e.g., for comfort) works.  With this in mind, just as it is perfectly conceivable that an elder at some point in history has misspoken when giving a blessing of comfort, it is perfectly possible that at some point in history a patriarch may have misinterpreted the spirit and misspoken in this part of the blessing.  I personally believe that 99.9% of patriarchal blessings are inspired by the Spirit and will be fulfilled one way or the other.  But, I do allow for the possibility for human error outside assigning the tribe and the blessing to come forth in the morning of the first resurrection.  

Anyhow, that's my understanding of how patriarchal blessings work.  Feel free to disagree/correct/debate, and I will try and track down where I got this information from.

Really well said Doc. It's not that different, it's what I think as well. 

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My thoughts:

1) Are they still alive?  If yes, there's still time.

2) These are blessings, and all blessings are predicated on obedience to the predicate law.  (They are not "fixed in stone prophecies of a person's future".  They are blessings which will be theirs, as long as they don't screw up in a way which prevents that blessing from happening.

3) I think the person to whom the blessing was given is entitled (through faith and obedience) to revelation to help them understand their own blessing.

4) There's always the next life, proxy work, missions in the spirit world, etc.  Whatever else is true, one day we'll understand (unless, I suppose, we refuse to).

Personally, I think the more important part of a patriarchal blessing is the responsibilities it gives you - at least, mine is as full of obligations as it is of blessings.

FWIW.

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As one who (A) believes that patriarchal blessings are exactly what they claim to be -- namely, a blessing given by the spirit of God for the benefit of the individual receiving it -- and (B) has no doubt that some people's patriarchal blessing promises are not realized in this life, even when it seems they must be -- such as a blessing that they will see the Savior come again to the world during their mortal probation -- I can't reconcile the two.

Note that there are all sorts of true things I can't reconcile. Physics-wise, I have a reasonable grasp of Einsteinian space-time dilation at high acceleration, and I have a perhaps more mathematically tenuous but still conceptual grasp of quantum mechanical properties at the sub-microscopic level, yet I cannot reconcile the two when dealing with high-speed subatomic particles, which at various times seem not to act in accordance with one or the other law, or seem even to violate both. I assume my understanding of the laws of physics, as well as our current formulation of those laws, are flawed and incomplete. Similarly, I assume my understanding of both patriarchal blessings and the nature of our mortal probation is flawed and incomplete. So when I know the whole story, in this life or the next, it will become clear, and I will doubtless understand the reason why a patriarch might be led by God to pronounce blessings that seem never to come to pass. But for now, I can't give any sort of satisfactory answer. The above is really my best shot.

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One of the things that might help reconcile what appears to be a timing issue is if we don't understand how the resurrection will work (we assume we do but maybe our assumption is wrong)

What if for example the resurrection is broken down into distinctive steps.  The first of which is being raised from the dead and been restored back to everything (including mortality) and then glory and immortality are granted after we are judged?  If this is true then a lot of patriarchal blessings can be made literally true if the process begins shortly before the Second Coming.  This would also put a different spin Christ's words shortly after he rose from the dead to Mary.

But of course this idea is very speculative.

 

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On June 16, 2016 at 7:01 PM, bytor2112 said:

I have pondered this for a while as I have met people who's blessing said they would marry in the Temple and they did not or that they would serve missions and they did not. It would be easy to dismiss and say, it was because they chose to not do these things. And that may even be true....but, why then would this be part of someone's blessing? A blessing from the Lord who knows all including what we will do.

Thoughts?

Look through Heaven's eyes!

We humans are often so small minded in our thoughts: we expect things to happen how we expect them when we expect them.  And then like toddlers we pout when they don't go exactly according to *our* plan.  

God doesn't work that way: He see the large picture and the larger purpose.  A patriartical blessing is God's plan for you, not yours, and you must come to understand Him.

Using one of your examples: someone's blessing says they will go on a mission, but then at ~18 they get a horrible disease and can't go.  Does this mean that their blessing was unfulfilled?  No!  It means that God wasn't planning on you going right then.  Maybe that person serves a full-time mission in their retirement years.  Or maybe they serve as a mighty part-time missionary throughout their life.  Or maybe their mighty ministry is not of this world, but to the spirits whom have passed on.  God is almighty- He sees this grand purpose and grand design, and if He says you will be a mighty missionary, then you will be... just maybe not in the way/when/how you expect.  

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