If we fast for more than one thing does it diminish the help we might receive?

If we fast for more than one thing does it diminish the help we might receive?

Question

 

Dear Gramps,

If a person fasts for more than one concern at the same time, does it dilute or diminish the power or help that could be available were we to fast for any one of those concerns individually?

Robert

 

Answer

 

Hi Robert,

I suspect the problem here is one of viewpoint. The fast is not a magical rite that invokes a quantity of blessings on the object of the fast, with the consequence that those blessings might be diluted if spread too thin. We are not trying to bribe God or secure his divine favor through His appreciation of our performance of a fast.

The fast (and the prayer that should always accompany it) is a blessing that God has given to us. It is completely for our own benefit. The fast is designed to increase and deepen our own spiritual sensitivity, allowing us more intimate communication with God. In that state, we can more easily determine God’s will and understand how our own actions might affect the course of events. We become more sensitive to impressions and ideas that can help us and those we love.

So why not just fast for everything at once, all the problems in our lives and in the world? Because that is not how our minds and our spirits work. We normally confront our challenges individually and deal with things one by one. Eveything at once is simply too big an elephant to eat in one bite. But as we consider individual challenges and obstacles, fasting can help us understand how to proceed, or at times give us the strength to carry on despite the challenges.

 

Gramps

 

Does your patriarchal blessing ever hint as to who you will marry?

Does your patriarchal blessing ever hint as to who you will marry?

Question

 

Gramps,

I have been thinking a lot about patriarchal blessings lately, and I was wondering if your blessing ever hints to WHO you will marry. I’m in high school and believe me I’ve had lots of crushes on different boys, but lately I’ve been spending time with a new person and he has a beautiful pure heart and honors his priesthood and I feel like he is someone special. He fulfills every requirement on my eternal companion list. I even feel the spirit when I think about him. Is this possible? Thanks

Kate

 

Answer

 

Dear Kate,

It’s always dangerous to try to predict what will or won’t be in any particular patriarchal blessing.  These blessings are revelation given specifically to you through your patriarch; and they will contain whatever counsel the Lord thinks you need to have (and sometimes what He wants us to know, doesn’t always coincide with what we want to know!).

That said, it’s probably worth noting as a general principle that patriarchal blessings do not exist primarily to forecast specific life events.  Rather, my experience is that they tend to teach various principles that should be applied throughout one’s life; perhaps with particular attention on one or two relatively specific pieces of advice for specific stages of life.

So if you are looking at getting a patriarchal blessing as a means of identifying Mr. Right–or scouring through a blessing already received, combing for clues as to his identity–I would gently suggest that you change your approach.  Do right, love God, seek revelation, enjoy life as it comes, and trust that when the Lord wants you to get a revelation on that subject–you’ll get it.

 

Gramps

 

What does my patriarchal blessing mean when it says I will live a life of longevity?

What does my patriarchal blessing mean when it says I will live a life of longevity?

Question

 

Gramps,

There is one part of my patriarchal blessing that I have had a very hard time understanding. It says that I will have ministering angels watching over me and at times I’ll be able to feel of those angels. And as long as I’m worthy of this blessing in my life I will have the opportunity of living a life of longevity. I’ve always wondered about if that means a long life here on this earth or a long life as in an eternal life even after I have passed on. Any insight? Thanks!!

Kara

 

Answer

 

Kara,

Patriarchal blessings are deeply personal revelations to the individuals that receive them. As such, the interpretation of them is also deeply personal. The section you are sharing could have any number of meanings. The best way to discover your answer is to make it a matter of personal prayer. There are a couple things that prevent me from offering an interpretation of this part of your blessing.

First of all, the meaning of this part of your blessing is not for me to know. I wish I could feel confident in giving you a more direct answer. However, there are several things even I am not supposed to know in this life. The interpretation of other people’s patriarchal blessings happens to be one of those things. Nobody has the authority to receive revelation regarding your patriarchal blessing besides you. As you search for the answers you are in need of, maintain your humility and purity before the Lord in your daily walk in this life. Be prepared for the chance that now isn’t the right time for the answer you are seeking. All things are done in the wisdom, and the time, of the Lord. When He knows the time is right, and sees that you are prepared, the answer will come.

The other thing that gets in the way is the very nature of a patriarchal blessing. Many times, we can think that a patriarchal blessing is a sort of fortune telling, or horoscope. We can let ourselves think that everything within a blessing simply must happen to us, for God has told us directly. However the reality is that a patriarchal blessing, as with any other blessing, is dependent upon us, upon our hearts, upon our intents, upon our actions, and upon our faith. No blessing comes to one who is not worthy of it. A patriarchal blessing is a moment where Heavenly Father has a chance to speak directly to you about some of the more important things that he wants to make a part of your life. He has the chance to give you some personal council, and in some cases, even some personally tailored warnings.

Because of this, the realization of the section you are wondering about very well could occur in your life. Then again, it could also not occur, for a few reasons, not all of which would be directly tied to you. Further on in your life, you may well read part of your blessing and wonder why something didn’t turn out as you thought. That moment is another opportunity for you to consider what the blessing meant to you at the time, versus the present moment. It is also another opportunity to consider what God meant by it as well. Sometimes we don’t always understand what God is really saying at the time, but only later does it come to our understanding.

Treasure your patriarchal blessing. It is revelation from Heavenly Father directly to you, and to no one else in this life. No one else in this life is entitled to know its contents. Of course you are encouraged to share it and discuss it with your spouse or other close family members as you deem appropriate. I would advise that you very carefully consider whom you include in that group. I promise you that the Lord will keep his word as has been given to you in your blessing. It is dependent upon your righteousness before the Lord. As you maintain your walk with Christ, you will see the promises in your patriarchal blessing become realized in your life, and even greater things beyond them. May God be with you always, Kara.

 

Gramps

 

 

Will I receive a greater blessing for enduring a specific trial?

Will I receive a greater blessing for enduring a specific trial?

Question

 

Gramps,

Do I get a greater blessing for successfully enduring a trial? For example I don’t have a family. I was not blessed with children and my relatives are dead. I hear about how important family is. Will I get a greater blessing if I successfully endure this than if I hadn’t had this trial? Will it really be made up to me? I can reach out to people and be friends and do my best to serve others but there is no substitute for a family.

Shasta

 

Answer

 

Shasta,

You are right; there is really no substitute for family.  I’m sorry for the heartache this must cause you.

I don’t think it is helpful to try and place trials in some sort of hierarchy as to which ones are more difficult than others.  Likewise, I’m not sure it’s in our best interest to try and measure blessings.  However, I think you are really looking for hope and comfort, is that right?

If so, then yes, Shasta, I believe you will be blessed for enduring to the end.  Endure means suffer patiently. That tells me that when “endure” is used in the scriptures, the Lord is reminding us that He knows this life is hard.  Fortunately there are also many scriptures that assure us of His love and nearness during our trials. I encourage you to seek for them.

I believe in the end each of us will find our cup runneth over with blessings.  I know that I, as an imperfect father, desire that my children are happy.  I do my best to help them achieve that.  Our Father in Heaven, who is perfect, and all powerful, has so much more ability to make sure that each of us receives a “fullness of joy” when the time is right.

Hold on Shasta, you are not alone in your pain, there will be an end to the suffering, and a beginning to joy such as you cannot yet imagine.

 

Gramps

How is dedicating a home done by a Priesthood holder?

How is dedicating a home done by a Priesthood holder?

Question

Gramps,

How is the performing of a dedication of a home by a Priesthood holder done?  Does he have to raise his hand?  Thanks.

Luis

 

Answer

Dear Luis,

I would follow the Church Handbook of Instructions on this one:

20.11 Dedicating Homes

Church members may dedicate their homes as sacred edifices where the Holy Spirit can reside and where family members can worship, find safety from the world, grow spiritually, and prepare for eternal family relationships. Homes need not be free of debt to be dedicated. Unlike Church buildings, homes are not consecrated to the Lord.

A Melchizedek Priesthood holder may dedicate a home by the power of the priesthood. If there is not a Melchizedek Priesthood holder in the home, a family might invite a close relative, a home teacher, or another Melchizedek Priesthood holder to dedicate the home. Or a family might gather and offer a prayer that includes the elements mentioned in the preceding paragraph and other words as the Spirit directs

 

Gramps

Why are two Priesthood holders needed for blessing the sick?

Why are two Priesthood holders needed for blessing the sick?

Question

Gramps,

In our Gospel Principles class we were studying the priesthood organization. A question came about as to why we need two priesthood holders to perform a blessing for healing of the sick. I do know if necessary one priesthood holder could accomplish this. Nobody could really come up with a definitive answer.  Thanks.

Chris

 

Answer

Chris,

The blessing of the sick is a two-part ordinance normally accomplished by two or more Melchizedek priesthood holders.  As a two-part ordinance we are counseled that one person anoints, while the other seals the anointing.  The sacrament is also an ordinance which could easily be accomplished by one Melchizedek priesthood holder; although, the Lord has directed that a deacon passes, a teacher prepares, and a priest blesses the sacrament.  The blessing of the sacrament is also two parts: the bread and the water.  One priest could easily bless both the bread and water, and yet, we have two priests to bless the sacrament.

Joseph Smith once declared, “I teach them correct principles and they govern themselves,” which appears to have persuasion within the realm of blessing the sick.  The Church Handbook of Instructions does not clearly define that the anointing and the sealing must be accomplished by two Melchizedek priesthood holders.  The handbook specifies that “one” brother anoints, while normally two or more take part in the sealing.  We have been provided a principle that gives opportunity (allows others to exercise their priesthood on behalf of family and friends) for more than one Melchizedek priesthood holder to bless the life of a fellow son or daughter of God. At the same time, we are to act in wisdom in all things.  Part of this wisdom is to recognize the circumstances of life which may present an opportunity when we are the only Melchizedek priesthood holder around to anoint and seal a blessing.  At these times we further recognize the Lord’s wisdom.

Gramps

How much fasting is enough to receive blessings?

How much fasting is enough to receive blessings?

Question

Dear Gramps,

I’ve got a question about f. I can see putting forth the effort to fast and all of the pain and suffering that goes along with it in order to obtain a blessing. Sort of like a sacrifice we make for the blessing. But what if the blessing is not to be granted? Are we not being cheated out of the blessing we suffered or paid for? I’m in a dilemma. There’s a family blessing I dearly want for which I am willing to fast, and sacrifice much pain and hunger for many days to obtain. And I have the faith to do it. But if it’s not to be granted in the end, if it’s not God’s will, then why should I go through all of the pain and suffering for nothing? Another question.  How many months of fasting would be sufficient before we can be confident that we’ve done enough? What if I quit a month too early? I’d never know if hanging on just a little longer would result in success. So many questions. Your thoughts on this would be very helpful.

Fabjan (more…)

What does it mean to have access to the blessings given to Father Abraham?

What does it mean to have access to the blessings given to Father Abraham?

Question

 

Dear Gramps,

My Patriarchal Blessing says I will receive my inherited blessings through Israel directly. And that I now have access to the blessings that Heavenly Father gave to father Abraham. I don’t understand.  Also what are the blessings from Abraham and Jacob?

Marion

 

 

Answer

 

Dear Marion,

The blessing you received under the hands of a modern patriarch links you directly to the ancient Patriarchs of the Old Testament. These old “fathers”, from Adam down to Israel, renewed the old cycle of passing down priesthood and blessings to a new generation. Even Israel’s 12 sons are sometimes lumped in with the Patriarchs (you may know them better as the twelve tribes). When it comes to the cast of Patriarchs, the big three that you find grouped together (and are probably mentioned in your patriarchal blessing) are Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Israel).

Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob set the pattern for passing on blessings and renewing covenants. The Abrahamic covenant is named for the father of nations, but it was explicitly renewed with his son and grandson. Your patriarch has revealed that you are an heir of these blessings and this covenant because you are a descendant of Israel. President Faust shared:

“The house of Israel, in the original sense, meant the literal blood descendants of the house of Jacob. The Lord said to Abraham, ‘I give unto thee a promise that this right [meaning the right to receive the gospel and the priesthood] shall continue in thee, and in thy seed after thee’ (Abr. 2:11). By seed we mean the heirs of the body. In our time the Lord has said, ‘Thus saith the Lord unto you, with whom the priesthood hath continued through the lineage of your fathers

 

“’For ye are lawful heirs, according to the flesh, …

 

“’Therefore, your life and priesthood have remained, and must needs remain through you and your lineage’ (D&C 86:8–10).” (“Your Patriarchal Blessing“, Nov. 2005, The New Era).

The reason why your direct descent from Israel is called out (and I must admit to some guesswork here since I haven’t read your blessing), is because there are some who are adopted into the promised covenant. And now I would admonish you to read the specific blessing of your tribe as revealed in the scriptures. All of Israel’s children has a great mission tasked to him, whether he is JudahBenjaminEphraim,Manasseh, or one of the others. Read his blessings, as well as those given to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as though they were your own – for you are an heir.

 

Gramps

 

 

Tribe of Manasseh

Tribe of Manasseh

Gramps,

We really love your site and have been a subscriber for years. Thank you for the kind service you render to those of us seeking answers. My question…My husband, (I am his second wife) has several children in the tribe of Ephraim. He has one daughter who is of the tribe of Manasseh. He is wondering why that would happen and what the responsibilities, blessings, and patriarchal blessing are of the tribe of Manasseh. Also, when someone is adopted into a tribe does it always or sometimes state that the person is being adopted into the tribe. Thanks for your help.

Shirley & CL (more…)

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