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Gramps,

Many people who have received their Patriarchal blessing are told they will come forth in the morning of the first resurrection based on their worthiness.  My wife’s blessing says that. My Patriarchal blessing makes no mention of the my resurrection at all. Does this mean that I am not going to qualify for the  morning of the first resurrection? Will I not be with my wife if she is resurrected in the first resurrection and I am not?  I am troubled by this.

Paul

 

Answer

 

Dear Paul,

I can understand why you would be troubled by that if you don’t understand a key principle behind patriarchal blessings.  Hopefully, as I explain it, you can find peace and comfort in the following words from our leaders and feel the Holy Ghost confirming truth.

In speaking about patriarchal blessings at General Conference, President James E. Faust said that a patriarch blessing

…is a sacred guideline of counsel, promises, and information from the Lord; however, a person should not expect the blessing to detail all that will happen to him or her or to answer all questions. The fact that one’s patriarchal blessing may not mention an important event in life, such as a mission or marriage, does not mean that it will not happen. In order to receive the fulfillment of our patriarchal blessings, we should treasure in our hearts the precious words they contain, ponder them, and so live that we will obtain the blessings in mortality and a crown of righteousness in the hereafter.  …

 

If, through our priesthood blessings, we could perceive only a small part of the person God intends us to be, we would lose our fear and never doubt again.

Similarly, under Patriarchal Blessings on Gospel Topics on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ website, the principle that patriarchal blessings may not outline every event in a person’s life is reiterated.

While a patriarchal blessing contains inspired counsel and promises, it should not be expected to answer all of the recipient’s questions or to detail all that will happen in his or her life. If the blessing does not mention an important event, such as a full-time mission or marriage, the person should not assume that he or she will not receive that opportunity.

 

Similarly, the recipient of the blessing should not assume that everything mentioned in it will be fulfilled in this life. A patriarchal blessing is eternal, and its promises may extend into the eternities. If one is worthy, all promises will be fulfilled in the Lord’s due time. Those promises and blessings that are not realized in this life will be fulfilled in the next.

A First Presidency letter to stake presidents indicated that, as directed by the Holy Ghost, the patriarch should issue the comfort, guidance, and warnings a person needs to help them accomplish their mission. The blessing isn’t expected to state every event in a person’s life from birth to resurrection, just to mention what is most critical for a person’s successful navigation through life in a succinct and revelatory way.

“Patriarchal blessings contemplate an inspired declaration of the lineage of the recipient and, when so moved upon by the Spirit, an inspired and prophetic statement of the life mission of the recipient, together with such blessings, cautions and admonitions as the patriarch may be prompted to give for the accomplishment of such life’s mission, it being always made clear that the realization of all promised blessings is conditioned upon faithfulness to the gospel of our Lord, whose servant the patriarch is” (First Presidency Letter to stake presidents, 28 June 1958).

Each patriarchal blessing is unique because every child of God is unique. I hope learning that patriarchal blessings are uniquely designed for each individual and not simply lists of the same life events stated in different ways brings comfort to you.

What does the Lord focus on in your blessing? How can having a different focus from your wife bring greater acknowledgment of your strengths and talents?

In closing, I wanted to mention a beautiful statement by then Elder Russell M. Nelson.  In April of 2000, the First Presidency and Quorum of Twelve Apostles shared a video presentation where each of them shared brief testimonies.  Elder Nelson chose to focus his message on the Abrahamic covenant.  This covenant applies to you as a member of the House of Israel and seed of Abraham.

In 1843 the Lord declared to the Prophet Joseph Smith that “Abraham received promises concerning his seed, and of the fruit of his loins—from whose loins ye are. … This promise is yours also, because ye are of Abraham” (D&C 132:30–31).

 

Brothers and sisters, you may also claim the supernal blessings promised to the faithful lineage of Abraham. The Lord explained that blessings and responsibilities of His priesthood are yours because of your faith, works, and lineage—the lineage declared in your patriarchal blessings. You “are lawful heirs,” He said. “Your life and the priesthood have remained, and must needs remain through you and your lineage” (D&C 86:9–10).

 

The ultimate blessings of the Abrahamic covenant are conferred in holy temples. These blessings allow us to come forth in the First Resurrection and inherit thrones, kingdoms, powers, principalities, and dominions, to our “exaltation and glory in all things” (D&C 132:19). The fulfillment of the ancient Abrahamic covenant is feasible only because of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is He who has made it possible for us to dwell with God, with Him, and with our families eternally.

Even if you’ve never received a patriarchal blessing or even if your patriarchal blessing doesn’t mention resurrection, the Lord through prophets and covenants explains that rising in the first resurrection is available to all who make and keep eternal covenants. Because of Jesus Christ, this truth is a reality we can rely on and strive toward.

Take comfort in all of the Lord’s promises to you,

 

Gramps

 

 

 

 

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