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Question

 

Dear Gramps,

I have been an active member of the Church since I was baptized. I have served a mission when I was young. My patriarchal blessing says I will be coming forth in the first resurrection if I stay faithful.  However, it doesn’t say ‘in the morning of’ the first resurrection. Does that mean I won’t be worthy of those who will inherit the Celestial Kingdom and my resurrection will be in the ‘afternoon’ with the Terrestrials?

Will

 

Answer

 

Dear Will,

Our Father in Heaven is a merciful and just God who loves each of His children and wants us to live in His presence eternally.  As you know, He authorizes patriarchal blessings to comfort, direct, and warn His children as we traverse mortality. Patriarchal blessings are not words of predestination or final fate.

About patriarchal blessings, President Thomas S. Monson said

Study it carefully. Be guided by its cautions. Live to merit its promises.

You said your patriarchal blessing says you will come forth in the first resurrection if you stay faithful. While we generally refer to the “morning of the first resurrection” as the resurrection reserved for Celestial glory, the Lord often referred to that stage of resurrection as simply the “first resurrection” or “resurrection of the just.”

Here’s an example from a few verses in Doctrine and Covenants 76.

And again we bear record—for we saw and heard, and this is the testimony of the gospel of Christ concerning them who shall come forth in the resurrection of the just—

 

They are they who received the testimony of Jesus, and believed on his name and were baptized after the manner of his burial, being buried in the water in his name, and this according to the commandment which he has given—

 

That by keeping the commandments they might be washed and cleansed from all their sins, and receive the Holy Spirit by the laying on of the hands of him who is ordained and sealed unto this power;

 

And who overcome by faith, [or “faithful” as your blessing says] and are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, which the Father sheds forth upon all those who are just and true. …

 

These are they who shall have part in the first resurrection.

 

These are they who shall come forth in the resurrection of the just. (Doctrine and Covenants 76:50-54, 64-65)

Abinadi also taught about the first resurrection without reference to morning or afternoon,

And now, the resurrection of all the prophets, and all those that have believed in their words, or all those that have kept the commandments of God, shall come forth in the first resurrection; therefore, they are the first resurrection.

Perhaps your patriarchal blessing was worded the way it was to inspire you to study more about the first resurrection and how to participate in that glorious event.  Through blessings, the Holy Ghost inspires and prompts us to make course corrections and establish covenant habits that help us obtain our ultimate goal.

Remember that even though a blessing is mentioned, that does not guarantee the automatic realization of that blessing.  And even though a blessing may not mention every life event or eternal goal, that does not negate those in a person’s life.

President James E. Faust taught that a patriarchal 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.

Even if a specific promise or expectation is not stated in a person’s patriarchal blessing, the Lord’s promises of exaltation are available to all.  Elder Russell M. Nelson promised that all of the blessings of the Abrahamic covenant are available to all of the House of Israel.

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).

I invite you to trust in the Lord’s covenant promises and counsel with Him as you continue on the path back to Him.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

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