Why is it that sometimes when my husband gives a blessing, it works and other times it doesn’t? For example, I have insomnia and if I have a hard time sleeping, usually a priesthood blessing can knock me right out. Yet it didn’t help at all last night. My youngest noticed this (concerning himself and his blessings) too. He asked my why it didn’t work and I don’t know what to tell him… why didn’t they work? Thanks gramps for taking the time to help us!
Firstly, I would like to say that I hope you have been able to sleep better since you sent this question.
It is remarkable to recognize that as we grow older we seem to put weight on our shoulders making that load heavier with each decision we are faced with. Being able to rest from our labours each and every day is one of the key indicators of having a healthy state of mind, spirit and soul.
Some people go through their entire lifetime using artificial substances to induce peace. Such as sleeping pills, drugs, alcohol, etc. Or, in your case, asking for a priesthood blessing to appease the mind enough to get a good night’s sleep.
To fully address your concern we need to separate it into three distinctive topics.
Isaiah described Jesus Christ as “The Prince of Peace” (Isa. 9:6).
President Howard W. Hinter said:
“The peace for which the world longs is a time of suspended hostilities; but men do not realize that peace is a state of existence that comes to man only upon the terms and conditions set by God, and in no other way.
In a psalm in the Book of Isaiah are these words: ‘Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.’ (Isa. 26:3.)
This perfect peace mentioned by Isaiah comes to one only through a belief in God. This is not understood by an unbelieving world.”
“He (The Prince of Peace) used the Jewish form of salutation and benediction: “My peace I give unto you.” This salutation and bequest was not to be taken by them in the usual sense, for he said, “… not as the world giveth, give I unto you.” Not empty wishes, not just polite ceremony, as the people of the world use the words as matters of custom; but as the author and Prince of peace, he gave it to them. He bestowed it upon them and said, “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Within a few hours they would be subjected to trouble, but with his peace they could overcome fear and stand firm.
His last statement to them before the closing prayer on that memorable evening was this: “… in the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
In order to obtain this peace talked about by President Hunter, we need to dig deeper about what it really means to have faith in Jesus Christ.
Again, from the teachings of President Howard W. Hunter we read:
“The troubles of the world often expressed in screaming headlines should remind us to seek for the peace that comes from living the simple principles of the gospel of Christ. The vociferous minorities will not unsettle our peace of soul if we love our fellowmen and have faith in the atoning sacrifice of the Savior and the quiet assurance he gives of life everlasting. Where do we find such faith in a troubled world? The Lord said, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” (Luke 11:9–10)
To develop this faith strong enough to obtain peace, we must ask God to bless us and to strengthen us. Such a simple act, yet, most of us hesitate and waver enough to cause the opposition of peace to rule our minds.
It is paramount that the pure understanding of the power of the priesthood is obtained by every member of the church, if we are to build a strong bond between ourselves and God.
In the April General Conference of 2010, President Boyd K. Packer stated:
“The Apostles Peter, James, and John, who were closest to the Lord in His ministry, appeared next and conferred upon Joseph and Oliver the higher priesthood, or “the Holy Priesthood, after the Order of the Son of God.” The priesthood, the scriptures direct, was to be named after Melchizedek, the great high priest to whom Abraham paid tithes. This then became their authority. Through the keys of the priesthood, they had access to all of the powers of heaven. They were commanded to carry the gospel unto all nations…”
Now, look at the admonition he gave to the sisters in Zion:
” Some years ago I gave a talk entitled “What Every Elder Should Know: A Primer on Principles of Priesthood Government.” Later, when it was to be published, I changed the title to read “What Every Elder Should Know—and Every Sister as Well.”
I include the sisters because it is crucial for everyone to understand what is expected of the brethren. Unless we enlist the attention of the mothers and daughters and sisters—who have influence on their husbands, fathers, sons, and brothers—we cannot progress. The priesthood will lose great power if the sisters are neglected.”
There IS power in the priesthood and you have felt it. It is important to always remember this because sometimes we over-think our feelings.
Now let’s tie all of these together.
I commend you for reaching out to your husband for support by asking for a priesthood blessing AND that your children see the faith you have in the priesthood and its power to heal. Notwithstanding and nevertheless, we need to ensure that once a blessing is asked and given by a proper priesthood holder, that that topic be placed in the hands of God and/or Jesus Christ. That’s where faith comes in. If we ask for a blessing to address the same issue, multiple times, specially as often as one takes an aspirin for a headache (for example), then that faith is nullified.
We also need to remember that after all is said and done, any blessing given should include these words, “Heavenly Father, we ask that thy will be done”. No matter how righteous the priesthood holder is, no matter how faithful the recipient of the blessing is, if God sees another blessing more important than that being performed/given, then He ultimately knows best.
Hope you find the peace you’re looking for.