This weekend we happened to be visiting my wife’s parents and it also happened to be the 5th Sunday – so it was a combined Rs/Priesthood class. Our guest speaker was Patriarch Perry. It was an interesting class, given by a good humored older gentleman.
He started by asking us a question on who received the first patriarchal blessing. Which turns out was Jared, Enoch’s father. Then he went on to explain how the whole process works. Including the fact that the Stake President interviews them usually once a year, and reviews the blessings, and the blessings are then stored by the church.The originals are stored in the granite vaults here in Utah.
It’s interesting to note that the first interview question the Stake President asks during their yearly interview is about how their relationship is with their wife. Patriarch Perry explained that there can be no contention in the home. He also went on to explain that that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been. He was called while he had teenagers at home and that he’s still had arguments with his wife. He explained though, that he would immediately call for prayer if there were arguments or contention in the home to help bring about the spirit.
He told about getting his own blessing and how it wasn’t the best of circumstances – by that I mean he didn’t have a chance to really prepare for it. He said he had just gotten home from church and was about to change out of his church clothes when his father told him to come with them while his older brother got his patriarchal blessing. So after he was done his father said it was his turn, with no warning. He said he’d wished he’d had been giving some time to prepare before he had gone.
A person in the class asked about getting a second blessing after falling away from the church, and he explained he had only done this twice – once was for lineage. A woman who had gotten her blessing and then fallen away from church, came back and realized that her blessing didn’t contain her lineage – so he gave it to her, but also explained that to him this also meant that the blessing was not invalidated. There was nothing more to add to her blessing thereby saying, you’re blessing is still valid even after falling away. He didn’t explain the other one – but it is interesting, though I don’t think I ever thought of it being invalidated because one fell away.
Another question asked was about who old was the oldest person he’d ever given a blessing to and he 97, he gave another account of giving a blessing to an older gentleman who was very near death – and he was worried about what he would say. But he gave the blessing, and the daughter who happened to be there explained later that the blessing had answered questions the man had had all his life, and allowed him to face death with a clear understanding and peace.
He told us a story of giving a couple blessings that said they would go on missions yet they died a short time later, and he wasn’t able to reconcile this until years later when a young man spoke about him and his brother. This young man and his brother both had been given blessings and they spoke about going on missions – yet the older brother died before he went on one. The father of these boys had a hard time and was still grieving the older brother’s death even after the younger brother returned home from his mission. The younger brother was able to read over his older brothers blessing and talked to his father about it – there was part of the blessing that said “he will goto a strange place and speak a strange language”, the younger brother suggested this may mean heaven, what stranger a place then heaven. Patriarch Perry heard about this and went back to look over the couple’s blessings and found the same wording “goto a strange place and speak a strange language”. This broght both the father and Patriarch Perry comfort.
He told us about lineage, as far as his experiences with them. With a few exceptions the first tribe that generally comes to mind is Ephraim, but there have been times when he goes to pronounce linage and his mind goes blank when trying to recall the tribe – he can’t think of the name Ephraim, but Manasseh will pop into his mind. He’s even had times when both Ephraim and Manasseh fail to enter his mind and he has pronounced Judah as the lineage to a member in a family who is all Ephraim.
All in all it was a pretty interesting class, he suggested as other leaders have that we should be reading our blessings daily or at least weekly. He said he still reads his and still finds new details in it. He also cautioned that it’s a private matter and should be shared with friends, but only family. He warned that by making it too public you may loose the message the Lord intended for your by your friends giving their opinions on subjects contained with in. I’ll admit, that I probably haven’t read mine in years, though my awesome wife tells me about it constantly and tries to get me to read it.
My goal is, and honestly I’m not sure why I have such an issue with this, is to try reading it at least once a month and I would urge you to try to integrate it into your lives more – or if you haven’t gotten one yet to prepare to get one and get it.
One last thing here, and I do this as the last bit of information because I didn’t find out till after the class either, but Patriarch Perry, is L. Tom Perry’s little brother. Yup that’s right, L. Tom Perry was the big brother who got his before Patriarch Perry.
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