Scriptural Discussion #7: Afflictions—Can Be Swallowed Up In Joy Of Christ


Alma said, “O Lord God, how long wilt thou suffer that such wickedness and infidelity shall be among this people? O Lord, wilt thou give me strength, that I may bear with mine infirmities. For I am infirm, and such wickedness among this people doth pain my soul. O Lord, my heart is exceedingly sorrowful; wilt thou comfort my soul in Christ. O Lord, wilt thou grant unto me that I may have strength, that I may suffer with patience these afflictions which shall come upon me, because of the iniquity of this people. O Lord, wilt thou comfort my soul, and give unto me success, and also my fellow laborers who are with me—yea, Ammon, and Aaron, and Omner, and also Amulek and Zeezrom and also my two sons—yea, even all these wilt thou comfort, O Lord. Yea, wilt thou comfort their souls in Christ. Wilt thou grant unto them that they may have strength, that they may bear their afflictions which shall come upon them because of the iniquities of this people.” (Alma 31: 30-33)

Mormon said, “And the Lord provided for them that they should hunger not, neither should they thirst; yea, and he also gave them strength, that they should suffer no manner of afflictions, save it were swallowed up in the joy of Christ. Now this was according to the prayer of Alma; and this because he prayed in faith.” (Alma 31: 38 )

Alma said, “And now, my brethren, I desire that ye shall plant this word in your hearts, and as it beginneth to swell even so nourish it by your faith. And behold, it will become a tree, springing up in you unto everlasting life. And then may God grant unto you that your burdens may be light, through the joy of his Son. And even all this can ye do if ye will. Amen.” (Alma 33: 23)



Previous Scriptural Discussion: #6 TRIBULATION UPON CHURCH

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The secrecy of patriarchal blessings

From the time I first joined the church until now, I have always been told not to share my patriarchal blessing with anyone, as it is a very personal, private and often intimate text. And yet, I’ve always wondered, what do other people’s patriarchal blessings say? Is mine typical or extraordinary? And this curiosity has always bugged me.

Obviously, there may be aspects of a patriarchal blessing that deal with the weaknesses of the person it is addressed to, which may not be wise to reveal to others. But other than those parts, I don’t see anything too embarrassing that it must be kept secret. When I look at my own patriarchal blessing, there are essentially five parts to it:

  • First, an enumeration of some of the blessings I have received.
  • Second, my tribal lineage is stated and the entitlements I have access to as a result of that lineage.
  • Third, there are admonitions of what I should do or what I should not do. These might be interpreted as fortifying me against my weaknesses. In other words, this section might appear to others as a list of my weaknesses.
  • Fourth, a bunch of prophecies of what will happen in my life.
  • Fifth, it closes with a conditional promise about the resurrection.

Now, I understand the intimate nature of personal revelations. I’ve had a share of revelations, prophecies, etc., but have shared only a few of them. I totally understand the need to keep certain revelations to oneself, while others can be shared. Sometimes, it is wise to only share a portion of a revelation, other times the whole thing. It all depends on the circumstance and the audience I am addressing. Patriarchal blessings certainly fall into the category of personal revelations.

But many people also consider their blessings to be personal scripture, equal in authority to the canonized scriptures, but only binding (for some, others do not consider them binding) upon the particular person it was meant for. How many of us do not long to read additional scripture? I know I do. Especially if they contain prophecies, like mine does.

My feeling, then, is that if there were an anonymous way to share one’s patriarchal blessing, that might be a benefit to the saints and to anyone, really. With the Internet this is now possible, but until now no one (that I know of) has taken it upon themselves to put up a web site dedicated to sharing, anonymously, one’s patriarchal blessing, and reading others’. So, I’ve decided to do it. If you think this is an interesting idea, I invite you to share yours. If you think I’m being sacrilegious, just ignore this blog entry or leave a comment telling me why this is such a bad idea.

Now here’s the link to a forum I’ve created that’ll allow you to post your blessing anonymously:

Just some guidelines: don’t reveal your name, the name of your patriarch or the name of your stake if you wish to retain anonymity. Also, there is no need to register or anything, but you can if you want to. If you register, you can edit your post. If you don’t register, you can’t edit your post. So, for those who don’t register, make sure you write the entire blessing in one sitting because you won’t be able to go back to it and finish it later. I, personally, will wait for a few postings before I post my own, so that people don’t know which is mine.

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