Patriarchal Blessings and the Temple

On June 26, 2016, we wrote the following about Patriarchal Blessings:

“As other conditions arise that require direction from heaven on how to proceed, such as what to do about Patriarchal blessings, and other important items, heaven can be sought and revelation obtained as God grants it” What Do We Do About Callings…

Our oldest daughter reached an age where she normally would be receiving a Patriarchal Blessing through a Patriarch in the LDS Church. My wife and I have found great solace in our blessings, and the humble man who administered those blessings prepared well and kept his own thoughts out of them and put God’s mind and will into them. We wanted the same for our children.

We were persuaded by Denver’s comments on Patriarchal Blessings and the scriptures that teach that ancient prophets gave fathers’ blessings at the end of their lives, such as Adam, Jacob (Israel), and Lehi. Denver observed these men were “bowed down with great age, knowing that they are going to soon depart this world, having no personal investment in the outcome, intending only to say what is for the blessing and benefit through the Spirit of what will befall their children after them, things that they will not be around to witness” Denver on Patriarchal Blessings. These comments put us on guard that our limited life experiences might curtail the power of our blessings to our children now, and that our power in the priesthood might be increased as we aged and became more selfless in our last days.

Still, the scriptures described Adam’s blessing as “his last blessing” (D&C 107:53), encouraging us that earlier provisional blessings might be authorized in the context of being preliminary to a later, “last” blessing which carried more significance. We decided to ask the Lord for power to give a preliminary Patriarchal Blessing to our oldest daughter.

A few years prior, Nikki and I hiked to a mountain peak in Logan Valley. We prayed to ask the Lord what to do about our children missing the opportunity to attend the LDS temples. It took a long time to get an answer. Leading up to that answer, in 2017, Denver Snuffer made some comments on the Holy Order and mentioned his own thoughts on “children who are kept from access to LDS temples and what can be done to inform them about temple rites” (Denver on The Holy Order, pp. 28-30). You can read what he wrote there. There was no specific indication this was the word of the Lord, however. Either way, on these types of things we pray mightily to find out the truth from the Lord’s own voice.

Suffice it to say, after getting permission to give a preliminary Patriarchal Blessing, predicated on our daughter’s faithfulness, and subject to the will of the Lord for interpretation and fulfillment, we proceeded to record a blessing where I spoke as voice and Nikki took a turn pronouncing blessings as well. The event was a success, and our daughter now has a nicely laminated Patriarchal Blessing that she finds very precious. We obtained our daughter’s permission to share a portion of that blessing that I received before we administered the ordinance to her. Most of the words of the actual blessing were extemporaneous except for some words given to me by revelation on, 1. how to start the blessing, and 2. the portion in the following quote. We also wrote a list of potential categories of the types of things that might come up in this type of blessing and referred to it during the event. It allowed us to remember, in such a long blessing, to pause and see if the Lord had any thoughts on those categories as we proceeded.

As you will see, the testimony we received by revelation was that Denver’s comments that, “First, although it has been demonstrably corrupted, there is value in the temple…[and so on]” is true. I expressed that testimony in my own words as the giver of the blessing, and quoted the Lord by including a scripture he told me now applies to the LDS temple ceremonies. This is the part of the blessing we gave to our daughter:

“Right now, there is not a temple available for you, but what was restored through Joseph Smith has had some alterations over time. They are available for you, but they are like the Apocrypha as mentioned by the Lord in section 91 of the Teaching and Commandments. As he said, ‘There are many things contained therein that are true, and it is mostly translated correctly…whoever is enlightened by the Spirit shall obtain benefit therefrom.’ Read and watch the ceremony in the form it was observed before the changes in 1990. Feel free to discuss what you learn with anyone who has received temple ordinances before” September 9, 2018.

We can say confidently in the name of the Lord that this revelation is true. Amen.

-Brian and Nikki Zang

News and Journals

I think we need to print a journal like the Elders Journal where people can submit articles.

Not everything has to be put into the scriptures (obviously)…that should be the cream of the crop (even if it is not all perfect in scriptures).

And also, there should be something that helps medium-level-interest stuff avoid getting lost in the big repository of the archives online. Everything should go in the archives, but some gems should be put in a journal and passed around.

Conference reports and transcripts are an easy starting point.

I really think we need a separate site that includes news, voting polls (on a tab with login maybe), and conference reports (transcripts), and maybe a journal with writing submissions, even if it is just an electronic pdf that people can print on their own. Then, that all gets backed up in the restoration archives.(You hide the archives in the back of the library so it doesn’t clutter the hot items in the stacks.)

It could even be the permanent conference website, so the upcoming conference(s) are tab(s) and you won’t have to create a brand new website for each conference.

Since we’re a collective community with no leaders, you can have people submit their writings to a preliminary place and anyone can review and vote yes or no to including it in the journal for publication. Since it’s a low stakes publication, and not the scriptures, a majority vote after a set amount of time can let someone’s writings pass muster and get published to the group with special status as something worth reading. Otherwise, it gets sent to the archives and people can look it up there.

That just makes it all based on persuasive power gauged by the whole community’s interest…and helps us avoid being flooded with stuff to consider, but archiving everything so no gems fall through the cracks.

You know, maybe eventually we’ll get better at determining if anything someone submits (other than Denver) is scripture-worthy. But, this way we get to vet things in advance without such a high-stakes commitment. It’s possible the majority would reject something that came from the Lord, but again, it will be there in the archives to be brought up at a later time when hearts are softened.

And, this isn’t to suggest that submissions are only of the type that claims: “thus saith the Lord,” it could be writings, teachings, proposals, projects, news, thoughts, musings, art, literature, fiction, poetry, music, hymns, etc.

Beyond the Guide and Standard, this would show our hearts to the world. It would illustrate all the diversity of thought, talents, and inspiration. Instead of the skeleton of principles, it would show the lifeblood of the community, hopefully as uplifted by the Lord’s influence.

It just might draw our hearts closer together, too, to see what we are all coming up with, located in one spot.

Plus, it’s not of the nature of needing the Lord to command us before we do it…its just going about doing good of our own free will. There isn’t any command against it.

I am extremely swamped and couldn’t set this up myself, but the idea is out there. Feel free to run with it.