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Patriarchal Blessings are given by Stake Patriarchs whose "calling" is to give blessings to "worthy" members of the LDS Church around the age of 19. The Patriarch briefly interviews the person before hand gleaming information about the person's life and goals. The blessing is then given and recorded on a small tape recorder. The blessing is then transferred to paper and a copy is sent to LDS Church Membership Records and a copy given to the person who received the blessing. Most LDS Patriarchal Blessings are obscure and difficult to understand. Members are counseled that if blessings do not occur, then it is the fault of the person, or, the blessing might not occur until after death. Patriarchal Blessings in Mormonism are identical to fortune telling.
| This is a Patriarchal Blessing given to my great great grandmother, Emma Rosine Larsen, sometime before 1886 by K. H. Brenn, in Brigham City. Take particular note of the areas in bold: |
Sister Emma, in the name of the Lord God of Israel, and by authority of the Holy Priesthood, I lay my hands upon thy head and seal upon thee a Father's and a Patriarchal Blessing, and all the promises that belong to the new and everlasting covenant. Thou art thought the noblest of heart and desires, beloved of the Lord and his Angels have special care over thee, that thou may live to help, to labor in the redemption of thy father and mother's kindred and friends that are dead.Emma died when she was 24 years old giving birth to her first child. Real inspired there, Patriarch Brenn.
Thou art of the House of Joseph, that was sold into Egypt, and heir to all the blessings, power, and keys that belong to that Holy Lineage. The blessings of the Lord are awaiting thee for as thou grow and increase in years, thy mind shall grow and expand and thou shall grow in wisdom and knowledge and strength that be given unto thee, according to thy days, for great responsibilities are awaiting thee, for the time will come when thou, in the Holy House of the Lord shall receive a companion with whom thou shall raise up a posterity that shall be accepted of the Lord, for wisdom shall be given unto thee, and the Spirit of inspiration and in His own time, shall thou be annointed a Queen and a Priestess to thy companion forever and ever.
Thou shall receive blessings from the earth, thy table shall never lack for the cherished things of the earth, and through thy hospitality, thy home shall be a resting place, where many of the saints of God shall delight. Thou shall live and see the redemption of Zion and stand in thy lot as a Mother of Israel, come forth in the morning of the First Resurrection and in conversion with thy companion, receive Kingdoms, Thrones, Principality, and power and a Celestial Crown in the Redeemer's Kingdom. These blessings I seal upon thy head by authority of my holy calling as a patriarch and in the name of Jesus Christ. So be it. Amen.
| So you are adopted into the house of Israel and are likely of the tribe of Ephraim. Hmmmmm...I don't think so.
"The saga of the Israelites, as told in the Bible, was designed as a morality tale to prove the importance of faith in the One God. The stories of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses and Joshua demonstrate that the Israelites were rewarded when they obeyed God, but were punished when they strayed.
The historical evidence to back up these events is sparse, and, in some cases, contradictory. In particular, the account of Joshua's conquest of Canaan is inconsistent with the archaeological evidence. Cities supposedly conquered by Joshua in the 14th century bce were destroyed long before he came on the scene. Some, such as Ai and Arad, had been ruins for a 1000 years.
The Book of Judges, which directly contradicts Joshua, and shows the Israelites settling the land over a prolonged period, is nearer historical reality; but even it cannot be taken at face value.
The archaeological surveys conducted over the past two decades in the hills of Menasseh, Ephraim, Benjamin and Judah, on the west bank of the River Jordan, indicate that the origin and development of the Israelite entity was somewhat different from either of the rival accounts in the Bible. The survey was conducted by more than a dozen archaeologists, most of them from Tel Aviv University's Institute of Archaeology. Their conclusions were published in "From Nomadism to Monarchy," edited by Prof. Israel Finkelstein and Prof. Nadav Na'aman."
The preceding information makes the prophecies concerning the scattering and gathering of Israel, the New (and Old) Jerusalem, adoption into the house of Israel and the tribe of Ephraim, etc. meaningless babble.
It is really quite tragic that so many members make significant, life-altering decisions based on fables.
| I got my Patriarchal Blessing when I was 16. My entire Laurel class went to the Stake Patriarch's house. After we all got our blessings, we were talking about them and everything the girls said sounded the same. So when we got our PBs in the mail, we compared them (shame on us!!) and they were all identical. So much for inspired revelation, huh!! I talked to my TBM parents about it, and they said that since we all went on the same day, it was a joint blessing. That didn't sound right to me, but I ended up buying it. After all, brainwashing is a power thing. Oh, and then somehow the Bishop found out that we had compared our PBs and called me in to tell me to never discuss this with anyone again. You know, the whole "sacred" thing and all.
I really wish I had questioned it more then, but I pushed it down and continued on the "Mormon path." When I finally started figuring things out many years later (after going to BYU, getting married in the temple and all) and realized that it's all a pile of crap, I remembered what I went through then and have added that to my very long list of ways in which the Mormon Church deceived me.
| One thing that is awfully suspicious about Mormon patriarchal blessings is that the more the patriarch knows about you, the more detailed your blessings becomes.
I was surprised as a young TBM to find out that other patriarchal blessings were much shorter than mine. My blessing was three pages long. It had many details about me and my life that no stranger could have known. BUT my patriarch was also my former bishop.
He added details about me such as "you will work on the councils of boys and men" (I was known for being passionate about Boy Scouts since the age of 11)and that on my mission my "tongue would finally be loosed" (I was an extremely shy, quiet kid who on more than one occasion flaked on talks I was assigned).
My mother recollects several sisters in the ward who were disappointed in their blessings because they were almost identical to each other. In this case the patriarch giving them their blessing did not know these women but gave them at the same time.
I have heard stories on this board of patriarchs "interviewing" the individual (before actually giving the blessing) fishing for details about their life that, not surprisingly, end up in the blessing. Similar to some phony fortune tellers who pick through a person's belongings when they aren't looking.
If the patriarchs are so inspired, acting as mouthpieces for God when delivering the patriarchal blessings, then why are they only individualized to the extent of how much the the patriarch knows about the person BEFOREHAND? Why would GOD'S blessing change depending on the patriarch's knowledge about the person receiving the blessing?
| How Patriarchs operate
1. Set the stage for an intimate, comfortable, experience. Establish your priesthood authority with props such as important looking charts, or bookcases full of reference books.
2. Project a sympathetic personality. Put your client in a receptive, cooperative mood by explaining that the blessing is a team effort largely based on their spiritual preparation.
3. There are seven things people most want to talk about: love, Health, Money, Career, Travel, Education, and Ambition. Stick to these themes by asking a lot of questions and making plenty of statements from each category.
4. Start with the "Barnum" effect that offers something for everyone.
5. After general statements, you can begin to home in on specifics that apply to most people.
6. Extract information from your client by talking with them for five or ten minutes prior to the blessing.
7. Use Biblical language in the blessing.
8. Address concerns that are common to adolescents or those in the age bracket of the person receiving the patriarchal blessing.
9. Don't forget the obvious. Flatter your subjects. Tell them what they want to hear.
10. Have your excuses ready. Turn every outcome to your advantage.
OK. So this was not actually guidance for patriarchs as they prepare to give partriarchal blessings. It is actually only a very slight modification of:
Once again, Joseph Smith did not engage in anything that cannot be explained by his background in lies, manipulation, and parlor tricks.
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