Administering to someone is still somewhat of a foreign land to me. I still have many questions that I grapple with on this subject.
There are several kinds of blessings that are performed by the laying on of hands. Most of them typically involve giving words of comfort, instruction, or guidance that is intended to be inspired by the Spirit of the Lord.
I’ve wondered to what degree that I should keep my own thoughts and biases out of that process. Is it even possible to dictate word-for-word exactness the will of the Lord to someone? Is that even the goal?
Why should we say anything at all and not just lay hands on the person and wait for God to do his thing? Why are we requested to speak? Maybe mortal interaction provides more than we realize.
Perhaps it isn’t our specific words that ultimately matter, but the desires and intents of our hearts. Maybe the words we speak stir faith within all the parties to a sufficient degree that God can work within us. The Spirit can then carry to our hearts and minds the will of the Lord in its purity.
I don’t think it is a bad idea to ask a person what blessings they would like from the Lord even if what we think they need may seem obvious. For example, someone might be in the hospital for a broken leg but the blessing they desire may be something veiled from the naked eye.
Why not ask? Why not allow them to reveal their desire like many did when they came to Jesus asking for specific things. Isn’t faith demonstrated in the asking?
In blessings, asking, pronouncing, touching, and writing are all acts of faith. Blessings can be administered through diverse means, not just by the laying on of hands. But every blessing seems to require an expression of the desire prior to an act of faith. The elements obey according to righteousness, faith, authority, and usually after some form of utterance.
After you have prepared to give a blessing, is it not better to set aside all preparation and be neutral, seeking the Spirit? Shouldn’t prepared personal counsel be shared separately?
Blessing according to an obvious need or an expressed desire surely is sufficient. And the Spirit can inspire according to a secret desire. (When someone is or seems to have been benefited from a blessing, I wonder whether it was because of or in spite of something I said.)
I’ve wondered whether simply blessing according to the person’s faith, as we see in scripture, would generally suffice. Either way, is it not merciful that additional thoughts to utter come to mind?
Great points about the acts of faith and utterance. There is definitely something about ordered vibration, covenants, and creation.
I’m intrigued by the idea of prepared personal counsel shared separately. I suppose that there is nothing that would prevent one from doing so, but again, it doesn’t seem problematic simply including it in the blessing either. I think you could do either depending on the circumstance and what you felt was appropriate.
I think you are right about blessing according to faith, and even Jesus didn’t multiply words when blessing; he spoke directly to the specific need they had. I think we feel like the additional drama is necessary but why? I hope it is not because we lean on the drama of a lengthy discourse instead of speaking simply and directly in faith.
You’ve given me some good things to think about.
I believe and know for myself it is possible to dictate word for word with exactness what the Lord would have said to someone in a Priesthood blessing.
I’m not sure why we are to speak. Maybe it is an opportunity for all parties present to exercise faith. Faith in God. Faith in Christ to speak personally to you through imperfect men. I don’t know.
What I also know for myself is the Lord uses these opportunities to bless our brothers and sisters using His Priesthood to comfort, guide/warn, teach, express His direct word for word counsel, promise gifts of the Spirit or promises needed in life and more. I also know that for some men this gift of administering through Priesthood blessings comes more naturally and truly is a gift from God. I am from two different tribes in Israel. One tribe in particular that I have spent a lot of time with since converting to the church seems to be able to open the Heavens when they speak with the Spirit, administer to God’s children, pray or just about anything else they while acting in Jesus Christ’s name. With the other tribe it seems that it is very rare for me to experience the same kinds of things.
You’ve asked some wonderful questions my brother. What a delight it will be to receive the answers you are looking for!
Pertaining to the “asking/revealing what they desire”… it is my belief that Jesus Christ was and will be the only perfect person to walk this earth. To ask the Master in my mind for a blessing would make sense because He knows all.
I on the other hand am just a man. Who can only strive for perfection. I personally never ask the people I administer to what they would like in their blessing. I prefer to not even talk before hand other than small talk followed by a prayer to help bring the Spirit. Then I let the Spirit do all the real talking through the power of the Priesthood.
I prepare for Priesthood blessings by following the counsel of the scriptures and our living Prophet and his Apostles but most importantly striving to follow the Spirit every waking moment of my life. Which is mostly spent in repentance it seems like haha. But through this process I feel close to the Spirit and rely only on the Spirit of God to lead me in every ministering/administering opportunity. It is my belief that if the Lord wants something said to someone He will say it and can say it through a worthy vessel. It is not my job to determine what that is. I say what I feel the Spirit tell me to say. No more. No less. It is not my job to fulfill those blessings. I let the dice fall where they may and let the Lord do His part. I also VERY RARELY(only when asked by the Spirit) ever stick around after I give a blessing. I do not want my own thoughts after I say amen to cloud any of the inspiration the Spirit has for that person. This is all just my own experiences and beliefs. Thank you for your continual effort to light up the darkness in the world with your blog. It inspires me and has taught me much over the years. Till we meet!
It does seem that God insists that we speak in these blessings. I have often been surprised by what comes into my mind and recently it felt as if I was listening to the blessing rather than speaking the words.
Many of these blessings seem like they were drawn from frameworks in my mind and phraseology that already existed there which isn’t surprising. Prayer is a union of minds and blessings are a form of prayer.
I suppose that anything is possible when it comes to blessings and the circumstances are as unique as the people in them. I enjoyed reading your comments and appreciate the respect that you seek to show God through ordinances.
I like the way you phrased that. If I think about it that’s kind of how it feels for me as well. The words are coming out of my mouth but I know it’s not me. It is as if I’m listening to it.
I also agree with the blessings coming from our own frameworks! The more I’ve studied and grown/matured in my gospel knowledge/experience the more I witness that happening. It’s almost as if the Lord can speak more clearly when i grow in my own capacity of Spiritual understanding. Anything is possible for sure.
Priesthood power is something I’ve been studying for a long time. I used to wonder why in the scriptures we read of all the miracles happening but in my life I had never seen those things before. I realized I either had fear of some sort or I was dealing with some kind of unbelief. I work on that daily now. Especially after this last conference. When our Prophet tells us “Time is running out”. I don’t want to be left behind or caught sleeping! Lol
A miracle can be termed as an intervention from God. Sometimes they are spectacular and sometimes they are subtle. Sometimes the subtle can sound spectacular in the retelling, but the common thread is that they all involve something that is beyond the planning or power of the mortals present.
Faith makes everything possible, so without faith, nothing is possible. Faith is potent enough that even a little bit can move mountains.
It is written that signs follow those that believe and this is true. I think that the reason we may not see more miracles could be attributed to insufficient faith or fear overpowering our minds, or simply not being involved in God’s work frequently enough to see some of these things.
When I think back across my life and consider times when I saw more miracles than less, the big determining factor in my case was simply the frequency of which I was involved in the lives of others where there would be a need for God’s interventions.
God doesn’t intervene unless he has to. Sometimes our presence as guided by the Spirit is enough of an intervention, and often more is required. Where the lives of the people are more shattered and lost, the more that interventions will be needed and more miracles required.
Think about the people Jesus ministered to: the blind, the deaf, the homeless, the hopeless, the possessed, the diseased, the outcasts, the sinners.
I’m not making any assumptions about you or your situation or saying anything about my life and situation, but these are observations that I think are relevant to miracles and ministering.
I have been thinking since yesterday at church the importance of recognizing things that may be inconvenient for me or out of my comfort zone and practicing engaging with them directly instead of avoiding them.
I agree with you completely brother!
The more we try to emulate the Savior in everything we do the more we will see ourselves pressing in to the unknown and uncomfortable. We must walk through the Refiner’s fire if we want to be able to stand in His presence someday.
2 Nephi 31:20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.