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Are blessings to be used as a last resort?

Are Priesthood Blessings to be Used as a Last Resort?

I have been working lately to get closer to my Father in Heaven and as I do so, I am amazed at how quickly the Spirit makes himself known. I have realized that lack of communication or direction is not because the Lord doesn’t see fit to communicate with me, it is because I have chosen not to approach Him and ask for help often enough. The Spirit comes as often as I seek. What a beautiful understanding this is.

Have you ever had a situation in your life when you didn’t know what to do? Perhaps there were so many options that you didn’t even know where to start. Maybe you needed some guidance and didn’t know who to ask. I have been in that situation before. It can feel very heavy if we stay there for long. The Lord wants us to seek Him and make Him a part of our day, every day.

The Lord does expect us to put forth the effort and work in solving problems. We cannot simply ask Him for every answer we ever want and expect an immediate response. Oliver Cowdery learned this for himself as recorded in D&C 9:7-8.

Save ask me

“Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me."

“But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.”

The Lord wants us to fine tune ourselves to receiving the voice of the Holy Ghost. That takes work. Going to the Lord for a priesthood blessing at the beginning of a situation is also a form of work. It requires faith and trust. It requires action. The answer might come during the blessing, or it may promise you direction or give you counsel you can depend on as you maneuver through the trial. I think it pleases the Lord when we make Him a part of our decision making, no matter how big or small the matter. In the book of Alma, we are taught to counsel with the Lord in all our doings (Alma 37:37), not only the hard ones.

Gentle Promptings

Elder Richard G. Scott gave counsel to the church about seeking answers. He said, “When we seek inspiration to help make decisions, the Lord gives gentle promptings. These require us to think, to exercise faith, to work, to struggle at times, and to act. Seldom does the whole answer to a decisively important matter or complex problem come all at once. More often, it comes a piece at a time, without the end in sight.”1 A blessing can guide us to those answers little by little.

I remember seeking the Lord’s help as I prepared to go to Hawaii to work as a nanny. I had to select a family and then pay my way there. He promised to help me choose the right place. With a promise like that, I felt confident even when I didn’t have money to fly across the ocean and as promised, He showed me the answer. I was driving down the road and there was a billboard right in front of me with my answer. I remember laughing out loud as the Spirit told me that my Lord had just answered. Those priesthood blessings in times of need can be a cherished treasure and an anchor of faith as we, through priesthood power, search out the will of the Lord for us in all our decisions.

  1. “Learning to Recognize Answers to Prayer”, Elder Richard G. Scott, October 1989 General Conference

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  • While man may limit us to one blessing, the Lord does not. Some problems take more than one blessing. It is the line upon line, precept upon precept. The Lord does understand and does not with hold.

    • Elizabeth Carlin