When my first child was only three or four years old, he was frequently found with his hands upon his baby brother’s head, praying earnestly to his Heavenly Father. What a precious sight it was and how it blessed me to see how he would one day hold the priesthood and needed to be prepared for such a responsibility.
I have always looked at priesthood blessings primarily as a source of strength and comfort through difficult trials. Occasionally, I have requested them in faith to be assisted through an illness. Whatever the need, we have the blessing and privilege of feeling the heavens open on our behalf from time to time to help us over rough roads. Sometimes the words which have been spoken have lifted my spirits immediately, breaking away the darkness and blessing me with perfect love. Other times, promises are made which inspire hope and bring great peace, yet the trial persists a while longer. I have always written down my understanding of the blessings pronounced upon me. I like to let the Lord know that I am grateful for them and treasure the gifts He bestows. I consider His direct words to me a priceless treasure.
As I look back through my writings, I see how the Lord has fulfilled the promises made. It brings joy and reverent gratitude to my heart. Sometimes I laugh through tears as I recall how heavy my burden felt at the time then I watched as the Lord liberated me.
There was one blessing that included a phrase that I have always looked back on and wondered about. I haven’t seen it come to fruition yet. It’s hard to believe sometimes that it can still happen.
Perhaps, there are those who were told they would be strengthened to succeed only to fail miserably or perhaps were told they would have children yet remain childless. What of those who are promised a faithful spouse, yet they remain unattached? There are numberless blessings that may seem to go unfulfilled.
For as long as I can remember, the prophets have told us that God will always keep His promises, whether in this life or next. When we receive priesthood blessings, we ought to keep that in mind. For example, if an ill person is commanded to live but dies, was it a spiritual or a temporal meaning? Perhaps we make assumptions that Heavenly Father means to answer our prayers the way we wish but he answers by what He knows to be best for the individual.
What we can do is continue to live with the hope of promised blessings and be patient as we learn to trust the Lord’s timetable. Sister Anne C. Pingree said, “It matters not where we live or what our individual circumstances may be. Each day our righteous living can demonstrate a faith in Jesus Christ that sees beyond mortal heartaches, disappointments, and unfulfilled promises. It is a glorious thing to possess a faith that enables us to look forward to that day “when all that was promised the Saints will be given.”1
I am reminded of the poem entitled “The Weaver” by Grant Colfax Tuller. “My life is but a weaving Between my God and me. I cannot choose the colors He weaveth steadily.Oft’ times He weaveth sorrow; And I in foolish pride Forget He sees the upper And I the underside. Not ’til the loom is silent And the shuttles cease to fly Will God unroll the canvas And reveal the reason why. The dark threads are as needful In the weaver’s skillful hand As the threads of gold and silver In the pattern He has planned He knows, He loves, He cares; Nothing this truth can dim. He gives the very best to those Who leave the choice to Him.”
The day will come when He flips that weaving over for us to see the glorious tapestries of our lives with all the blessings that stemmed through our mortal afflictions. Don’t be quick to give up, the reward of faith and patience is worth it.
1 “Seeing the Promises Afar Off,” Anne C. Pingree, October 2003 General Conference