I’ve heard that the veil is not to keep us from remembering God – somehow we always feel His reality. Instead, it is to keep us from remembering who we are, because if we knew, life would be no test. Every person I know well is on a quest to understand better who he or she really is. Since we can’t remember, we yearn for clues. Patriarchal blessings give us some of the most important and trustworthy insights to personal reality that we will ever receive.
Latter-day Attacks on Identity
The quest is becoming more urgent. People are struggling harder to feel their identity and their meaning. In these winding up scenes of the last days, knowing who we are in the Lord’s view can be the anchor to hold us steady in life’s stormy seas, the shield to keep us safe from Satan’s deceptions.
I think every attack from Satan on me personally has been an attack on my identity. Every way he has tried to discourage me has had something to do with self-doubt – with temptations not to believe in myself or my potential. That is telling.
Patriarchal Blessings: A Key to Knowing Who We Are
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Patriarchal blessings help us see the truth about ourselves. Any book that can help us to learn who we are and to believe in the purposes and promises in our blessings would have to be one of the most important we could read. The new, inspired book, The Power of Your Patriarchal Blessing, is the best I’ve ever seen to help us do these things.
Putting Together the Puzzle Pieces
The author, Gayla Wise, had a great desire to understand her blessing, to know how to use it, to see its meaning in her every-day life. She suspected that if she felt that way, so did many others. She began talking to people, asking how they had come to understand or use their blessings. Most replied they would like some help with that!
But they also told her stories. One small story or insight at a time, the pieces began to fit, like putting together a giant puzzle. The process from inception to book-in-hand took about 15 years. It was supposed to be her second book, she said, but it is her fifth.
Members of the Lost Tribes Found!
The section that took the longest was finding and interviewing people from every tribe. “I believed the book would not be complete until I found them all,” she said. This is one of the most unusual, interesting, and intriguing things I’ve heard of for a long time. She just kept asking, asking, checking any possible clue. One story from the tribe of Dan came via email through a contact in the mission office in Nigeria. Other stories were as close as her own ward.
“Ephraimites tend to think they are the only tribe in the Church. They are not. Other tribes often think they are alone in the Church. They are not. The saddest stories were ones I did not print where someone had gone inactive because of insensitivity to this issue. It is important to embrace all,” she said.
She found the most “lost tribes” stories through converts from Armenia and Mongolia. “It was exciting to talk to these wonderful people on the phone,” she said. “They had a spirit about them I cannot put into words. It gave me a sense of completion, like finding missing relatives, to see them gathering into our eternal family. I felt a connection.”
The idea that members of the lost tribes are being found through patriarchal blessings is stunning to me.
“Our lineage has much to do with who we are and where we fit in God’s family. It’s important that we understand what it means to us personally,” she concluded.
Concerns and Questions about Patriarchal Blessings
Another section addresses the concerns people sometimes feel about their blessings. She also interviewed patriarchs who shared their insights and experiences and answered questions. She includes remarks from prophets. Her research, far beyond the fascinating insights in regard to the tribes and the blessings promised each one, has important ramifications for all of us.
Using the Power of Our Patriarchal Blessings
The Power of Your Patriarchal Blessing can lead to important personal revelations. It has for me. The best moments of my life have been when I have had glimpses of my spirit self or of the real spirit identity of my husband or children – often obtained while reading our patriarchal blessings. This uplift keeps me going and helps me believe in our true worth and how much we all have to look forward to. Gayla Wise’s book has motivated me to go back to those blessings over and over again. She shows us how to use the power of our blessings in order to get more of those heavenly glimpses.