Yesterday one of our daughters chose to receive her patriarchal blessing. While that’s obviously a very personal thing, I just wanted to write a quick note about the experience.
The elderly husband and wife were beyond lovely. They met with our daughter earlier in the week to explain a bit about the blessing process (“Remember, I’m not a fortune teller!”) and to set a date. They go to the temple before each blessing and put the recipient’s name on the prayer roll. They meet before the blessing to welcome those attending, confirm details, answer any questions, and speak personally about the use of blessings in upcoming years.
The thing that probably struck me the most was the great care the patriarch took. He expressed repeatedly how humbled he was to be in that position. Not in the sense of, “It’s humbling to be in such an awesome calling with so much power!” but, rather, “It is an honor to be able to give this blessing to you, because you are so infinitely important.”
Even in the course of giving the blessing, he took such care (that’s the only word that seems to fit) in what he said and how he expressed it. It was such a wonderful experience.
Discussing it later, I told my daughter one of the things I loved most was that he said so many things I’ve told her all her life. She laughed, thinking it was an “I told you” moment. But it wasn’t at all. Like all people, our children can’t always see themselves clearly. The often don’t see or appreciate their best character traits and blessings. What is “normal” to them is often actually extraordinary. And sometimes having mom tell them how awesome they are doesn’t make such a big impression. (“You’re supposed to think I’m awesome. It’s your job.”)
But when the patriarch — who doesn’t know my daughter at all — said the very same things about her most amazing gifts, it went right to her heart.
Today I am incredibly grateful for a man who takes his solemn responsibility so seriously. My daughter wasn’t just another blessing. She was an individual child of God — and he treated her and her blessing as such.