In a particularly stressful time, or in the anticipation of a critical event, one can seek for a blessing under the hands of the priesthood. Even the Prophet Joseph Smith sought and received a blessing under the hands of Brigham Young and received solace and direction for his soul. Fathers, so live that you can bless your own wives and children. To receive and then consistently and prayerfully ponder one's patriarchal blessing can give helpful insight, particularly in an hour of need. The sacrament will "bless ... the souls" (D&C 20:77, 79) of all those who worthily partake of it, and as such it should be taken often, even by the bedfast. - Ezra Taft Benson, “Do Not Despair,” Liahona, March 1987
Yesterday afternoon I was feeling quite overwhelmed with all the things that I had to do. I have a slew of things for work, and then I had my church responsibilities on top of all of that. I had a youth activity to go to and was really not feeling up to the task and debated not going. I did not have a major role in the night. In my mind, however I heard the words of my patriarchal blessing. It starts out with an admonition:
Be available to the Father and His work.
It goes on to promise what I will receive if I make myself available. I gathered my strength, pulled away from work and had a fantastic night with the youth. Ironically, the Stake Patriarch came and gave a great presentation to our youth on patriarchal blessings.
Since last night I have pondered some more about this statement. You see, I am having somewhat of a hard time with something that happened recently. As you may remember a member of our ward passed away last week. About a week before this good sister passed away I heard from our Relief Society President that this sister was sick and in the hospital. She gave the information and I felt that I should at least call, if not visit them. Well, you know where this is going. Life got busy and before I had a chance to visit or call she had passed away. When I heard my heart dropped, for I had had a prompting and had not acted on it. I had missed my opportunity and now it as too late.
Not until last night and this morning as I pondered did I realize the connection between this all. As priesthood holders we must all be available to the Lord. He will use us, but we have to be available.
I had heard stories about President Monson following each and every prompting and this morning I went looking for them in my study. My heart was touched deeply as I read this story written by Elder Holland in the February 1986 Ensign: “President Thomas S. Monson: Man of Action, Man of Faith, Always "on the Lord's Errand"
Twenty-three-year-old Tom Monson, relatively new bishop of the Sixth-Seventh Ward in the Temple View Stake, was uncharacteristically restless as the stake priesthood leadership meeting progressed. He had the distinct impression that he should leave the meeting immediately and drive to the Veterans' Hospital high up on the Avenues of Salt Lake City. Before leaving home that night he had received a telephone call informing him that an older member of his ward was ill and had been admitted to the hospital for care. Could the bishop, the caller wondered, find a moment to go by the hospital sometime and give a blessing? The busy young leader explained that he was just on his way to a stake meeting but that he certainly would be pleased to go by the hospital as soon as the meeting was concluded.
Now the prompting was stronger than ever: "Leave the meeting and proceed to the hospital at once." But the stake president himself was speaking at the pulpit! It would be most discourteous to stand in the middle of the presiding officer's message, make one's way over an entire row of brethren, and then exit the building altogether. Painfully he waited out the final moments of the stake president's message, then bolted for the door even before the benediction had been pronounced.
Running the full length of the corridor on the fourth floor of the hospital, the young bishop saw a flurry of activity outside the designated room. A nurse stopped him and said, "Are you Bishop Monson?"
"Yes," was the anxious reply.
"I'm sorry," she said. "The patient was calling your name just before he passed away."
Fighting back the tears, Thomas S. Monson turned and walked back into the night. He vowed then and there that he would never again fail to act upon a prompting from the Lord. He would acknowledge the impressions of the Spirit when they came, and he would follow wherever they led him, ever to be "on the Lord's errand."
I feel like President Monson and want to make sure I am ready to follow the promptings of the Spirit at any time. I know that if I am, the Lord can guide me and direct me.
- Write down today in your journal some promptings of the Spirit so that you may learn to recognize them when they come
- Commit today to follow all promptings of the Spirit, when and wherever they come.
- The Holy Ghost will teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance, John 14:26
- I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do, 1 Ne. 4:6
- The voice of the Lord came into my mind, Enos 1:10
- It shall be given thee in the very moment what thou shalt speak or write, D&C 24:6 (D&C 84:85).