The first blessing I ever gave was as a new “green bean” Elder in Okinawa, Japan. My companion had gone into a grand mal seizure and I had to do something. I had NO IDEA how to do a blessing! I said a prayer and asked the Lord to help me. I put my hands on his head and said something pretty basic and the moment I told him to “be healed” I felt a rush of power come through the top of my head, through my body and out my hands to my companion. His seizure stopped instantly and he fell asleep. I’m sure the blessing was not in compliance with what the Church says as the proper way, so why was it so effective?
Over the years I’ve learned more about giving blessings and have gained much faith in their power. I’ve wondered why members of the Church seem to have certain ideas about blessings. Most people never think to ask for a blessing unless their Bishop offers one. Some even think it’s inappropriate to ask for a blessing unless they’re on their deathbed. Most blessings are given when someone is set apart for a calling or a confirmation. I’ve heard many standard blessings and they tend to be quite “safe” as if the one giving the blessing is afraid to go too far. At the back end of the blessings you might hear, “And I bless you with all other blessings the Lord has in store for you.” That’s a good way to say nothing.
DO YOU HAVE TO BE A SUPERSTAR TO GIVE A BLESSING?
I learned a great lesson over the years as I’ve watched my Dad give blessings. My Dad is a retired football coach. He is a good man, but not overly spiritual. He would always start by giving me his council and then the blessing would tell me the exact opposite. He would then say, “I am never giving you a blessing again!” (Of course he always does.) The part that has been amazing to me is that he would give me very specific promises that would always come true in a miraculous fashion. I would suggest reading this post on the “Law of the Last Second:” https://purerevelations.wordpress.com/2014/12/01/law-of-the-last-second/
I have learned that a blessing can be powerful, whether or not the giver is well learned or spiritually minded, as long as they allow the Lord to speak through them. A child could give a blessing if they had permission of the Lord and enough faith.
TAKING THE LORD’S NAME IN VAIN
We are taught in the Church that one must have the Melchizedek Priesthood to give a blessing. If we really had the full priesthood we would be doing some pretty miraculous things like Moses, Enoch, Elijah and Jesus of Nazareth. The Lord Himself can only give that priesthood. What we have is the Aaronic, “administrative” priesthood. Our “Melchizedek,” as we call it, is simply an extension of the keys our Church authorities choose to give us. No person, even the President of the Church, has a right to give a blessing, in the name of the Lord, without His permission. To give a blessing, which is not by the power of the Holy Ghost is to take the Lord’s name in vain. I’m afraid this happens quite regularly in our Church. To give a blessing with power, one must first be given permission.
WHAT IS THE FIRST STEP?
Whenever I am about to give a blessing I try to find a private place to pray and ask the Lord what he would like me to do. I usually acknowledge to Him my reliance on His help as I seek revelation for the blessing. I express to the Lord my desire to help this person, that I can only do this if He shares with me His light and love in their behalf. (I pretty much beg for His help.) I ask for permission to speak His words. I ask if they will be healed. I ask if I should do anything particularly different. When I get the answers, I am ready. I pray to the Lord using the pattern on the post, “Four Steps to Powerful Prayer.”https://purerevelations.wordpress.com/2014/12/01/four-steps-to-powerful-prayer/
WHAT SHOULD A BLESSING FEEL LIKE?
When we give a priesthood blessing, the Lord pours His Spirit upon the one offering the blessing (if they have faith and permission) and the recipient of the blessing (if they have faith) to seal the words of the blessing. The same blue light I talked about in the post on Powerful Prayer permeates those partaking in the blessing. If it is a healing blessing, the giver and receiver may feel that rush of the Lord’s power as the blessing takes place. I don’t always feel that, but when I do, it is unmistakable. Usually what we feel is a peaceful mild feeling that is typical of the Spirit of the Lord. We may feel the love of our Father in Heaven and the comfort of the Spirit as the blessing takes effect. It is good to have someone offer a regular prayer with those present before the blessing to help the recipient to have the Spirit with them and any who would be present.
THE VISIBLE PART OF A BLESSING
There are many signs we use during the blessing to inspire faith. I usually will use consecrated oil if I have some handy. It is a sign that the Holy Ghost will seal the blessing. The Lord, during His ministry, would seal his own blessings using spit or clay or having them wash in water. It can be anything the Spirit leads you to do. You could take a wet paper towel and wipe someone’s forehead and it would accomplish the same thing. The act of placing one’s hands upon the head of the recipient is another sign that the giver is bringing the blessing from God to the receiver. The hands can be placed anywhere on the body as you feel inspired. A blessing can be given without touching at all, if so directed. Sometimes the Spirit may direct you to whisper the blessing and sometimes to speak loudly. Having others participate in the circle is appropriate for confirmations where Aaronic keys are bestowed, but only a courtesy when doing other blessings. It will not add any special power unless the person offering the blessing (without faith) is blocking the blessing and the power is sent through the faithful person (who is not speaking) to the recipient of the blessing.
GIVING THE BLESSING
I begin the blessing: “Person’s name, having been given authority of Jesus Christ . . .” I end the blessing like a normal prayer. Don’t worry about fancy words. Speak to the level of the person you are offering the blessing. The challenge is to tap into the Spirit and say what the Lord wants you to say. For me, the words come in blocks or phrases. As the Spirit guides, you receive pure intelligence, it comes to your mind and you have to translate it into the words you are familiar with. Sometimes it is difficult to find the right word for the thought and sometimes they will flow so quickly you need to slow down. Take your time. You may find certain thoughts come to you and you may feel reluctant to say them. If they keep returning, you darn well better say them. As you are offering the blessing, focus on how you “feel.” If your heart and mind are even and calm, and if there is a loving resonance covering your emotions, and if you feel that your thoughts are above your own—you are receiving the blessing from the Spirit. Don’t be afraid or doubt. The Lord has your back.
OBSTACLES TO GIVING A BLESSING
Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, our blessing falls flat. What would cause that? Many years ago I was asked to give a blessing to my sister in law. Half way through the blessing the Spirit stopped and I could hardly speak. I thought there was something wrong with me and quickly wrapped up the blessing. I talked with her and she admitted that half way through the blessing she doubted the blessing. She expressed her lack of faith when it came to blessings and the Spirit was offended. This has taught me that the blessing is really between the Lord and the recipient. Their personal faith will determine whether the blessing is a success. I like the way God’s servants will ask the person whether they have faith to be healed before they start the blessing. It may make all the difference.
AFTER THE BLESSING
When the blessing is over I often feel like I’ve just taken a final exam and my head is swimming; it can drain you emotionally and physically. If I feel impressed, I will add some words about the blessing to help the person, perhaps to clarify something. Often I can’t even remember half of what I said, but I suggest they write down as much about the blessing as they can and pray about it to receive more personal revelation. Sometimes when I give a blessing it says for them to ask in prayer and the answers will be given. The Lord usually does not want the blessing to become a crutch for the proper way to receive personal revelation, but the Lord is merciful.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I GIVE BLESSINGS?
I grew up believing like most that blessings were reserved for special occasions or dire circumstances. I would feel a sense of panic when I was called upon to do one. “What if I screw up? What if I say something that doesn’t come true? What if I . . . what if I . . .?” I’ve leaned that it is never about me. My wife has helped me to learn this lesson. I have been taught to NEVER feel hesitation to give a blessing. To offer blessings whenever the Spirit tells me to do so. Not only is it a gift to those who receive, but also a mighty gift to those giving. The more blessings you give, the more the Lord teaches you the process and it will bless you and your family immensely. Never hesitate to give a blessing because you feel too tired or sick. The Lord will back you up if your heart is right. Those are sometimes the greatest blessings offered.
SHOULD I NOT GIVE A BLESSING?
Never judge whether a person is worthy to have a blessing. Don’t think to yourself, “Oh, they’ve already had one. They brought this on themselves. They just want to hear what they want to hear. They should go ask their home teacher, not me.” Don’t judge them or think you know, because the blessing will often surprise you. One of my most surprising blessings came when my wife asked me to give her a blessing when she was pregnant. She wanted to know which sex the baby would be. I started the blessing, excited to know myself, and then it simply said, “There are some things you just are not supposed to know.” My wife and I like to laugh about that one to this day.
There is a lot to consider on this topic and I could go on, but the main thing to remember is that all that is required to offer a blessing is an abundance of the Spirit of Revelation. The Lord allows His servants to speak for Him when they are given permission. This permission is what constitutes the Priesthood and by this power all things are possible.