The Appropriateness of Blessings
Posted by Jon on February 22, 2008
Our two boys have been sick with the flu this week. Probably the reason I’ve been wondering how soon is too soon (if there is a “too” soon?) to give a blessing, especially for the so-called “little things” in life?
Don’t get me wrong, I love giving blessings. I love receiving blessings. I love seeing the faith of those who ask to receive blessings. I whole-heartily see blessings as a fundamental part of Mormonism and the Priesthood. But when does it go to far? Can it go to far? After all, the power of the Priesthood was given to us to use it for righteous reasons, or so I understand it.
Still, I find myself slow to react for the little things, such as a cough, a cold or a fever. My rationale is simple: If I bless my kids when something little and that we know we can cope with, where do I draw the line?
It’s funny because I never thought I’d actually be asking myself this question. On my mission I had no problem explaining the benefits of blessings to people, and even offered (the appropriate way… not solicitation) many blessings to investigators, members or less-active members. So it’s weird that I find myself asking this question.
Part of the reason this is even a question is that my children don’t know to ask. My oldest has an idea as I’ve given him a couple blessings, but my youngest, at under a year, certainly does not. As a child and throughout my life I’ve been taught that it is an act of faith to ask for a blessing. That said, I either wait to be asked or ask when I feel its needed. So with children the rules change somewhat since the onus is on the parent to ask, or act.
The simplest answer I’ve come up with is to act when I feel prompted. There is no other better way than to have the spirit direct you. The fact I was even thinking about it means I probably should have blessed him last night when the thought even entered my mind. Now that I’m feeling some clarity on the matter (and I appreciate you–the reader–letting me take you through my thought processes), I realize I got tripped up when I started thinking about what medicine to give him to bring the fever down. Or what we could do to his room to circulate more air and help him breath a little easier.
I remember hearing stories while on my mission about how amazing the miracles were that took place in certain parts of Africa. From what I was told, because the faithful LDS in many areas of Africa are without much of the modern medicine we take for granted, they rely on blessings much more than us Westerners do. Their faith in Gods power to heal is powerful and real.
In a sense, I was guilty of relying too much on “mans” assistance, as I believe many of us do, more than that of a loving Heavenly Father. For my kids sake, and mine for that matter, I hope this isn’t a mistake I’m caught repeating throughout my life.