Thursday, December 16, 2010

Patriarchal Blessings

So glad I'm not alone.

Then again, had I KNOWN I wasn't alone at the time, I might've gotten the fuck out a lot sooner. Then again, I wouldn't have met Eric.

I swear, it's all sorts of fucked up.

For those who may not know what a patriarchal blessing is, in each stake there is one or two generally old men who are "set apart" to be the Patriarch. One of these old dudes gives what is often referred to as a personal scripture to each worthy member of the church after an interview with their bishop who determines worthiness. I think new members have to wait at least a year. So this "blessing" tells you about who you were in the premortal existence, what lineage you can claim re: the 12 tribes of Israel, warnings to watch out for in the present time and what you can expect in the future. If, say, your blessing promises you a marriage to a worthy woman which results in many children and you--gasp--don't get it (also counts for going on a mission), it is rationalized that you will receive such things in the afterlife.

So lately I'm reading a lot of other people's accounts of how their patriarchal blessings began with a fairly long "interview" where the almighty patriarch (he who is endowed--teehee--with the ability of a psychic to know my past, present AND future) before the actual "blessing"

The entire time I'm speaking with this man I'm thinking "wtf, are you serious? this is very weird." I KNEW I was in effect giving this man the answers before the test. This feeling was verified during the actual blessing as I was told all the same shit I just told this guy. Nothing--nothing--was new to me.

I was so pissed for years after this. Just pissed. I was in tears. I wanted to tell somebody, but that's just not an option. It's supposed to be just for you, nobody else. You can give away a few things here and there in the correct setting, but never ever share the entire thing with anyone other than your parents and/or spouse.

I should post it. I should. Maybe another time. Oh wait, I did!

And I understand that this may be nit-picking and rather punctuation-crazy of me (although I understand I'm not perfect at this either), but I couldn't believe the errors once I received my printed copy. Shouldn't something of this importance be, you know, professionally transcribed?

Every time I read it I wanted to cry. It just made me so angry. Once I married Eric I was happy to show him and confess, finally, that I hated it. I hated it more once I read his. He loved mine, though, and I could never figure out why. I loved his. I don't remember why. It just seemed better in a lot of ways.

I felt robbed. Any asshole can ask a few choice questions and them "predict" shit. Also, when all else fails just say this person is of the tribe of Ephraim and make some shit up when that person's other family member is of the tribe of, say, Benjamin (it's supposed to be a blood thing--if you're Jewish you'll be assigned to the Judah--I think. Correction?)

It's fucking ridiculous.

Now that I've posted it, you can see it at My Patriarchal Blessing


  1. In my daugher's recent blessing, one thing the patriarch said to us was that "these things won't always be achieved in this life".. and "of course the blessings are granted only if you're worthy". So doesn't that just leave things WIDE open for interpretation? If you're blessed with a husband and kids, and you don't get the husband and kids in this life... blah blah blah. So ridiculous. And they FALL for it everytime. Hell, I did too :(

  2. I was also annoyed that mine had grammatical errors in the transcription. In fact, I specifically recall there being 1 sentence fragment. It irritates me every time I read it. I get to the paragraph before, know its coming, and start to grumble.

    That said... I loved my PB. I don't know why. Even after knowing that it isn't anything more than guess-work, I *still* love parts of it. Specifically, I love the sections that talk about my relationship with my Heavenly Mother, and says that I was sent to earth to learn academic knowledge and skills.

    Of course, I consider the section on me marrying a man who will introduce me to the "patriarchal order of things" to be harmful horseshit. And here is some delicious irony - there are two paragraphs about how what I wanted more than anything else in the pre-mortal existence was to have babies and be a mom, and that I will have loads of kids. I partially blames those sections for my having kids early and leaving the Church.

    Net neutral?

  3. I never got mine done. I wanted to, many, many times. But it was because back then, I hoped it had the answers I didn't. I thought it might tell me I was something important. You know, like from one of the lost tribes or some shit. Then I would be SOMEBODY.

    Talk about wrong reasons, I suppose. I don't miss it now, beyond morbid curiosity.

  4. I don't remember a damn thing about getting mine other than being extremely underwhelmed by it--all the usual garbage: good Mormon husband, kids, faithful, etc. ad nauseum (literally).

    I lost the transcript in some move. When I told my mother, at last, that I was no longer LDS, the first thing she asked me was if I'd read the stupid thing recently. NOPE!

  5. It sounds like these "patriarchs" are doing cold readings on their followers.

  6. I tried to post my own comical patriarchal blessing experience here but I think it was too long for the comment section because it wouldn't go through. So, I posted it as my own blog post on my own site.

    I've had 3 patriarchal blessings!

  7. d'oh, i should read yr post first. reading!

  8. I didn't get mine until I was almost 18. I didn't think I was "worthy" for the longest time. I took things way too seriously. At the time I felt guilty for thinking it but I thought the same thing: he just worked everything I just told him into the blessing, is this even real? A few days later he called me and said, Um, I forgot to do your lineage. Could you come back here so we can finish this?

  9. I thought it was funny that our Patriarch was the brother inlaw to the Stake Pres. I equate it to something like the cable show Pawn Stars, where the fat dumbshit son gets his ten minutes of fame only because he's related. Like I (or anyone) can see some cosmic vision and know who the hell you are, or what you'll become. meh!

  10. ...they sound like fortune-tellers, which, I thought, were supposed to be spawn of Satan.

  11. Do it, post it. I'll see if I can dig mine out as well. Oh, and my "secret" name is Rachel. I named my youngest daughter, whose father was an high priest who never got any punishment for his part in her conception because he wasn't pregnant--I swear to Bob that's true--my temple name just to piss everyone off that I could.

    What annoyed me about my "secret" name was that EVERY woman each day gets the same name. Well that and the fact that your husband knows yours but you can't know his and if you haven't lived up to his expectations he can dump you in heaven.

  12. I hated my blessing too. It was so generic. Nothing in it felt like me. Maybe could start an archive of blessings...

  13. Jenn: True enough, but your logic would unfortunately not compute with these masters of mental gymnastics.

    Gwenny/Kiley: We should all post ours; I'm pretty sure I know where mine is. That would be hilarious. Then we could sign it using our super-sekrit names.

  14. I don't know why, but this reminds me of how at least half the people who have done their genealogy have discovered they descend from Charlemagne, that horny sot.

    Now I wish I were a Mormon. Way more fun. The patriarch would have to shake his head and say, "horse thieves in the past, horse thieves in the future--where's my wallet?"

  15. Murr: bahahaha, sad how right you are re: Charlemagne. Just the other day a girl on my FB mentioned she was related to Bloody Mary. Now she may or may not be, but your comment immediately came to mind.

    Everyone wants to be related to someone famous. I think it'd be awesome to be related to Bloody Mary (but I'm on a Tudor kick at the moment). Apparently, according to a distant family member with suspect genealogical skillz, I'm related to a famous Native American. Can't remember who now, though. Too bad.


  16. My coworkers daughter just went to support a friend when she got her patriarchal blessing. Afterwards the daughter was really depressed. When asked about her depression she revealed that she was a little confused because her friend received the exact same blessing she had received several months earlier. Literally, word for word, they were exactly the same. Talk about tough for a young girl to handle. Wonder what the bishop says when asked about that...especially after emphasizing how each blessing is a unique road map for each individual...