(Reblogged from Dec 16, 2010)
I originally wanted to post this as a comment to the blog, The Liberal Agnostic “Patriarchal Blessings” but it was too long. Still, I thought it deserved to be told, so I’m posting it here. For those who don’t know what a “patriarchal blessing” is, visit that blog and read the description there.
I’ve had 3 patriarchal blessings! By that I mean I’ve had hands on my head 3 times for a Patriarchal Blessing.
So, I’m 18 at an East Coast University all alone and I’m trying to be a good boy so I attend church, and I decide it’s a good time to get my PB once and for all. On the designated evening I had to take a ferry to the patriarch’s house and he picked me up at the landing. Like most fortune tellers, he chatted me up during the drive back to his place. The actual blessing contained info based on what I had told him, but I liked it because he had said that I’d definitely succeed at what I was studying (if I was worthy and all that). I was studying acting on scholarship and this was a huge deal to me at the time.
So, immediately after that pretty lengthy blessing. The patriarch starts fumbling around and realizes he forgot to start the recording. Ooops! He sends me into the kitchen to snack on cookies with his wife while he regroups.
Finally, he pulls me into his home office for a second try with the recorder. This second blessing is significantly shorter than the first one and a few things were different. Primarily different was his statement regarding my career…he decides to supplement his earlier “you’ll succeed if you’re worthy” and adds, “but learn a second trade just in case.”
I walked away severely disappointed in the experience. And it was even worse when the printed version came! What I remember hearing as “you will be known for your dependability” was printed as “you will be known for your dependency.”
I’m serious! My PB actually says I’m going to be a well known dysfunctional slacker who has to depend on others!
I hated it and never read it. But I still think it screwed me up with my career goals.
Fast forward almost 20 years and my then-wife, who loved her PB, thought all my doubts were due to such a poor PB experience. She wondered if I couldn’t get another. I said I didn’t think it was possible.
My calling at the time was as the Ward Exec Secretary and I was pretty friendly with the bishop. He had a good sense of humor. So one day we were in his office with the door open shooting the breeze and I tell him about my PB experience. At the end of that experience guess who just happens to pop his head in to say hello. The Stake Patriarch. The bishop says to him, “You’ve got to hear this!” and so I tell the patriarch the same story. The patriarch says he’d give me another one if the bishop issued a recommend for one. So he does right then and we set an appointment.
On the day of this 3rd blessing, my wife comes along. This particular blessing ends up being not so much a blessing as a sermon. We both walked away thinking, “What was THAT?” Reading through it later just feels like reading the Ensign.
When I later bring up the comedy of having had 3 lame blessings my ex-wife insisted that it was in fact my 2nd blessing, the first printed one, that was inspired after all.
She couldn’t bring herself to admit that it was all a crock although it was all the more painfully obvious to me. After all, she’s able to rationalize the fact that her blessing and the blessing of a close high school friend of hers are almost identical (from the same patriarch)…there’s just barely enough that’s different in each to make her go “hmmmm…”
…anything but recognize something that should make her go “WTF?”
You know what they say, “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me”?
…Help me extend it and fill in the blank, “Fool me thrice, shame on _________”