Saturday, July 4, 2009

November 18th, 2007

Dear Journal,

Today I received my Patriarchal Blessing. It seemed to be over far too soon, and I now must wait months to read it again. I felt the spirit so strongly. I pray that I will be able to hold on to the memories of exactly how I felt while receiving that blessing.

We chatted briefly before he started and I looked around [The Patriarch's] beautiful home, his wife, saw his children who have gone on missions and been married in the temple. I thought about how blessed this man was to receive such blessings. How God blesses them that follow him!

When he placed his hands on my head, they trembled as he waited for the inspiration and guidance from God to come down.

I began tearing up and holding back my sobbing throughout the entire blessing. I heard GOD talking through Patriarch Williams. The spirit FILLED me so greatly I felt the tears dripping off my cheeks and onto my shirt.

During the blessing, it was revealed that I am of the Lineage of Ephraim. I’m interested in learning now what that means for me.

One of the things he spoke of the almost made me burst into sobs was when I was told that one day I would go to the temple with a woman and be sealed to her—and eventually return to heaven as a family unit.

As I have been struggling, begging and pleading for relief from my homosexual feelings, I’ve always worried I would be alone forever, and that I’ll never overcome my tendencies. But I know that if I live the commandments and exalt God, I WILL have a family and a spouse—and we will return to heaven as a sealed family unit.

Another element that stuck out was that I was told that I had had many experiences that brought me joy, and many that brought sorrow and tears to my eyes—but that all these experiences were preparing me to be able to help others find the way to Christ and the gospel. It’s not good to speculate, but perhaps my struggle with homosexuality is preparing me to eventually help others who feel just as sad and desperate and alone as I have felt. But hopefully I will not have suffered in vain. I am grateful for the experience and the things that have made me who I am.

I was told that (paraphrased) “through my job I would have interactions with powerful controllers of the country” and that my example could/would help the church reach places that it cannot reach.

What job could that be I wonder. I can’t imagine and editor helping advance the church.

It was also revealed to me that one of my spiritual gifts is that of discernment. I am able to discern the needs of others and help them—I was admonished to use this talent to help others and not for selfish gain.

I was also admonished to go on a mission and be a missionary always. If I live worthily, I will be made a great spokesperson for the gospel.

As I reflect on this day, I am so concerned—the spirit faded so fast once the blessing was over, I didn’t want it to end. How can I receive that sort of spiritual high all the time? I crave it. I feel close to the Lord. First you must make the steps you’ve known all along. Read your scriptures, pray always and magnify your callings. Avoid sins like pornography and lustful thoughts and actions. Then you can receive the Melchezadic Priesthood and attend the temple.

That reminds me, I’m pretty sure that at one point in the blessing, I was told by God that I was in doubt of myself as a true son of God and that it was okay, as that’s part of my growth and the stage I’m at right now. However, I was counseled that I would receive the Melchezadic Priesthood and when I do, all doubt would be removed about my divine nature.

Since I am such a mortal, there have been times since I received the blessing that I’ve thought—“well, that sounds like a pretty generic outline for a standard Mormon life—maybe he says most of that stuff to everyone.” But then again, God knows the best path to happiness and immortality is the straight and narrow, so why should I be any different? Honestly, I don’t know what I expected in my blessing—I’d almost like to compare it with others to see how many people have very direct and specific mentions of eternal marriage. Mainly because that sticks out to me the most out of anything in the blessing. Probably because it speaks directly to my pleading for escape from these feelings of SSA. (Same-sex-attraction) I wish I could re-read the whole thing again, as it is so dense and packed with information for me from God!!!

I’m exhausted and spiritually I am uplifted. It’s been a fulfilling day and I’m sad it is coming to an end. However, the process I am in is an amazing one, and I am hoping to continue and become a good and faithful servant who is fortunate to come to earth at this time of opportunity.


  1. Ezra, it's so completely insane to go back and reread blessing you've received isn't it? For all my college years I got blessings that spoke of my temple marriage, again and again, telling me to strive for it and live worthy of it...which I did, to the best of my ability.

    but now, well, it's just never going to happen.

    So what do you do with that information?

    I don't know.

  2. Hey Ezra,
    My own PB has similar elements, including a mission and marriage to a woman. I'm curious, what did you think of those parts as you began to realize you really were gay? How much did your PB factor into later decisions about the Church?

  3. @Frank -- I knew I was gay before I got my blessing--I mean, I knew knew it. I had confessed to my bishop, the same one who approved me to receive said blessing. You'll also notice that it was less than one year after I received my blessing (Nov 18) to the last time I went to church (Mid-Sept.) Only 10 months later... pretty spectacular to think that things could change that quickly. It factored into my decision about leaving the church very little--though I'm curious to know if it was true what was ment by the prophecy about my name being spoken with reverence...

  4. About 9-10 years ago a few friends allowed me to read their Patriarchal blessing. What struck me right off was the sameness of all of them.

    It was almost like reading a form letter with a few words changed as they were all in the voice of the particular patriarch. We all had them from completely different patriarchs in different states.

    But they all covered the same things. We were all from the linage of Ephraim, honour and influence in our career for men, honour and influence in the home for women, temple marriage, gift of discernment, bringing honour to your family name etc.

    Very little of it was personal and even so, the personal stuff were things the patriarch learned about us during our interviews and such. I was testing my faith at the time, when I was getting mine at age 20 so I purposely didn't divulge any personal details even after much cajoling from the patriarch. I believe mine was the most generic out of all the ones I read. There was nothing at all specific about anything in my life.

    So, your thought at the time about generic stuff said to all was spot on.