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Vellichor

Confused by revelation

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1 hour ago, Vellichor said:

Yes, I have done this and thought at the time that I received confirmation of these promises.

Ok.  Is the only reason you are doubting now because the promises haven't come to fruition yet or are there also other reason you are doubting?  (not trying to debate with you, just trying to figure out where you are coming from :) )

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1 hour ago, bluebell said:

Ok.  Is the only reason you are doubting now because the promises haven't come to fruition yet or are there also other reason you are doubting?  (not trying to debate with you, just trying to figure out where you are coming from :) )

The reason I am doubting personal revelation and priesthood blessings? Yes, as I mentioned in my original post, these promises have been given since I was 17, and nothing has come to fruition. I know God's timetable is not ours, but as long as we're living in mortality, timing does matter. After all, I'm not going to have kids now. And as I also wrote in my post, I know I could get married at age 70, and God could then say, "See, I always keep my promises." But I haven't yearned for a wedding at the end of my life. I just want someone to go through life with.

It's weird to me that my strongest spiritual experiences have had to do with the possibility of marriage, which is pretty important in our church, after all. And half of my PB is about my life with my awesome, nonexistent family. And then God seems to be entirely hands-off as far as my dating life is concerned. 

And to be honest, I hate talking about this, because we singles have a reputation for whining a lot. I'm really not a whiner, and I recognize that I have a pretty great life. There's just not a place to take grief and spiritual confusion like this. We singles are often told, essentially, "Family life is the best, but if you don't have that, too bad; God always keeps HIs promises and it will all work out in the next life," which is another way of saying, "It will all be great when you're dead." 

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43 minutes ago, Vellichor said:

hate talking about this,

Talking can often help ease the intensity of feelings, so not a bad thing.  As long as we don't make it into a habit and we choose a venue that doesn't create burdens for others unnecessarily, I don't think we should feel bad about speaking up about things we are unhappy about.

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1 hour ago, Vellichor said:

The reason I am doubting personal revelation and priesthood blessings? Yes, as I mentioned in my original post, these promises have been given since I was 17, and nothing has come to fruition. I know God's timetable is not ours, but as long as we're living in mortality, timing does matter. After all, I'm not going to have kids now. And as I also wrote in my post, I know I could get married at age 70, and God could then say, "See, I always keep my promises." But I haven't yearned for a wedding at the end of my life. I just want someone to go through life with.

It's weird to me that my strongest spiritual experiences have had to do with the possibility of marriage, which is pretty important in our church, after all. And half of my PB is about my life with my awesome, nonexistent family. And then God seems to be entirely hands-off as far as my dating life is concerned. 

And to be honest, I hate talking about this, because we singles have a reputation for whining a lot. I'm really not a whiner, and I recognize that I have a pretty great life. There's just not a place to take grief and spiritual confusion like this. We singles are often told, essentially, "Family life is the best, but if you don't have that, too bad; God always keeps HIs promises and it will all work out in the next life," which is another way of saying, "It will all be great when you're dead." 

if I could i'd like all your posts, as I can relate

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5 hours ago, Vellichor said:

The reason I am doubting personal revelation and priesthood blessings? Yes, as I mentioned in my original post, these promises have been given since I was 17, and nothing has come to fruition. I know God's timetable is not ours, but as long as we're living in mortality, timing does matter. After all, I'm not going to have kids now. And as I also wrote in my post, I know I could get married at age 70, and God could then say, "See, I always keep my promises." But I haven't yearned for a wedding at the end of my life. I just want someone to go through life with.

It's weird to me that my strongest spiritual experiences have had to do with the possibility of marriage, which is pretty important in our church, after all. And half of my PB is about my life with my awesome, nonexistent family. And then God seems to be entirely hands-off as far as my dating life is concerned. 

And to be honest, I hate talking about this, because we singles have a reputation for whining a lot. I'm really not a whiner, and I recognize that I have a pretty great life. There's just not a place to take grief and spiritual confusion like this. We singles are often told, essentially, "Family life is the best, but if you don't have that, too bad; God always keeps HIs promises and it will all work out in the next life," which is another way of saying, "It will all be great when you're dead." 

Which leads to the obvious question: “Can I just go ahead and die then?” ;) 

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8 hours ago, Vellichor said:

I now hold personal revelation and promises in priesthood blessings very lightly. I still pray and try to step forward in faith, but I have been so wrong in the past that it's difficult to trust I am ever receiving real guidance.  

I was once waiting to get set apart when the member before me was set apart by a brand new to our community and bishop's counselor.  In that blessing she was told that if she did the calling with diligence her non-member dh would join the church.   I was stunned.   I knew that her dh had been very much against the church for some 15 years and regularly interfered with his wife's worship.   About five years later, I just happened to sit next to this woman when I hadn't ever done so before.   I asked her about what she'd thought then.   She had no memory of anything like that from the blessing --- not at the time, not since.  And on that very day, she'd been planning to ask to be released from the calling.  (Changing her mind when I told her what she'd been promised.)   Three years later her dh was baptized on his own, without even telling her he was taking the lessons, which was completely stunning to all who knew them.

Sometimes blessings are inspired.   And sometimes mortals are inspired to do things in furtherance of those intended blessings.

But I know that those who give blessings often have trouble understanding what the Lord is prompting them to say.    I try to listen to blessings (which I seek infrequently from the priesthood because I'm pretty sure God hears my prayers directly and responds with no less authority to me) with my full heart of trying to hear the inspiration, not generally the mortal words.

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21 hours ago, rpn said:

I was once waiting to get set apart when the member before me was set apart by a brand new to our community and bishop's counselor.  In that blessing she was told that if she did the calling with diligence her non-member dh would join the church.   I was stunned.   I knew that her dh had been very much against the church for some 15 years and regularly interfered with his wife's worship.   About five years later, I just happened to sit next to this woman when I hadn't ever done so before.   I asked her about what she'd thought then.   She had no memory of anything like that from the blessing --- not at the time, not since.  And on that very day, she'd been planning to ask to be released from the calling.  (Changing her mind when I told her what she'd been promised.)   Three years later her dh was baptized on his own, without even telling her he was taking the lessons, which was completely stunning to all who knew them.

Sometimes blessings are inspired.   And sometimes mortals are inspired to do things in furtherance of those intended blessings.

But I know that those who give blessings often have trouble understanding what the Lord is prompting them to say.    I try to listen to blessings (which I seek infrequently from the priesthood because I'm pretty sure God hears my prayers directly and responds with no less authority to me) with my full heart of trying to hear the inspiration, not generally the mortal words.

I do like hearing stories of priesthood blessings that were fulfilled. It gives me hope that there is something to priesthood power. But in my case, I tried to do my part, and nothing happened. Frankly, I would have been better off if I hadn't received my PB and other blessings at all. Being single is difficult, but lots of things are difficult. Feeling spiritual betrayal is ... well, that's a different brand of pain. I don't know what to do with it. I continue to be a faithful member and focus on other things, for the most part, because I do have a good life. I am blessed in many ways. And I value my faith; it's a hugely important part of my identity. But this spiritual confusion is tough. 

And I thought I did hear the inspiration behind "You will get married." Hard to hear some other message behind those words. 

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On 1/1/2019 at 3:14 PM, Vellichor said:

The reason I am doubting personal revelation and priesthood blessings? Yes, as I mentioned in my original post, these promises have been given since I was 17, and nothing has come to fruition. I know God's timetable is not ours, but as long as we're living in mortality, timing does matter. After all, I'm not going to have kids now. And as I also wrote in my post, I know I could get married at age 70, and God could then say, "See, I always keep my promises." But I haven't yearned for a wedding at the end of my life. I just want someone to go through life with.

It's weird to me that my strongest spiritual experiences have had to do with the possibility of marriage, which is pretty important in our church, after all. And half of my PB is about my life with my awesome, nonexistent family. And then God seems to be entirely hands-off as far as my dating life is concerned. 

And to be honest, I hate talking about this, because we singles have a reputation for whining a lot. I'm really not a whiner, and I recognize that I have a pretty great life. There's just not a place to take grief and spiritual confusion like this. We singles are often told, essentially, "Family life is the best, but if you don't have that, too bad; God always keeps HIs promises and it will all work out in the next life," which is another way of saying, "It will all be great when you're dead." 

I think your questions and concerns are reasonable.  I think there are many who are asked to wait until they are dead before everything will be great, but that doesn't make it much easier.  I have no idea why some are given so much in life and others have to wait to receive the same blessings after death.  Sometimes it is very hard not to lose faith.

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7 hours ago, bluebell said:

I think your questions and concerns are reasonable.  I think there are many who are asked to wait until they are dead before everything will be great, but that doesn't make it much easier.  I have no idea why some are given so much in life and others have to wait to receive the same blessings after death.  Sometimes it is very hard not to lose faith.

I actually think most (okay, all) people have to wait until they're dead for everything to be great. I don't think the point of mortality is to have a great, easy life or to have every righteous desire satisfied. We're here to learn, and we seem to learn the most when things are difficult. But--I DO expect God to fulfill His promises. This just doesn't make sense, and I have no clue what I'm supposed to learn from it. What I HAVE learned is to be quite wary of God, and I don't like that at all. What's the point of such a lesson?

I guess this is just one of those questions for which there isn't an answer.

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On 1/1/2019 at 12:06 PM, Vellichor said:

I think that is probably the best approach--although it makes me wonder what the point of patriarchal blessings is. (I've been wondering that anyway.) Also, I'm not one to get a lot of here-and-now promptings; at least, not that I recognize as spiritual promptings. We talk so much about personal revelation in the Church, but it is tough when not all of us have the same gifts.

You are right that we do not all have the same spiritual gifts and we're all individuals.  May I suggest focusing on the spiritual gifts you yourself have and the way God speaks to you the best (which is different than how he speaks to other folks).  

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On 1/1/2019 at 7:06 PM, Vellichor said:

I think that is probably the best approach--although it makes me wonder what the point of patriarchal blessings is. (I've been wondering that anyway.) Also, I'm not one to get a lot of here-and-now promptings; at least, not that I recognize as spiritual promptings. We talk so much about personal revelation in the Church, but it is tough when not all of us have the same gifts.

I consider myself fairly "tuned in" to the Lord, but I wouldn't say that I get a lot of "here-and-now promptings" either.  But I ask: how often are we supposed to get them?  I'd say that we get them according to need, and according to how well we respond to them (if you make a habit of ignoring promptings you will probably stop getting them).  And they may frequently feel like just a thought that pops into our minds out of the blue, or in response to a question or some other thought. And we may not recognize the source.  And they may not happen all that often.  The thing is, we are supposed to act upon our sense of right and wrong, and senses such as compassion and love.  We shouldn't need to be prompted into things -- we should "be there" and not commanded in all things -- but sometimes we will be prompted.

Several years ago I was just crawling into bed when the thought occurred to me that I should go out to the car (parked on the street) and remove a certain high-value item from it.  I decided not to bother.  The next morning I woke up to find the car stolen (the only time this has ever happened to me) and when it was recovered, of course the item was gone.  It was never recovered.  The impression to go get the item was clear, but it didn't feel like the Spirit prompting me -- but I'm darned certain (now) that it was.  I had left that item in the car many times before that night -- and perhaps that's why I ignored the prompting when it came.

There were some things that were said in my PB that have not happened as I might have expected -- but I am certain that my own choices led to those things being unfulfilled.  I would prefer not to get into details, but in the case of one particular gift that my PB says I have been given, I never took the obvious steps that would have led to the magnifying of that gift. And the magnification of that gift would have led to the fulfillment another promise in my PB -- but because I failed to do due diligence on the one (an obvious prerequisite if you read the PB), the other has gone by the board.  It took me a long time to realize what happened, but I did realize it in the end.  And by the way, the gift spoken of was real.  I didn't know I had it until getting the PB.  I still have the gift, by the way, but due to being 67 years old now (and it wasn't until recently that it finally hit me how I had let things slip), my scope for magnifying and using that gift as the Lord intended is now greatly limited.  As Rabindranath Tagore once said, "The song I have come to sing has gone unsung; I have spent my life stringing and unstringing my instrument."  

I am not trying to tell you that it's your fault that your PB and other blessings have gone largely unfulfilled.  As others have suggested, it may have been the failure of others that caused the non-fulfillment.  My advice to you is: don't give up.  If you seek righteous fulfillment, but despite your best efforts the fulfillment eludes you, don't worry.  The Lord will make up for it.  No blessing that you deserve will be withheld in the end.  In this life or the next.  If in the next, it will still be glorious.

A woman I met on my mission (this was back in 1973) had never been married.  Her fiancée had been killed in WW1 and she chose to remain married to him in her heart if she couldn't be married to him in this life.  She worked as a nurse all her days, and kept herself very close to the Lord.  It wasn't until she was in her late 70's that she found the church, but she was baptized and remained a faithful member to the end.  She was quite an amazing sister.  Her health had not permitted her to travel to receive her temple blessings, but she was encouraged by the fact that the Lord would not withhold from her the blessings that she was entitled to, and expected that in the end she would be sealed to her true love for eternity. If he has accepted the Gospel in the spirit world, then I expect that it will be so.  But what if he hasn't?  Will she then suffer?  I am sure she will not.

Mormon 8:22 - For the eternal purposes of the Lord shall roll on, until all his promises shall be fulfilled.

AN IMPORTANT POINT IS THIS: PATRIARCHAL BLESSINGS ARE NOT FORTUNE TELLING, and all blessings are predicated upon obedience

Edited by Stargazer

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14 hours ago, Vellichor said:

I actually think most (okay, all) people have to wait until they're dead for everything to be great. I don't think the point of mortality is to have a great, easy life or to have every righteous desire satisfied. We're here to learn, and we seem to learn the most when things are difficult. But--I DO expect God to fulfill His promises. This just doesn't make sense, and I have no clue what I'm supposed to learn from it. What I HAVE learned is to be quite wary of God, and I don't like that at all. What's the point of such a lesson?

I guess this is just one of those questions for which there isn't an answer.

I think you're probably right.  When it comes to issues of accepting (and trusting) not only in God's promises but also in His timing, there is no good answer for why the timing isn't what we believed it would be sometimes.  I think that having patience with God's timing is one of the things that I personally struggle with most often.

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8 hours ago, Stargazer said:

There were some things that were said in my PB that have not happened as I might have expected -- but I am certain that my own choices led to those things being unfulfilled.  I would prefer not to get into details, but in the case of one particular gift that my PB says I have been given, I never took the obvious steps that would have led to the magnifying of that gift. And the magnification of that gift would have led to the fulfillment another promise in my PB -- but because I failed to do due diligence on the one (an obvious prerequisite if you read the PB), the other has gone by the board.  It took me a long time to realize what happened, but I did realize it in the end.  And by the way, the gift spoken of was real.  I didn't know I had it until getting the PB.  I still have the gift, by the way, but due to being 67 years old now (and it wasn't until recently that it finally hit me how I had let things slip), my scope for magnifying and using that gift as the Lord intended is now greatly limited.  As Rabindranath Tagore once said, "The song I have come to sing has gone unsung; I have spent my life stringing and unstringing my instrument."  

I am not trying to tell you that it's your fault that your PB and other blessings have gone largely unfulfilled.  As others have suggested, it may have been the failure of others that caused the non-fulfillment.  My advice to you is: don't give up.  If you seek righteous fulfillment, but despite your best efforts the fulfillment eludes you, don't worry.  The Lord will make up for it.  No blessing that you deserve will be withheld in the end.  In this life or the next.  If in the next, it will still be glorious.

A woman I met on my mission (this was back in 1973) had never been married.  Her fiancée had been killed in WW1 and she chose to remain married to him in her heart if she couldn't be married to him in this life.  She worked as a nurse all her days, and kept herself very close to the Lord.  It wasn't until she was in her late 70's that she found the church, but she was baptized and remained a faithful member to the end.  She was quite an amazing sister.  Her health had not permitted her to travel to receive her temple blessings, but she was encouraged by the fact that the Lord would not withhold from her the blessings that she was entitled to, and expected that in the end she would be sealed to her true love for eternity. If he has accepted the Gospel in the spirit world, then I expect that it will be so.  But what if he hasn't?  Will she then suffer?  I am sure she will not.

Mormon 8:22 - For the eternal purposes of the Lord shall roll on, until all his promises shall be fulfilled.

AN IMPORTANT POINT IS THIS: PATRIARCHAL BLESSINGS ARE NOT FORTUNE TELLING, and all blessings are predicated upon obedience

Stargazer, I appreciate your thoughts. Every person who has been given promises that haven't been fulfilled has to consider the possibility he/she has done something (or not done something) that resulted in the forfeiture of those blessings. Certainly that can be the case sometimes. I worried about that years ago. I try to be a good person, but I'm far from perfect. Sometimes I'm grumpy, I'm not as good of a neighbor as I should be, I say mild swear words once in a while. Maybe I was being punished for those things, or another of my many shortcomings. Who's to say? And while I've tried to do my part in finding a marriage partner, and I've dated a fair amount over the years, there's always something more I could have done. Maybe I could have forced myself to stay in the singles ward one more year, or made myself go to more singles activities, even though I was already pushing myself outside my comfort zone. I'm a fairly reserved person--maybe if I had been more outgoing (in other words, less like myself), it would have happened. 

I eventually realized how unproductive and fruitless that kind of thinking was. And I don't think God messes with us that way. So I'm back to wondering if perhaps these promises and blessings and experiences with inspiration were man-made, but then how do I trust seemingly clear revelation regarding other things? Back to my original quandary.

As I've mentioned, I simply cannot accept the idea that the promises given to me from multiple sources were contingent upon somebody else's choices, and that particular guy blew it. I don't think God's plans for us are that precarious.

I am grateful for the knowledge we have that all blessings we deserve will be fulfilled in the next life. But the fact is--we singles hear this all the time, and for the vast majority of us, this isn't a helpful or particularly comforting answer. The woman in your story found that it was enough for her. But for most of us, it feels like an easy answer that doesn't acknowledge how complex and difficult this situation can be. Yes, the next life will be glorious. But if we thought about that too much, we'd just want to get there sooner. And we need to figure out how to live life now--always keeping in mind our eternal future, without pining away for it. We don't get a lot of help or guidance in doing that, when we so often hear that family life is the point of our existence.

Anyway, I do appreciate your thoughts. And I agree with what you said about not needing to be prompted in all things, and making sure we do try to act on promptings when we receive them.

 

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26 minutes ago, Vellichor said:

Stargazer, I appreciate your thoughts. Every person who has been given promises that haven't been fulfilled has to consider the possibility he/she has done something (or not done something) that resulted in the forfeiture of those blessings. Certainly that can be the case sometimes. I worried about that years ago. I try to be a good person, but I'm far from perfect. Sometimes I'm grumpy, I'm not as good of a neighbor as I should be, I say mild swear words once in a while. Maybe I was being punished for those things, or another of my many shortcomings. Who's to say? And while I've tried to do my part in finding a marriage partner, and I've dated a fair amount over the years, there's always something more I could have done. Maybe I could have forced myself to stay in the singles ward one more year, or made myself go to more singles activities, even though I was already pushing myself outside my comfort zone. I'm a fairly reserved person--maybe if I had been more outgoing (in other words, less like myself), it would have happened. 

I don't think that "punishment" is the word applicable in this situation.  We all have shortcomings, including shortcomings of the mortal body that we must work around in order to get where we need to go. For example, I have Attention Deficit Disorder -- something that I didn't discover until rather late in life -- and it explains at least some of why my life has gone the way it has gone.  And to a degree it explains why I may not have achieved what I perhaps was intended to achieved.  Or, and perhaps this may help you in some way, why my course has merely been delayed.  And it may very well have been delayed by design, for some reason.  I must trust the Lord regarding that.  Mormon 8:22 again.  

Oddly enough, part of what I said about how I had not acted upon that gift I said I had was something that I had not fully realized until I was contemplating what to write to you.  Perhaps I wasn't intended to fully understand this -- until now.

Let me tell you something about my life.  My late wife was 11 years my senior.  Because of that age disparity I considered it unlikely that we would ever serve a mission together, despite something that my patriarchal blessing said.  Our lives just went on, children raised to adulthood, and by the time she was diagnosed with cancer it just seemed to me that we would just continue on until one by one we passed from this life, nothing more.  And then cancer came, and then eventually her being given 6 months.  I figured, OK, this is it.  She's going to die, and then a few years later it would be my time and poof it's over.  I was disappointed about a few things, one being her leaving me, and the other being the end of my time without having had a chance to see the fulfillment of the blessings my PB had given me to expect.

Three months later I met a widow 9 years my junior, online.  She had had a similar experience, except her late husband had been 15 years her senior, and she had been hoping they could serve a mission together. Her hopes were dashed by his death.  The circumstances of our coming together and subsequent marriage had all the hallmarks of God working strongly with us towards them.  And now, despite what seemed to be no chance at all of a fulfillment of my expected blessings, there is now a clear path towards the service that I had hoped to give.  It wasn't just me.  Her own PB said some things to her that she had thought with the death of her husband were now impossible.  But now things have changed.

26 minutes ago, Vellichor said:

I eventually realized how unproductive and fruitless that kind of thinking was. And I don't think God messes with us that way. So I'm back to wondering if perhaps these promises and blessings and experiences with inspiration were man-made, but then how do I trust seemingly clear revelation regarding other things? Back to my original quandary.

As I've mentioned, I simply cannot accept the idea that the promises given to me from multiple sources were contingent upon somebody else's choices, and that particular guy blew it. I don't think God's plans for us are that precarious.

It is possible that some of the assurances you have received were not inspired, per se, but came to you because a priesthood leader perceived that it was what you seemed to need at the time.  In short, compassionate feelings may have inspired some of the assurances, and not the Spirit of the Lord directly.  Such compassion, if such it is, does not seem to be out of place, however.  

Precarious?  We live in precarious times.  My late wife's family's course in life was deeply affected by the decisions of other people that they had no voice in.  They lived in Germany at the end of WW2, and when the Russians invaded Germany from the east in the closing months of the war, four little girls, ages 4 to 10, were separated from their parents and had to survive on their own without adult support for some months.  Dad never returned from forced labor in the Soviet Union.  Mom returned after 3 1/2 years.  Their life courses were tremendously affected by failures of other people, who blew it terribly.  We are ALL subject to what goes on about us -- and the only choice we sometimes have is what we will do in response.  

26 minutes ago, Vellichor said:

I am grateful for the knowledge we have that all blessings we deserve will be fulfilled in the next life. But the fact is--we singles hear this all the time, and for the vast majority of us, this isn't a helpful or particularly comforting answer. The woman in your story found that it was enough for her. But for most of us, it feels like an easy answer that doesn't acknowledge how complex and difficult this situation can be. Yes, the next life will be glorious. But if we thought about that too much, we'd just want to get there sooner. And we need to figure out how to live life now--always keeping in mind our eternal future, without pining away for it. We don't get a lot of help or guidance in doing that, when we so often hear that family life is the point of our existence.

Anyway, I do appreciate your thoughts. And I agree with what you said about not needing to be prompted in all things, and making sure we do try to act on promptings when we receive them.

 

Perhaps I am going to tell you something that grows from my compassion, and not necessarily out of revelation from God.  

Elizabeth, the mother of John of Baptist, wanted children.  While she didn't have a patriarchal blessing to tell her that she would be a mother in Zion, she had the general promise that grew from the experiences of others around her of marriage, followed by children.  But she was barren.  This is something that would have been extremely disappointing to her, and culturally difficult to bear.  There may even have been a rabbi who, at some point, had told her that God would bless her with a child eventually.  A reassurance out of his compassion, perhaps, and nothing more.  But a miracle was done to her, and she had a son, unexpectedly after the time for this had expired.

Do you not think that Wendy Watson, a professor of marriage and family therapy at BYU until her retirement in 2006, wondered at her apparent inability to find a husband until 2006 when she married Russell M. Nelson?

All I am saying is this: don't give up.  There's sufficient evidence in how God has dealt with others who are faithful to have hope that He is not done with you.

Proverbs 3:5 - "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding."

 

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On 1/4/2019 at 9:21 PM, Stargazer said:

I don't think that "punishment" is the word applicable in this situation.  We all have shortcomings, including shortcomings of the mortal body that we must work around in order to get where we need to go. For example, I have Attention Deficit Disorder -- something that I didn't discover until rather late in life -- and it explains at least some of why my life has gone the way it has gone.  And to a degree it explains why I may not have achieved what I perhaps was intended to achieved.  Or, and perhaps this may help you in some way, why my course has merely been delayed.  And it may very well have been delayed by design, for some reason.  I must trust the Lord regarding that.  Mormon 8:22 again.  

Oddly enough, part of what I said about how I had not acted upon that gift I said I had was something that I had not fully realized until I was contemplating what to write to you.  Perhaps I wasn't intended to fully understand this -- until now.

Let me tell you something about my life.  My late wife was 11 years my senior.  Because of that age disparity I considered it unlikely that we would ever serve a mission together, despite something that my patriarchal blessing said.  Our lives just went on, children raised to adulthood, and by the time she was diagnosed with cancer it just seemed to me that we would just continue on until one by one we passed from this life, nothing more.  And then cancer came, and then eventually her being given 6 months.  I figured, OK, this is it.  She's going to die, and then a few years later it would be my time and poof it's over.  I was disappointed about a few things, one being her leaving me, and the other being the end of my time without having had a chance to see the fulfillment of the blessings my PB had given me to expect.

Three months later I met a widow 9 years my junior, online.  She had had a similar experience, except her late husband had been 15 years her senior, and she had been hoping they could serve a mission together. Her hopes were dashed by his death.  The circumstances of our coming together and subsequent marriage had all the hallmarks of God working strongly with us towards them.  And now, despite what seemed to be no chance at all of a fulfillment of my expected blessings, there is now a clear path towards the service that I had hoped to give.  It wasn't just me.  Her own PB said some things to her that she had thought with the death of her husband were now impossible.  But now things have changed.

It is possible that some of the assurances you have received were not inspired, per se, but came to you because a priesthood leader perceived that it was what you seemed to need at the time.  In short, compassionate feelings may have inspired some of the assurances, and not the Spirit of the Lord directly.  Such compassion, if such it is, does not seem to be out of place, however.  

Precarious?  We live in precarious times.  My late wife's family's course in life was deeply affected by the decisions of other people that they had no voice in.  They lived in Germany at the end of WW2, and when the Russians invaded Germany from the east in the closing months of the war, four little girls, ages 4 to 10, were separated from their parents and had to survive on their own without adult support for some months.  Dad never returned from forced labor in the Soviet Union.  Mom returned after 3 1/2 years.  Their life courses were tremendously affected by failures of other people, who blew it terribly.  We are ALL subject to what goes on about us -- and the only choice we sometimes have is what we will do in response.  

Perhaps I am going to tell you something that grows from my compassion, and not necessarily out of revelation from God.  

Elizabeth, the mother of John of Baptist, wanted children.  While she didn't have a patriarchal blessing to tell her that she would be a mother in Zion, she had the general promise that grew from the experiences of others around her of marriage, followed by children.  But she was barren.  This is something that would have been extremely disappointing to her, and culturally difficult to bear.  There may even have been a rabbi who, at some point, had told her that God would bless her with a child eventually.  A reassurance out of his compassion, perhaps, and nothing more.  But a miracle was done to her, and she had a son, unexpectedly after the time for this had expired.

Do you not think that Wendy Watson, a professor of marriage and family therapy at BYU until her retirement in 2006, wondered at her apparent inability to find a husband until 2006 when she married Russell M. Nelson?

All I am saying is this: don't give up.  There's sufficient evidence in how God has dealt with others who are faithful to have hope that He is not done with you.

Proverbs 3:5 - "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding."

 

Thanks, Stargazer. I absolutely agree that we are affected by others' choices--for good or ill--all the time. My comments were regarding promised blessings not being fulfilled though, which is different from experiencing adversity in general due to others' actions. That kind of adversity is not what challenges my faith so much. It's the spiritual confusion resulting from repeated promises not being fulfilled, or life actually turning out the opposite of what was promised. (In addition to what I've already mentioned, my PB promises me that my family will bring me peace in times of crisis, and yet my family of origin--certain family members, anyway--actually create the greatest crises and turmoil in my life at times.) The possible answer that these unfulfilled blessings are the result of others making bad choices unforeseen by God just makes zero sense to me. If that happens all the time, then there doesn't seem to be any reason for us to receive predictive PBs and other priesthood blessings at all. It seems that only a tiny minority would actually be fulfilled, because people are messing up all the time. Just makes no sense.

There are things from my PB that simply will not happen. The kid thing, for example. I'm past that. At this point in my life, I don't want to engage in herculean efforts to force it to happen. I was interested in my 20s and 30s, but that phase of life has gone by. I still experience the grief and loss of not having kids, but that doesn't mean I am hoping to have some at my age.

But I am willing to acknowledge that good things could still occur in relation to other promises I have received, and I'm still trying to walk by faith. I have to say that as much angst as my PB has given me--it is amazingly accurate as far as my career is concerned. I can't throw it out entirely.

Wendy Watson's situation (and Sister Oaks's) isn't a hopeful example for me at all, to be honest, but I won't get into that.

I REALLY appreciate your sharing your personal experience. Thank you for that, and for your thoughtful comments in general.

I will keep pondering....

 

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Our family watched Elder Holland's 1999 GC talk "High Priest of Good things to Come" again last night for FHE and it was such a wonderful talk.  I recommend it to any who are struggling to have faith in promises made or to find hope in the future.  

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1999/10/an-high-priest-of-good-things-to-come?lang=eng

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11 hours ago, Vellichor said:

Thanks, Stargazer. I absolutely agree that we are affected by others' choices--for good or ill--all the time. My comments were regarding promised blessings not being fulfilled though, which is different from experiencing adversity in general due to others' actions. That kind of adversity is not what challenges my faith so much. It's the spiritual confusion resulting from repeated promises not being fulfilled, or life actually turning out the opposite of what was promised. (In addition to what I've already mentioned, my PB promises me that my family will bring me peace in times of crisis, and yet my family of origin--certain family members, anyway--actually create the greatest crises and turmoil in my life at times.) The possible answer that these unfulfilled blessings are the result of others making bad choices unforeseen by God just makes zero sense to me. If that happens all the time, then there doesn't seem to be any reason for us to receive predictive PBs and other priesthood blessings at all. It seems that only a tiny minority would actually be fulfilled, because people are messing up all the time. Just makes no sense.

There are things from my PB that simply will not happen. The kid thing, for example. I'm past that. At this point in my life, I don't want to engage in herculean efforts to force it to happen. I was interested in my 20s and 30s, but that phase of life has gone by. I still experience the grief and loss of not having kids, but that doesn't mean I am hoping to have some at my age.

But I am willing to acknowledge that good things could still occur in relation to other promises I have received, and I'm still trying to walk by faith. I have to say that as much angst as my PB has given me--it is amazingly accurate as far as my career is concerned. I can't throw it out entirely.

Wendy Watson's situation (and Sister Oaks's) isn't a hopeful example for me at all, to be honest, but I won't get into that.

I REALLY appreciate your sharing your personal experience. Thank you for that, and for your thoughtful comments in general.

I will keep pondering....

 

I am in a similar boat and hold on to this:

18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.

19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb:

20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;

21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.

 

If God wants to promise the impossible then He has to do the impossible. Luckily I think He is up to the challenge.

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On 12/30/2018 at 8:12 PM, Vellichor said:

Hi all, I'm a new member of this group. I wonder if any of you might have some thoughts about a situation I have grappled with for many years.

 
What does one do when their strongest experiences with revelation lead to ... nothing? 
 
My strongest spiritual experiences have to do with assurances about my future family. When I was 17 I received my patriarchal blessing. It had a lot to say about my family---about how I would be led to my husband, how I would have children who would be leaders, etc. But now it's more than 30 years later, and I have no family. 
 
Some years later, my bishop gave me a blessing about an unrelated situation, and in the blessing he told me someone was searching for me. That was 20 years ago. Later, after a painful breakup, I was told in a powerful priesthood blessing that I was being prepared for my future marriage. That was 13 years ago. I've had personal promptings and assurances, but always, always, they are about a future that never materializes. When does the future turn into the present? How do I trust a God who's always holding out a carrot, but never giving it?
 
I can't imagine how this is supposed to help me. I know I could get married at age 70, and God could then say, "See, I always keep my promises." But I haven't yearned for a wedding--I want a daily life with family, the kind of life we are constantly talking about in church. Not a wedding and a few married years at the end of my life.
 
Lest anyone suggest that perhaps I haven't done my part--I have. i have dated a lot through the years, although my opportunities are dwindling as the years go on. Most of the men I have dated have been decent people. A number of them have been interested in me. But generally it has been clear that we are not compatible for significant reasons: very different values, lack of common ground, poor work ethic, etc. I know as much as I know anything that I have made sound decisions about the men I have dated.
 
I have come to the conclusion that perhaps these experiences--priesthood blessings as well as personal promptings--simply came from others' imaginations as well as my own. But then it makes me question the role of revelation altogether. If my strongest experiences with revelation have turned out to be groundless, how do I trust other, quieter experiences with revelation on different matters? 
 
Does anyone relate to this? Any thoughts that might shed light on this situation?

Can you give an example of another, quieter experience with revelation that has warranted your continued trust in God?

Can you describe how a personal testimony / revelation of the "fundamental principles*" of our religion has helped you maintain your trust God?

* “The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it. But in connection with these, we believe in the gift of the Holy Ghost, the power of faith, the enjoyment of the spiritual gifts according to the will of God, the restoration of the house of Israel, and the final triumph of truth.”  (Joseph Smith in History of the Church, 3:30).

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10 hours ago, The Nehor said:

I am in a similar boat and hold on to this:

18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.

19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb:

20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;

21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.

 

If God wants to promise the impossible then He has to do the impossible. Luckily I think He is up to the challenge.

Nehor, I like that passage too.

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2 hours ago, Vellichor said:

Nehor, I like that passage too.

I reread part of my patriarchal blessing looking for a loophole. Nope, need at least a semi-miracle. Or I sinned it away and I could seeing that being the case for me. I guess I just have to wait and see.

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I think many blessings, including Patriarchal Blessings will be fulfilled after this mortal life.  You can have kids in this life and not have an eternal family yet, you may never be married in this life and have an endless posterity.

I read a cool quote yesterday from Elder Holland and blessings and I wish I could find it again.  In essence he said that if we have had a spiritual prompting and guidance in our life to seek after something that even though you may become discouraged, and wonder if it was really what the Lord wanted for your or maybe the Lord changed his mind, keep the course!  The adversary will try to discourage you but the Lord will always keep his promises.  Some prayers are answered quickly, some are answered later and others after this life.

If you have had this promise, it will be fulfilled in this life or the next but it will be fulfilled.  You will have a happy ending, so if you are unhappy now, then it's not the end.  

 

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