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BOB - I have heard of Patriarchal Blessings where the individual was promised that they "would not taste death" and they would "live to see Christ return" but who subsequently died. How are these differences to be reconciled?

JOEL -There are a number of reasons that I can think of for these differences:

1. You "heard" wrong or whoever told you this did not have all the details of the blessing that describe exactly what was said.

2. The Patriarch was wrong. These guys are not fortune tellers nor are they perfect. They may have had a moment when they were not really listening to the spirit as they gave the blessing.
Elder LeGrand Richards told a story of a patriarch who once said to a woman, "I have a wonderful blessing for you." But when the patriarch laid his hands on the head of the recipient, his mind went completely blank. He apologized. "I was mistaken. I do not have a blessing for you. It is the Lord who has the blessing for you." The woman came back the next day, and after the patriarch had prayerfully importuned the Lord, a blessing came that mentioned many concerns known only to this good sister." (Patriarchal blessings come from God Priesthood Blessings, October 1995)

Even if on occaision a Patriarch does not happen to be very inspired; not to worry. A Patriarchal blessing is not a saving ordinance that is required for exaltation; it is simply a road map to follow, and of things to try and accomplish as we journey through life.

3. The Patriarchal Blessing itself is not a prediction nor an assurity of future events. As President Thomas S. Monson once said: ďA patriarchal blessing literally contains chapters from your book of eternal possibilities" (Ensign, November 1986, pages 66-67).
That's possibilities; not probabilities.

4. Just as the Liahona in Lehi's time only worked when those using it were righteous and obedient; patriarchal blessings are similarly conditional on faith and righteousness. There may have been conditions within the blessings that the recipients did not comply with and therefore did not live long enough to see Christ return.

5. God does not interfere with man's agency. If someone takes someone's life either intentionally or accidentally, God is not likely to interfere just because their patriarchal blessing suggested they would live a long life.

We should treat our Patriarchal blessing as a list of goals that God would like us to accomplish in our life that can help us return to Him.

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