JON - I have been that if a Patriarch when giving a blessing mentions you are "one of the Noble and Great Ones named before the foundations of the world with such as Abraham, Moses, Joseph Smith etc. and these I will make my rulers" that this is a rare statement and has some significance. Out of the many of Patriarchal Blessings I have seen I have only seen these words. First, is it rare? second, does this mean this person has special talents or gifts given them to find and use for the good of man kind? Third, are these just words used for this generation and applies to most everyone who is born in the last dispensation?
JOEL - I have no idea how "rare" such a statement is.The contents and interpretations of Patriarchal blessings are a private matter between the recipient, the patriarch, and God.
According to Abraham:
"Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones; And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born." (Abr 3:22-23)
The term "noble and great", as used here more specifically refers to those who were to help create the earth and serve as prophets during the various dispensations (D&C 138:53-56). God said, "These I will make my rulers."
Joseph Smith said of these "noble and great" ones:
"Rulers in the Kingdom of God were to exercise authority by the power of example and by the attraction of the truth which they taught. God's rulers were to be His prophets—those to whom He would commit the priesthood and its keys. By the proper exercise of the priesthood, their sceptre would become an unchanging sceptre of righteousness and truth, and their dominion an everlasting dominion that, without compulsory means, would flow unto them forever and ever." (DHC, III, p. 387)
However, considering that the term "many" was used in the scripture describing the noble and great ones, it certainly could mean that it would apply to some degree to more than just the few prophet leaders we have had on the earth so far, including both men and women. In our latter-day dispensation the term has acquired a broader more inclusive meaning that can be applied to any active faithful latter-day saint.
Joseph Smith also explained.
"Every man who has a calling to minister to the inhabitants of the world was ordained to that very purpose in the Grand Council of heaven before this world was. I suppose that I was ordained to this very office in that Grand Council." (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 365.)
It is possible that because of our valiency or special gifts we had in the pre-mortal life, we were fore-ordained to do great things in this life. President Thomas S. Monson once said: “A patriarchal blessing literally contains chapters from your book of eternal possibilities" (Ensign, November 1986, pages 66-67).
Elder M. Russell Ballard said:
"I testify that we were there, shouting for joy, as God's sons and daughters. All of us. We are good because we are God's spirit children. He created us to be successful. We each have a personal history of success. We know that we kept our first estate and were among "the noble and great ones" to be held in reserve until these remarkable days when the gospel is on the earth in its fulness. Consequently, much is expected of us. We cannot afford to limit ourselves with a lack of understanding of our divine nature and eternal potential. We must move forward in a dynamic way, confident and secure in the knowledge of the gold that glistens within each of us just beneath the surface of mortality." (WHEN THOU ART CONVERTED by M. Russell Ballard)
While I don't think the term would apply to everyone living on the planet, it certainly could apply to those who have been baptized and have dedicated their lives to the gospel and Church of Jesus Christ.
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