Back To School Father’s Blessing

At the end of the Summer I read a talk from the 173rd Semiannual General Conference, October 2003 in the November 2003 Ensign by Elder Merrill J. Bateman, Of the Presidency of the Seventy.

Elder Bateman says:

It is expected that worthy holders of the Melchizedek Priesthood will use the power delegated to them to bless others, starting with their own families.

I remember over a year ago when my Bishop urged fathers to give back to school blessings to their children before the beginning of school.  My heart filled with joy concerning the blessings that were available to my family.  I shortly learned afterwards that it was something a Melchezidek Priestholder would have to do.

That Sunday, my home teacher was coming over to visit our family.  As he gave his lesson, it came to me that he could bless my children.  He agreed to and then each of my sons at school age were blessed.  The blessings he gave were exactly what my children needed and I was grateful for his willingness to serve.

I am also grateful that he was able to give a blessing, as he was a worthy priesthood holder.  Even though he has moved to another state, I still think of him as an example of who to be – A Worthy Priesthood holder.  You never know when you will have to exercise your priesthood and this gives a great incentive to stay pure, clean and worthy.

How do you give a Blessing?  What do you say?

As a worthy holder of the Melchizedek Priesthood, you lightly place your hands on the person receiving the blessing and do the following:

  1. Calls the person by his or her full name.
  2. States that he is giving the blessing by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood.
  3. Gives a blessing as the Spirit directs.
  4. Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.

During our last Summer FHE (Family Home Evenings) I gave my children blessings.  I had read an article on titled “Me? Give a Blessing?” by Brad Larsen in the January 2005 New Era issue and received from good advice from it.  Brad Larsen says:

I remembered my dad. Whenever he had to give a blessing, he went quietly into another room and prayed first.

Before I gave the blessings, I went into another room and prayed to our Heavenly Father.  It really did help.

We pulled a dining room chair into the living room and one by one I placed my hands on their head and gave them a blessing as the Spirit had directed me to.  After I did my two oldest school-aged boys, the youngest happily hopped into the chair for a blessing as well.  We all smiled at his eagerness and I gave him one as well.

After looking back at that night, I now feel stronger about utilizing the Priesthood often and making it a regular occurrence and readily available to my family.  I am grateful for the priesthood which I hold and the blessings it can bring to peoples lives.

To read Elder Merrill J. Bateman’s talk, click here.

To read “Me? Give a Blessing?” by Brad Larsen, click here.

My Friend’s Baby Naming and Blessing

A month ago, I attended and got to “stand in” on my friend Mike’s baby blessing.  Listening to him bless his baby was a wonderful thing – hearing his thoughts and thoughts and feeling the Spirit.

Why do we name and bless children in the church?

Every member of the church of Christ having children is to bring them unto the elders before the church, who are to lay their hands upon them in the name of Jesus Christ, and bless them in his name. (D&C 20:70)

The ordinance of naming and blessing children requires authorization from the presiding authority, which is usually your Bishop.

When blessing a baby, men who hold the Melchizedek Priesthood gather in a circle and hold the baby in their hands. When blessing an older child, brethren place their hands lightly on the child’s head. The person (usually the father) who gives the blessing does the following:

  1. Addresses Heavenly Father.
  2. States that the blessing is given by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood.
  3. Gives the child a name. (by which the baby will be known on the records of the Church)
  4. Gives a priesthood blessing as the Spirit directs.
  5. Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.

Only worthy men who hold the Melchizedek Priesthood may participate in naming and blessing children.