Periodicals; Mormons; Religious thought; Philosophy and religion
Independent national quarterly established to express Mormon culture and examine the relevance of religion to secular life. It is edited by Mormons who wish to bring their faith into dialogue with human experience as a whole and to foster artistic and scholarly achievement based on their cultural heritage. The journal encourages a variety of viewpoints; although every effort is made to insure accurate scholarship and responsible judgment, the views expressed are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of the Mormon Church or of the editors.
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Bradley, Martha Sonntag ; Roberts, Allen Dale
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Patriarchal Blessings and the Routinization of Charisma
ARTICLES AND ESSAYS Patriarchal Blessings and the Routinization of Charisma Irene M. Bates Patriarchal blessings contemplate an inspired declaration of the lineage of the recipient, and also, where so moved upon by the Spirit, an inspired and prophetic statement of the life mission of the recipient, together with such blessings, cautions, and admonitions as the patriarch may be prompted to give for the accomplishment of such life's mission, it being always made clear that the realization of all promised blessings is conditioned upon faithfulness to the gospel of our Lord, whose servant the patriarch is. The policy of recording patriarchal blessings, copies of which are deposited in the office of the LDS Church Historian, affords a valuable picture of cultural change in the church, perhaps reflective of changes in American society in general. In the interests of privacy, however, the church does not allow access to its copies of blessings, unless there is proof of blood relationship to the recipient. The researcher, therefore, must access blessings recorded in journals, those appearing in other manuscripts, and any blessings which individuals may choose to release for examination and publication. All of the 744 blessings upon which this study is based are drawn from these sources. 1. First Presidency [David O. McKay, Stephen L Richards, and J. Reuben Clark, Jr.] to all stake presidencies, 28 June 1957, in Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1958), 504. 2. For a valuable exploration of nineteenth-century American culture, see Daniel Walker Howe's introductory essay in Victorian America (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1976). 3. The idea that patriarchal blessings are too "sacred" to be shared is a relatively recent