Patriarchal Blessings Part 3

After reading the blessings contained in Brother Steve’s book, I decided to do some perusing on the Internet and found significantly more blessings which I hope that Steve or someone will eventually add to the existing collection in the book.

I noticed that some of the same blessings as well as additional patriarchal blessings can be found at this site

Further, I noticed that after the death of Father Smith and the replacement of his son Hyrum, Hyrum continued giving blessings. Many of those blessings can be found at this site. It contains a listing of blessings from 1840 to 1844.

There were basically three eras of patriarchal blessings given in the church By three different President/Patriarchs of the church.

  • Blessings given by Joseph Smith Jr. until the leaders and members of the church were pronounced to be under condemned and Joseph Smith Sr was made President and Patriarch of the Church
  • Blessings given by Joseph Smith Sr. until his death in 1840 when Hyrum replaced him as the President and Patriarch.
  • Blessings given by Hyrum Smith until his death in 1844.

Sadly, the majority of the blessings given by Hyrum that I can find a record of, were still to the earlier era of converts from America. There don’t seem to be many blessings available that were given to new converts from across the great waters that I have been able to find yet.

However, there are a few and they provide some interesting things that substantiate my belief that the tribal demographics of the church was changing during the later Nauvoo period.

Steve has given me the digital copy of the blessings in his book and told me I could do anything I wanted with it. I may merge that database with these other two and post the master list online for anyone to review, search, print, publish articles, books, etc.

The thing that is exciting to me about the listing of revelations by Hyrum Smith from 1840-1844, is that it potentially allows us to verify if there really was an ancient tribal ancestry distinction between the early converts from America during the Kirtland era, compared to the later converts from across the great waters during the Nauvoo and Utah eras.

The last known patriarchal blessing I am aware of that father Joseph Smith Sr. gave in Nauvoo (before his death on September 14, 1840), was given on July 20th 1840, just before the large influx of converts began pouring into America. More on that at the end of this post.

Observation #1
“ are of the blood of Ephraim and
from that lineage you have rights..”

In the last part of this series I mentioned the remarkable blessing given to Elijah Able who was one of the first black converts to be put into priesthood leadership position. The following snippet was given to James Madison Flake who was another one of the first African-American members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and was one of the first of three African-Americans to enter the Salt Lake Valley on July 22, 1847.

Behold I say unto you James according to the workings of the spirit in me you are of the blood of Ephraim and from that lineage you have rights that are inherent under the promises and covenants, that are made with your fathers for this cause you have been wrought upon by the spirit of inspiration and have come up hither and your faith is unshaken for this cause you are blessed and shall be blessed and your children after you with the priesthood and the power of its administration and the keys of the knowledge of God through which you may receive a fullness of the everlasting covenant even the blessing of Abraham Isaac and Jacob and you shall be blessed in your avocations of life in your testimony in your house and habitation in the field and in the garner and your name shall have honor and be perpetuated from generation to generation and the blessings of Ephraim shall crown your head upon Mount Zion with the ten thousands of Ephraim and the thousands of Manassah

Therefore be firm steadfast and immovable and you shall abound in grace and every good gift henceforth and forever and your days shall be long in the land and you shall go up and down to and fro on the earth and prosperity shall be in your pathway notwithstanding the trials that are inherent to your calling where with you are called unto the ministry and as a laborer to the field in the eleventh hour that is white and ready for harvest in which your name shall be known and come up in honor on Mount Zion as a savior and a judge to judge the Mount of Esau with the residue of God’s hosts. The fullness you know not, but by and by you shall know it. These blessings I seal upon your head, even so, amen


There you have a black convert who is not told in his blessing that he is a descendant of Cain. Rather, he is told that he is from the House of Israel through Ephraim!

Can you imagine going to Utah after getting a blessing like that and putting up with the racial bullshit of Brigham Young who would place the legitimacy of your priesthood in question because of the color of you skin?

Imagine being told that because your lineage was from Cain, that you are not allowed to hold the priesthood and that you can only enjoy a portion of the gospel blessings until all other people have had their chance to hear the gospel.


Observation #2
Your Heritage Shall be In Ephraim

In the last post and at other times I have speculated that many, if not the majority of new converts coming from across the great waters, were of a different tribal inheritance than many, if not most of the saints living in America.

While it is not a good idea to stereotype people or judge anyone because of a perceived lineage that they come from, it is a good thing to try and understand God’s gospel plan and why things happen the way they do.

Here is a text book example of a blessing given to someone who had migrated to America from across the great waters.

Notice how the promise is not that he is from Ephraim, rather, his inheritance shall be “from Ephraim to be received upon Mount Zion”

[Patriarchal blessing of Edwin Rushton on January 24, 1844] January 24, 1844 – A patriarchal blessing of Edwin Rushton son of Richard and Lettice Rushton born in Leek, Staffordshire Old England June 1st 1824. Brother Edwin I lay my hands upon our head in the name of Jesus of Nazareth to place and seal a blessing upon you touching lineage, priesthood and your rights according to the law of God and the promised blessings unto the seed of Israel for you shall be blessed in your day and generation both spiritually and temporal[l]y which are the desires of your heart and in due time you shall realize and enter into a knowledge of all things pertaining to the priesthood and
to an inheritance in the lineage of Jacob both you and your children after you from generation to generation and again you shall be blessed in your house and in your habitation and in your [illegible] of life and in the ministry unto many people, if your faith shall continue, and you shall go out and come in and have prosperity bye and bye and have power to officiate in a sacred calling wherewith you shall be called to officiate and administer according to the dispensation that shall be given you and your name shall be perpetuated and have honor from generation to generation and be written in the chronicles of your brethren and be commemorated by your posterity unto the latest generation of man and your inheritance shall be in Ephraim to be received upon Mount Zion the city of the New Jerusalem and your days and years are numbered and shall be many. These blessings I seal upon your head even so amen. Given by Hyrum Smith Patriarch of the Church of Jesus Christ.

I am going to suggest that it is possible that the nuanced wording is significant. Can a person receive an inheritance in Ephraim as apposed to being of Ephraim?

Please recall the following passage in section133:

30 And they shall bring forth their rich treasures unto the children of Ephraim, my servants.
31 And the boundaries of the everlasting hills shall tremble at their presence.
32 And there shall they fall down and be crowned with glory, even in Zion, by the hands of the servants of the Lord, even the children of Ephraim.

David Moore from Canada got similarly obscure wording in a similar promise:

[Patriarchal blessing of David Moore on January 29, 1844] Patriarchal Blessing of David Moore son of Dudley and Mary Moore Born in the Township Eardly County of Otteway Province of Lower Canada January 20th 1819 Brother David I lay my hands upon your head in the name of Jesus of Nazareth to place and seal a blessing upon you consonant with your lineage and rights inherent behold I say unto you David you shall be blessed spiritually and temporally touching your House and habitation Basket and store according to the wisdom of God as you shall be able to bear it and he will bless you with an inheritance as you shall be able to receive it and with a knowledge of the mysteries of God in the order of his Kingdom the same to be received by the Key of knowledge even the Priesthood which you may have sealed upon your head in its fulness. as also an inheritance in the lineage of Joseph through which lineage cometh your blessing if you will but receive them and search out their origin according to the prophetic Vision of your Fathers which thing you know not but the day cometh when you shall know them and enter in the power of [illegible] unto a fulness which fulness shall be after the [order] of Melchesidic and according to the covenants of grace to be obtained through faith and obedience to all the requissions [requisitions] of Heaven therefore look and live and you shall be blessed with an inheritance in the lineage of your Fathers and your Children shall possess it also and perpetuate your name unto the latest generation and your gift and calling and testimony shall bring you to stand upon Mount Zion to sing the son of redemption and as to your days and years they shall be numbered according to your faith and the desires of your heart These blessings I seal upon your head even so Amen Given by Hyrum Smith Patriarch of the Church of Jesus Christ. January 29th 1844

I find the wording somewhat cryptic.

A surface reading might lead one to think this person is from the lineage of Joseph but I am not sure that is what it is saying.

It is one thing to be a literal descendant of Joseph, it is another thing to be told that your blessing comes through the lineage of Joseph and that you “shall” (future tense) receive an inheritance in Joseph based on faith and the gospel of grace.

The two above blessings might just substantiate Joseph Smith’s observation that the missionaries that were sent out in the second great wave of missionary work after the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham was secretly ushered in, were collecting the “dispersed of Judah” and the “outcasts of Israel” as opposed to the “seed of Joseph“.

According to the blessings given, all of these people can and will enjoy the fulness of blessing upon faithfulness.

Just something to consider. I could be wrong. Perhaps more light will be shed as I continue parsing through the blessings that have been found and perhaps others will come to light.

Observation #3
“Thy enemies will rage and see the error of their ways..
and be constrained to acknowledge their error”

Regarding that last known patriarchal blessing given by Patriarch Father Smith on July 20th 1840, the following statement was made to the recipient:

 “..thy enemies will rage, and persecute thee, and foam out their own Shame, and Shall See the error of their ways, and be constrained, to acknowledge their error, and thy truth, the Lord has a great work for thee, if faithful to do all his will, and keep all his commandments, thou art of the tribe of Joseph and of the Seed of Ephraim, being of the household of faith, and entitled to all the Blessings of our forefathers, and the Blessings Shall be upon thee and on thy posterity forever..

This is one of those interesting and somewhat rare blessings that seems to differ somewhat from many of the more common admonitions and prophetic promises.

There seems to be a more personal, localized narrative being foretold here.

It would appear as if this person has a specific mission to point out a grievous error that someone or some group has made.

Doing so would result in rage and persecution from those being accused.

Nevertheless, at some point in time, those that are accused will acknowledge their error.

Oh, by the way, the above snippet is found in the patriarchal blessing of Robert D. Foster, one of the seven men who would publicly expose the error of Joseph Smith and some of his associates by publishing the Nauvoo Expositor almost exactly four years from the date of that blessing.

Sometimes fact is stranger than fiction.

More to come

Keep Watching

4 Responses to Patriarchal Blessings Part 3

  1. Lee Williams says:

    I was just reading Joseph Smith Sr.’s remarks prior to pronouncing his first blessing on Hyrum dated December 9, 1834. Joseph Smith Sr. would go on to give 386 blessings until his death at Nauvoo in September 1840. The source of the transcription is Michael Marquardt’s ‘translation’ taken from the Church Archives Collection.

    Joseph Smith Sr. had a life-long fight with alcoholism. It was a source of tension that impacted the whole family for decades. Hyrum, evidently ministered to father during moments of his father’s ‘weakness of the flesh.’ In father Smith’s first blessing to Hyrum he spoke these words:

    Thou has always stood by thy father, and reached forth the helping hand to lift him up when he was in affliction; and though he has been out of the way, through wine, thou has never forsaken him nor laughed him to scorn: for all these kindnesses the Lord my God will bless thee.

    Marquardt notes “The words “through wine” were afterwards crossed out, presumably to lessen the thought that Joseph Smith Sr. drank liquor. The words “Salt Lake City” were written on the side of Patriarchal Blessing Book 1:20. On a copy of Hyrum Smith’s blessing in Patriarchal Blessing Book 2:2, the words “and though he has been out of the way through wine” were crossed out.

    Ah, the early days of the church.

    • Great find.. thank you for sharing!

      I frankly find it faith promoting that Father Smith had weaknesses of the flesh.

      I think it makes it easier for all of us to be a little more understanding and compassionate with ourselves and with others. 🙂

  2. Kathryn Walling says:

    I truly love you Watcher and appreciate your thoughts and lessons given. Kathryn Walling


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