Monday, March 16, 2009

Apostolic Blessings and Missionary Work

Whenever apostles visit missions of the church it is a customary thing for them to leave an apostolic blessing upon the missionaries and/or the country. An apostolic blessing was given to missionaries in the Argentina MTC on 16 October 2008 by Russell M. Nelson. Elder Thomas S. Brown shared his impressions of the event:

Then Elder Nelson Came on Tuesday. What an amazing man. He only got to talk to us for like 20 mins and half of time was the translator to Spanish talking but he left us a blessing for our mission and on you guys, Our families. He told us we would be successful and saw us as President Faust missionaries. Felt so nice. We also sang ¡El Cristo Es! to him which is a song written by President Faust. I love Elder Nelson though such a spiritual man of God.
I remember when my daughter Gianina was in the MTC in January 2007 Elder Boyd K. Packer said the same thing to the missionaries that their families would be blessed for sending them on a mission.

Apostles in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have the power to bind on earth and in heaven. An apostolic blessing is invoking their power on a mission or missionary. Most countries of the world have received a dedicatory blessing. Whenever apostles or prophets revisit countries they leave an apostolic blessing on the missionaries. In addition it is not uncommon for them to do so in official church gatherings such as stake, regional, and general conferences.

In dealing with missionaries it is a more specific type of blessing. The wording many times tells them that they will be blessed to find, teach, and baptize large amounts of people. On occasion they promise their families will be blessed for their financial sacrifice.

One thing I have been disappointed about is that I cannot find specific blessings when countries were dedicated. The LDS Church has a website with specific country sites but unlike temples which include dedicatory prayers with a link on the side bar country sites don't have that included. The LDS Newsroom has statistical information for most countries but no dedicatory blessings either. I feel that is a serious omission. In addition why doesn't the Church include an online version of the Church Almanac. I think so few buy one that you would get a better bang for the buck by putting it online. I also think its sales would increase if people became more aware of its value and the extensive information that is included in it about dozens of church related things.

There is a sense of power in hearing the living prophets bestowing an apostolic blessing on missionaries. I always think of D&C 1:38 when I hear the apostles leave a blessing:
  1. 38 What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my aword shall not pass away, but shall all be bfulfilled, whether by mine own cvoice or by the dvoice of my eservants, it is the fsame.
I remember from my own mission seventies and apostles giving us an apostolic blessing and thinking these men are speaking under inspiration to me and my fellow missionaries.

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