Shining moment: Promised blessing

Eldred G. Smith was the seventh Patriarch to the Church and great-great-great grandson of Joseph Smith Sr., first Patriarch to the Church. His conference address that includes a story about the importance of patriarchal blessings was recorded in the Conference Report of April 1952:

“An example of what a patriarchal blessing can do came to me in a story which I have repeated many times, which a woman told me. As a young woman she lived in a small town. When she finished high school, there was no further opportunity to continue her education. There was no further opportunity to get work so that she could be independent, so she came to Salt Lake City where she found herself a job. As time came for registration at the University, she became very anxious to go to school again, and knowing that there was not a possibility, under present conditions, she felt quite disheartened. She went to the patriarch and received her patriarchal blessing, and in the blessing he promised her that she should receive a good education.

“She was elated, and she went out of the office feeling very happy. Before she had gone half a block, she said, she fell to earth out of her cloud with a realization that going to college cost money, and she did not have any, nor the means to get it. …

“[The] thought came to her to go visit her aunt, who was living in Salt Lake City. Without stopping to analyze that impression she turned, and instead of going back to work she went to visit her aunt and told her aunt of her experience, crying on her shoulder. And her aunt said to her, ‘I know an elderly woman who lives down the street a few blocks. She has at various times helped young girls through college in return for the help the girls can give to her. I do not know whether she has help now or not, but,’ she said, ‘this woman knows who I am. Go down and see her and tell her I sent you.’

“She went on the run to this elderly woman’s home, and within two weeks from the time she received her patriarchal blessing, she registered at the University of Utah… She said if she had stopped to question the first impression she got to go visit her aunt, she would have said to herself, ‘She cannot help me with my troubles; she has enough of her own.’ But she did not stop to analyze that impression; she acted on it. As a result she met the woman who gave her the opportunity of receiving her education.”

— From “Outstanding Stories of Past General Authorities,” compiled by Leon R. Hartshorn, published 1977, Spring Creek Book Company.

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