22 May 2016

"May We Bless Your Home?" - Matthew 10:13

I hope I don't alienate too many of my readers in addressing some thoughts that came out of The Things that Constitute A Good (Religious) Visit blog post and various scripture "jags" posts. I am a priesthood leader in the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, so I blog about insights that come from my work there alongside more quasi-secular things like The Psychic Proximity Principle. There is significant value in perspectives gained in one area of endeavor that can be applied to another, so I always hope my non-Mormon readers can find these posts of some value.

In chapter 10 of the book of Matthew in the Bible, Jesus gave his twelve apostles priesthood authority and sent them out to preach and do the miracles that they had seen him perform.  As part of his instructions, he told these disciples to do the following as they visited the homes of believers as they traveled:

Matthew 10:13
And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you.
I am a descendant of Aaron, the brother of Moses, who was ordained, along with his male progeny called the kohenim, to lead the Levitical and Aaronic priesthoods. My resulting family heritage includes the reciting of the priestly blessing in certain settings.  At its conclusion, this blessing states this:  "May the LORD lift up His face unto you and give you peace..."  I personally connect these "peace" references together - if you are in a worthy house, or are visiting a worthy family (I interpret this as being welcomed in the home and the family being accepting of your spiritual message), you should leave "your peace" (or your priesthood blessing) with them.

As a home teacher, priesthood holders are commissioned by the local bishop and the quorum leader to serve their assigned families. This service is meant to keep each family diligent to their covenants, help them to progress toward exaltation, and to bring the power of the priesthood into their lives. As part of that service, bearers of the priesthood should leave their blessing ("your peace") wherever they visit. You holders of the priesthood should always offer to leave a blessing on the home and the family before you leave a visit.  As a bearer of the Melchizedek Priesthood, it is your duty to bless the homes you enter as permitted by the head of the household.

Here are my suggestions on pronouncing a blessing on a family and their home:
  • Seek inspiration in what words of blessing to give.
  • Respect the head of the household. Offer to give a blessing and accept their choice regarding this. If they request specific blessings, honor that request within the inspiration you receive.
  • Personalize the blessing to those you bless and their circumstances.
  • State that this is a blessing and state your priesthood authority, similar to the way you would do so in an ordination.
  • State that all blessings are contingent on faith and worthiness.
As I have personally done this, I have found my power in the exercise of the priesthood has increased and I have be inspired with the words of blessing that the LORD desires to be said. I have also found that the families that I bless are strengthened in their desire and ability to obey the commandments of God and grow more worthy of further blessings. I know that you will also have needed inspiration as you prepare yourself to receive it and share it more often in the form of a home teacher's blessing to those you serve.