Why do we get blessings?
I’ve answered this question in different ways throughout my life…
I first believed it was based on merit, that our Heavenly Parents bless us when we have done enough good or exercised enough faith… that we earn Their blessings.
I decided that couldn’t be right, because we can never do enough to earn the blessings we’re given. And because there are so many people who have done enough to earn blessings that never came.
I next believed it was based on need, that our Heavenly Parents give us blessings when we need them to help us return to Them.
I decided that didn’t work, because some of the best gifts and blessings I’ve received were ones I didn’t “need.” That’s sometimes what makes them so meaningful.
Recently, I thought it was based on desire, that we’re blessed when we want the right things in the right way.
I decided that can’t be the answer, because I’ve received blessings I didn’t know I wanted, and I haven’t received some righteous blessings I do want.
The real answer must be more nuanced.
It’s common to talk about trials coming from different sources and for different reasons. Here’s one of the best descriptions I’ve found of this:
Trials may come as a consequence of a person’s own pride and disobedience… Other trials are simply a natural part of life… Adversity may sometimes come because of others’ poor choices and hurtful words and actions. Suffering may also come through a loving Heavenly Father as a tutoring experience.
Four distinct sources are cited here — our agency, others’ agency, a natural part of life, and our Heavenly Parents’ will. It would be dangerous to assume that our trials came from any one of those sources alone.
A similar mistake could be made with blessings. Assuming they all come from one source could lead to unfair and unhelpful judgements of ourselves, of others, and of our Heavenly Parents.
Blessings come from different sources.
Perhaps we could view blessings in perspective of those same four distinct sources above.
- Our agency — some blessings come after work and righteous actions.
- Others’ agency — some come when people serve each other.
- Natural part of life — some may just be luck.
- Our Heavenly Parents’ will — some are sent directly from Them.
I don’t know if this explains all sources of blessings, and I do know that in the bigger picture our Heavenly Parents are in control. They will make sure our trials and blessings “…give [us] experience, and shall be for [our] good” (D&C 122:7) independent of the source.
…know thou that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.
However, I have found it helpful to not get caught up in trying to find the one key to unlocking the source of blessings.
This helps me avoid discouragement when I work for blessings that don’t come, avoid despair when I don’t get blessings I need, and avoid self-criticism when desires for righteous blessings are unfulfilled.
It also helps me direct gratitude to Heavenly Parents who created this world — a world where we can work for blessings, bless others, happen upon blessings, and receive Their direct blessings in our lives :)
My recent HWN has been in pondering why blessings come.
p.s. Here’s the video of our Backstreet Boys lip-sync I promised in my last post 😆
I spent most of the couple weeks since my last post in quarantine because my roommate tested positive for coronavirus (I tested negative and haven’t had symptoms). I’ve had lots of time to fill!
Among other things, I did family history, baked bread (for the first time! see below), cleaned the floorboards, organized our spices cupboard, gathered things for DI, watched 4 movies with my roommate (in different rooms, using 3 HDMI cords to connect, and with walkie talkies to communicate), practiced trumpet, and emptied my personal email inbox! :)
I also celebrated my birthday in quarantine with Thai food for lunch (from my roommate Paul’s mom), a Poke Bowl for dinner (from my sister Jenny), and an extreme dot-to-dot :)
Lastly, Friday was my last day of work (This is my first time being unemployed since January 2009 😬)! I’m starting a 6-month coding bootcamp through App Academy today!