The Power to Move Mountains and More!

John Hamer history 34 Comments

I’ve been reading through a new compilation of early patriarchal blessings, given by the first Mormon Presiding Patriarchs: Joseph Smith Sr., Hyrum Smith and William Smith. These revelations can be mined for any number of treasures — enriching our understanding of the expectations and beliefs of our early Mormon ancestors.

The early Latter Day Saints believed that Christ would return in their lifetimes to usher in the Millennium, so I was not surprised at all to see that so many of the blessings included the promise that the recipient would live to see that day. For example, Joseph Sr. blessed future LDS church president Wilford Woodruff that “Thou shalt stand in the flesh and see the winding up of this generation. Thou shalt remain on the earth to behold the Savior come in the clouds of heaven.” (Blessing given on 13 April 1837).

Much more surprising were the specific priesthood powers Joseph Sr. mentioned. I have often heard of the ability to move mountains as an example of a potential priesthood power, but in a blessing to Joseph Cooper, Joseph Sr. predicts Br. Cooper will excercise that power: “Thou… shall do many miracles, Mountains shall remove at thy word, prisons shall not hold thee…”

The power that comes next in the blessing is even more interesting, as Joseph Sr. states: “thou shalt translate thyself from planet to planet…” (Blessing given on 14 May 1836).

Joseph Cooper is not alone in his ability to “translate” (teleport) himself. Ethan Barrows was similarly promised: “Thou shalt have power to translate thyself from land to land, and from country to country, from one end of heaven to the other, & when thy work is done, thou shalt be translated from earth to heaven.” (Blessing given by Joseph Smith Sr. on 23 March 1836).

William Harris meanwhile was promised the power “to translate thyself and change into a shadow, so that if any shall smite at thee they shall only hit thy shadow and thou shall be in another place.” (Blessing given by Joseph Smith Sr. on 2 May 1836).

These are some pretty exciting priesthood powers! And I think the belief in these powers illustrates the excitement of the early Mormons. There was nothing separating them from the miraculous stories recounted in the Bible and Book of Mormon. They were living out the verses of a new book of scriptures — the last few pages of the last book that would be written before the world’s end.

Comments

comments

Comments 34

  1. So, sounds like some of these blessings did not come true??? Does that diminish ones opinion of Priesthood power and blessings??

    Darrell

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    Darrell: What’s interesting to me is getting a sense of the world-view of the people at the time. I personally wouldn’t expect anyone to be able to teleport ever; but I find it fascinating that the early Mormons were living in a world where they believed that they could.

  3. John, are there are blessings that mention people on the moon and young men going on a mission there to preach the gospel? I heard that somewhere but cant remember the source.

    What you mention is very interesting isn’t it. It makes one think. Not only do I think about where I would send myself if I could teleport, but it also makes me think about, like you say, the cultural soil in which the church took root and how that is still projected upon us, even unconsciously and implicitly, in church organization.

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    Stephen: Yes. For example, Solomon Warner Jr. is promised “thou shalt be translated and preach to other worlds”. Julius Thompson is told that he would “preach the gospel in other planets and save many.” Future LDS church president Lorenzo Snow is told: “thou shalt have power to translate thyself from one plannet to annother — power to go to the moon if thou desire it.”

  5. I understand what you are talking about and it is interesting to consider the worldview during that time and how we are still influenced by it in church folklore, etc. But, I am being serious with my questions about it diminishing ones faith in the Priesthood Power. If the Lord allowed them to contain such false promises in their blessings, does that mean that when I give a blessing to my wife or children that I can promise something, which I feel in my heart the Lord is telling me to promise, but is utterly false? And, if so, what is the point in the blessing anyway? The person receiving it will be asking, what is true and what is not true in the blessing and I will be asking the same thing.

    Just a thought.

    Darrell

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    Darrell: Christians have been predicting that the Second Coming would happen in their lifetimes since Jesus’s death. Everyone has always been disappointed, but that hasn’t meant that they stopped being Christian. Even setting a date doesn’t necessarily get you in trouble. Joseph Smith Jr.’s contemporary, William Miller also believed the Second Coming was imminent and like Joseph he predicted a date range. (In Joseph’s case the range — on or before 56 years from 1835, i.e., sometime before 1892 — was relatively distant and vague.) In Miller’s prediction, the time was nailed down to between 1843 and 1844. But when Miller’s dates came and went, it didn’t end his movement. Both the Seventh Day Adventists and the Jehovah’s Witnesses have Millerite roots. Despite the failure of Miller’s prophecies, both those churches are larger and faster growing than the LDS church is today.

    How do people react to prophetic failure? You would imagine that most people would lose their faith. In fact, this only happens for a minority. Some do reject their former faith. Another minority of believers reject the prophecy and continue following the prophet. Others reject the prophet but continue to believe in his or her earlier prophecies. By far, the majority of the faithful reinterpret the prophecy.

    Early Mormons reacted in precisely the same way to “failed” prophecies. Some of them left the movement. Some of them rejected the prophecy. Some rejected the prophet but remained believers in the movement (several Latter Day Saint churches today believe Joseph Smith Jr. “fell” as a prophet). However, the majority reinterpreted the prophecy so that the difference between their original perceived outcome and what happened were reconciled in their minds.

  7. I think this provides insight into human nature as much as it provides insight into early mormon history. I love all this crazy stuff. I have to make a note of these John for my “crazy” talk that is going to help me not get any callings for the next 5 years from my bishop…very convenient whilst I have no time to study anything but medicine anyways! (and Chomsky!) Call it “direct action” or “ecclesiastical disobedience” if you will.

    Where are you getting this info John? Is it in a book?

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    Yes — I have been reading Mike Marquardt’s recent book, Early Patriarchal Blessings of The Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Unfortunatly, even though it’s brand new, it’s already out of print. They did a very limited print run and it sold out immediately.

  9. There is a simple way to account for many of the seeming discrepancies between these blessings and reality: namely, multiple mortal probations (ie, reincarnation). In other words, Wilford Woodruff WILL witness the Second Coming in the flesh, just not in his ‘Wilford Woodruff’ flesh.
    For me, realizing this is true resolves many apparent problems in our current theology.

  10. Years ago in Sunday school, an active, faithful LDS woman in her mid 50’s proceeded to tell the class that her patriotical blessing promised that she would be blessed with many children. As it turned out she was unable to have a single child.

    It was interesting to me that although she never had children she was confident she would have many in the next life.

    Inside, I cried for her disappointment, and was perplexed by her faith.

    I don’t know how to interpret this situation in a positive way. For me, either the blessing was incorrect, or at best very misleading (in a hurtful way).

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    Here are some more powers. There is a lot of repetition, so I’ll just pull out a few of them:

    “Thou shall have power over prisons and prison walls and over fires and floods.”
    (JS Sr. to Orson Hyde, 29 Dec. 1835)

    “thou shalt have power to remove every obstacle Mountains shall tremble before thee, and rivers shall divide at thy command…” (JS Sr. to Ebenezer Robinson, 31 Jan. 1836)

    “Thou shalt…have power over winds and waves.” (JS Sr. to Jonathan Crosby, 21 Feb. 1836)

    “thou Shalt have power over death & the grave & not sleep in the dust, but if thou wilt seek with all thy heart thou shalt be able to translate & be with Elijah in the Kingdom of heaven.” (JS. Sr. to Oliver Harmon, 8 Mar. 1836)

    “The Lord hath…designed…to give thee power to overcome thy enemies and walk upon their ashes… The Lord shall requite thee and riches shall flow unto thee. The great men of the earth shall bring thee treasures untill thou shalt say tis enough… Thou shalt have the power to translate thyself away from thine enemies, so that they cannot find thee. and nothing shall be too great for thee.” (JS Sr. to Leonard Lyman, 2 May 1836).

    “Thou shalt be able to quench the violence of fire. Floods shall not drown thee, winds and waves shall obey thy voice and the elements shall be subject to thee…” (JS Sr. to David Elliot, 5 May 1836)

    “Thou shalt have power to…do many signs on the earth…thou shalt be as Elijah. thou shalt call down fire: yeah thou shalt have power over all diseases…” (JS Sr. to Israel Knapp, 25 June 1836)

    “thou shalt have power to translate thyself like Enoch, power over fires & flood…power over the treasures of the earth…” (JS Sr. to Elisha Wright, 1 Dec. 1836)

    “If it be expedient the Dead shall rise and come forth at thy biding even those that have long slept in the dust shall come foarth to life.” (JS Sr. to Lorenzo Snow, 15 Dec. 1836)

    “Those that dug pits for thee shall fall into them.” (JS Sr. to James Marvin Adams, 27 May 1837)

    “thou shalt have have power as Elijah, to waft thyself to Heaven thou shalt not sleep in the dust…” (JS Sr. to Noah Packard, 13 Dec. 1837)

    “thou shalt have great power over the treasures of the earth, and when thou hast no other means thou shalt go and dig treasures out of the earth to supply their wants.” (JS Sr. to Alexander S. Standley, 8 Apr. 1838)

  12. I’ve always been particularly interested in the Joseph Smith History description(s) of angel Moroni’s appearances to Joseph Smith.

    30 While I was thus in the act of calling upon God, I discovered a light appearing in my room, which continued to increase until the room was lighter than at noonday, when immediately a personage appeared at my bedside, standing in the air, for his feet did not touch the floor.

    What exactly is being described here? Is Moroni somehow ‘phasing’ through the ceiling or is he teleporting into the room? Is he traveling on a beam of light somehow? It’s a very candid and interesting description. What makes the example more interesting is that (in the Mormon cosmology of things) Moroni wasn’t always an angel but is described as a human being who lived in Book of Mormon times approximately 400A.D.

    What does this description tell us about Mormon views of a righteous human being’s potential or future (after death).

    Because we as Mormons believe that righteous covenant-keeping people can become exalted eternal/immortal beings (or some would say, gods), it seems that no imaginable capability or ‘superpower’ would be out of the picture. What I think we are seeing in these accounts is that people are not filtering anything out of the blessings they are giving to people. A century later (or however long it has been) we are much more conditioned to keep pronouncements in blessings within a certain acceptable scope(?) that doesn’t clash to such a great degree with modern skepticism.

    What’s interesting is that a religious group of people in the nineteenth century wanted to go to the moon, believed in space travel, teleportation, etc. We have to remember that in this history of the world only twelve people have set foot on the moon. Notions of space travel, life on other worlds, etc. are quite controversial and orthodox religious people have often been the first ones to deny the possibility/desirability of such a thing.

    I haven’t found it yet – but I remember reading or hearing of an account of Muslims (perhaps in Saudi Arabia) denying that it would be possible for human beings to be on the moon – they seemed to feel that Allah would not permit such a thing. So why would Mormons be quick to embrace these kinds of ideas before space programs even existed?

    I actually kind of like these early Mormon stories.

  13. Hi John

    I noticed all your quotes on “here are some more powers ” were all given JS senior. Do you think there has been ever sort of a rogue patriarch ? Do we get them from time to time now?

    Isn’t there some sort of checks and balances where the Stake President reads all the blessing or one in three blessings for any kind of discrepancies?

    Regards

    James

  14. Hey John Hamer…I have just realized why all these patriarchal blessings have not come to fruition?

    It is obviously due to the fact that everyone who was given them was not righteous enough. hehehehe

    Please…anyone who reads this…It’s a joke. lol

  15. Years ago in Sunday school, an active, faithful LDS woman in her mid 50’s proceeded to tell the class that her patriotical blessing promised that she would be blessed with many children. As it turned out she was unable to have a single child.

    Well, what more should she expect from a “patriotical” blessing? Is that the kind of blessing that right-wing George Bush fans give, all the while proclaiming what great patriots they are?

  16. “thou shalt have great power over the treasures of the earth, and when thou hast no other means thou shalt go and dig treasures out of the earth to supply their wants.” (JS Sr. to Alexander S. Standley, 8 Apr. 1838)

    Fascinating, in light of Joseph Smith Sr.’s personal interest in treasure digging.

  17. So why would Mormons be quick to embrace these kinds of ideas before space programs even existed?

    Joseph Fielding Smith wasn’t very quick to embrace them. According to D. Michael Quinn, JFS made at least two comments prior to the moon landing:

    “We will never get a man into space. This earth is man’s sphere and it was never intended that he should get away from it.”

    “The moon is a superior planet to the earth and it was never intended that man should go there. You can write it down in your books that this will never happen.”

  18. Nik, I was wondering when someone would call me on this:
    ”Well, what more should she expect from a “patriotical” blessing? Is that the kind of blessing that right-wing George Bush fans give, all the while proclaiming what great patriots they are?”

    Let me try my hand at apologetics: You see you simply lack understanding because in the next life patriotical = patriarchal.

    You just have to apply some “logic” and it all makes sense. 🙂

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    Re: 14 James — Actually, the reason why I had used Joseph Smith Sr. was because he was the first Patriarch and I hadn’t gotten any further in this book. As I’ve gotten to Hyrum, the character of the blessings changes immediately. Hyrum is much less concerned with priesthood powers and also worldly treasures. His blessings are much more concerned with lineage and with celestial crowns and mansions in heaven.

    In terms of oversight by Stake Presidents, Joseph Sr. was ordained patriarch on 18 December 1833, prior to the creation of any Stakes or Stake Presidents. I don’t think that the presiding patriarch’s blessings were subject to review by Stake Presidents in the early church.

  20. To follow a little on danithew’s comment, I think that all of the things described, particularly the teleporting or preaching on other planets, could be fulfiled by the recipient continuing to work for furtherance of the Gospel after death as a ministering angel much like Moroni did. Of course, this falls into the reinterpretation category mentioned by John H. in comment # 6, but I don’t see anything particularly wrong with that.

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    Danithew & John F. — I agree. I didn’t get this book or bring up this post to comment on the predictive ability of early patriarchs. (This was supposed to be a light post.) I don’t consider that to be an open question in need of answering. For Mormons with a particular world-view, any perceived failures are due either to failure of perception, failure of interpretation, failure of worthiness on the part of the recepient and/or failure of worthiness on the part of the patriarch (cf. a “rogue patriarch” described above). (In my world-view, by contrast, I don’t expect there would be any greater success rate here than with any other similar predictions, nor do I see any need to demonstrate any of those results.)

    In looking at these sources, what is interesting to me is getting a sense of the beliefs of people at the time, and then looking at these as the exemplars and sources for later beliefs and practices. Like danithew, I like these early Mormon stories. I think the unwillingness of the Saints to be circumscribed in their beliefs is what made them energetic and interesting.

  22. Stake presidents review patriarchal blessings for content? That’s kind of interesting. I’ve never heard of that practice until now.

    When did this practice start? Is it something church-wide? How much discretion does a stake president have to do this or not do it?

    Are there any sources on this as official policy? How exactly does this type of review work?

    The difficulty, I imagine, to some extent – is that a patriarchal blessing is recorded as it is uttered while the patriarch’s hands are on the head of the person receiving the blessing … which means the person being blessed is hearing a blessing that has not been reviewed for content.

    Memory is faulty to a certain extent but while I was waiting for my paper copy I was still reviewing, in my mind, some of the things that were said in my blessing. A person isn’t likely to forget the sort of dramatic things that might get edited out – at least as I am imagining it.

  23. Nick Literski,

    I read your comment #19 – but what you have said doesn’t really worry me all that much. For one thing, the trip to the moon happened. So we know Joseph Fielding Smith was wrong in his conclusions. I can digest him being wrong on that issue without feeling dislike for him. Sometimes I find that too rigid an orthodoxy and certainty of one’s own beliefs is a personal problem. He was sure of what he believed on that matter, but happened to be wrong. That doesn’t disrupt my faith. I just find it a little bit humorous.

    Honestly, when reading the post and subsequent comments, and while writing my own first comment on this thread, I found myself thinking about Herbert’s Dune (and the cynical role played by religious figures therein) and also of Star Trek (with it’s whole ‘beam me up Scottie’ routine). I think in some ways Moroni’s visit to Joseph Smith comes across as a ‘beam me down’ type of thing. Missionary work on other worlds? I hope there isn’t any kind of interstellar jihad like there is in Dune … again, I just find myself laughing while thinking about it.

    I feel in some ways that Mormonism pre-dated some of the ideas that get developed by some of these science fiction type writers – and was (and continues to be) into ideas that make our minds want to go a little bit nuts. In the Pearl of Great Price, we think about the universe and God having a literal place in that universe – maybe even on a planet or near a star that is out there somewhere. If we could just get a telescope that would see far enough out there …

    We believe in a literal resurrection. We believe in angels and worlds without number and many other strange and I would say ‘marvelous’ things.

    I say this with a sense of humor but also with some seriousness, that I think there will be discovery of life on other worlds. The concept of missionary work on other worlds is really quite ‘out there’ or difficult to comprehend (and I don’t know what I think of it) – but at the same time when one thinks about certain aspects of the endowment ceremony and apocryphal literature and other aspects of our beliefs, it isn’t a completely impossible notion.

    Part of what Jesus taught in the New Testament (not a wholly Mormon book, by any means), in his ‘many mansions’ speech, is that God has prepared things for the righteous that they have not seen, heard, imagined, etc.

    I feel confident that in an afterlife, even for those who believed in that afterlife, there will be a lot of consternation when to find out that we were wrong, misguided or just plain ignorant of many, many things.

  24. I find it incredibly facinating. It doesnt trouble my faith, only speaks to the falibility of man. We dont take literally the writings in the book of Revelations, so why do some mormon’s take so literally everything else. I imagine JS Sr was using words to communicate a “picture”. Then add in the hot topics of gospel discussion and voila, some pretty interesting stuff. Frankly, I care less about whether or not it is true than what it says about that person and the church at that point in its history.

  25. #28 Jenni Gile –

    Good point.

    When I was in college, a man and his wife told us a story of when he died, and in the spirit world saw angels recording our lives on video cassettes. Isaiah saw a scroll. John saw a book. Do angels really use cassettes, scrolls, or books?

    More likely, JS senior was interpreting his impressions of priesthood power and celestial life into the paradigm of his own mind. Okay, turning into a shade is a little odd (but really cool), but most of the blessings could easily be post-mortal missionary work, etc.

    (and yes, this is clearly the reinterpretation John talked about in #6)

  26. Pingback: Your posterity shall “avenge the blood of the Prophets and Patriarchs” with the help of savage Indian warriors at Mormon Matters

  27. Those powers of teleportation or transportation do have scriptural examples, such as Danithew pointed out Moroni “translating” or “beaming” into Joseph’s bedroom in 1823.

    I have to admit I’m enough of a science fiction fan to have thought “cool” on several occasions when I have read that.

    It was Daniel (the prophet), and some others (maybe Ezekiel) who were beamed/teleported/translated to various places too. If you read Daniel literally, he was physically (bodily) taken back to Judah and other places during one of his visions, not just “in vision.”

    2 Nephi 4:25 describes Nephi being physically (the word “body” is used) transported by the Spirit to a mountain. That verse is footnoted to 1 Nephi 11:1, which describes another “caught away” event. The verse in 1 Nephi 11:1 doesn’t say bodily, but it’s easy to read the last clause in the verse: “upon which I never had _before_ set my foot”, which if you emphasize _before_, you can infer that now he did set foot on that mountain.

    Our western culture seems to have a Greek influence about miracles or divine things occuring “in the spirit” in such a way that the physical body is excluded from the experience.

    I put forth that the miraculous events in the scriptures are more literal, that “in the spirit” could often mean “in the Spirit”, meaning that the Holy Ghost falls upon, or “fills,” the person involved, and the event happens to the individual’s undivided spirit-body and physical body. In other words, the mortal person’s spirit and body do not (necessarily) separate and travel apart. Though I suppose they could, kind of like out-of-body near-death-experiences.

    We have confusion because the word “spirit” (lower case s) has so many meanings along with “in spirit” or “in the Spirit”. I don’t know if the original Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic had capitalizations, or how the KJV translators knew when to use “spirit” or “Spirit”. “spirit” with a lowercase “s”, can mean a human’s personal spirit (that part that pre-existed and will continue to exist after physical death. And “in spirit” can mean a spiritual event, or a event influence by the Holy Ghost. “In the Spirit” seems to denote something different.

    I believe that some visions happen in a virtual reality played out on the movie screen of the mind but that such a VR-type vision is not exclusive to all visions.

    Another Book of Mormon event of divine transportation is Nephi in Helaman Chapter 10 being conveyed in the Spirit from place to place. I picture that as the Holy Ghost literally picking him up, as he did the original Nephi, and flying him (in a manner like Superman carrying Lois Lane in the air) to another destination.

    Divine/miraculous transportation occurs several times in the NT. After the Savior came aboard the boat during the storm after walking on water, the boat was miraculously/instantaneously taken to the desination at the far side of the sea.

    Several times the Savior departed out of the midst of those who wanted to apprehend him. One could possibly read that as merely “ditching” his pursuers by getting lost in the crowd and darting into an alley, but the language does seem to imply some sort of a miraculous escape via a divine power. That may be related to the “shadow” type of thing mentioned above.

    After baptizing the eunuch, Phillip is miraculously transported away to his next assignment.

    As far as whether those promises from patriarchal blessings came true or not in the recipients’ mortal lives, we can’t really tell for sure. Maybe some of them did escape prison, and teleport/translate around various times, and considered it too sacred to tell anyone.

    But I tend to agree with those who suggest that such promises are likely (though not exclusively) to occur in a post-mortal state, either pre- or post-resurrection.

    A few years ago in the ‘nacle, someone posted several written speculations by prophets after Joseph Smith as to whether the First Vision was a virtual reality experience, or whether the Father and the Son were bodily in the grove. Regardless of whether it was a virtual or a bodily appearance, it really doesn’t matter. Personally, I think it was a bodily appearance, but that even so, had there been another mortal present, the other person likely wouldn’t have seen Heavenly Father and the Savior.

    One misinterpretation that some make is what it means to “have” children. Most people assume that for a woman “to have children” means giving birth to them, and for a man it means to engender them. The word “have” does not demand birthing or engendering, but merely denotes the posession. One could marry someone who is already a parent, and instantly have children.

  28. Hello John — Would you mind contacting me offline please? I have a question I’d like to ask you.

    – Joshua

  29. Divine teleportation happens, let me tell you. I know this sounds fake, and I could be one of those guys who just likes to create Mormon folklore, but I promise you, as surely as I have a testimony in the legitimacy of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, that this is 100% true.

    I have a twin brother. When we were ten we lived in Georgia and had forty acres of property out in the country. My father was somewhat inactive in the Church and was struggling. One night we realized we could not find my twin brother, and after searching for an hour we became panicked. He was gone. My Dad roared throughout our property on his ATV and my uncle in our car. My Mom and my siblings and I all stayed in the house and looked through the attic, the basement, turned over every single piece of furniture looking for him. We soon called 9-1-1, and the police came out and started combing our property, at least forty men. Everyone believed that my brother had been gone for too long: after four hours, he could be anywhere, that is, out of the reach of the police. They believed he was dead. The strange thing was is that his shoes were all in the closet: he had gone shoe-less wherever he went.

    And here comes the climax of this extremely spiritual story. The police were ordering a K-9 unit and a helicopter to sweep our fields and forests for him. My Dad was running up a hill on our property when he collapsed from exhaustion. He had prayed a few times, very quickly, but had not knelt down in serious prayer. My father then began to pray, as he could do nothing else as he heaved for oxygen. And then he reports an incredibly spiritual feeling: after praying extremely passionately to God, he was answered. He said he heard a voice, something more tangible than a thought and less real than a vocalization: “He’s in the house.” My father then ran into the house, where my Mom and my siblings and I had just finished praying in a circle. “He’s in the house.” My father repeated. He marched immediately to his bedroom and my brother was asleep ontop of the covers on his bed. My father raised him above his head and ran out into the front yard, yelling, “I FOUND HIM!” The police were somewhat annoyed that he had been found in his own home.

    But here’s the strange thing. After questioned about the experience, my brother says that he started feeling angry after it was announced we’d be eating bagels for dinner, something he said even at the time that he wouldn’t normally be angry about. He slid behind the large speakers of our TV and went to sleep there. We looked in this spot, and he wasn’t there. We had people in the house at every time, so he could not have been sleep-walking from hiding spot to hiding spot. And then the bed: we had moved the bed onto its side against the wall, hoping he’d be under it for some reason. Something had moved the bed back into place and put my brother there. My brother swears that he was asleep through the whole event.

    It really helped my father’s testimony. He had faith in Jesus Christ and his prayers were answered. This happened for a reason. But the moral of the story is that God can take people from one place and time to another in the blink of an eye, even in these modern days. Miracles happen everywhere.

  30. I know this is an old post but i just want to point out that patriarchal blessings are not just for our current lives but also in paradise, where we are to teach the lost or unknowing spirits who died without the gospel, and also in heaven after. prophets have said (cant remember which sorry. mightve been Joseph F Smith) that spirit paradise and prison are on this earth. prophets have also said that there are many planets with life on them. So those that will travel between planets may very well be doing that this very moment in whatever dimension paradise and prison are in. just my thoughts

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