“Will you give the blessing if she wants you to?” asked Jacob on the other end of the phone line. Jacob, my home teaching companion, explained that one of the people we home taught wanted a blessing.
“What would I say in a blessing?” I wondered. I was only 18, and I’d just become an elder and moved away to college. I had prepared my whole life to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood, but I had never thought about the day when I would really need to use it.
I hesitated, swallowed hard, and then heard myself say reluctantly, “Yes.” As soon as I realized what I had said, I cut the word so short that it was hardly audible. I hadn’t meant to say it, but somehow it had popped out of my mouth.
“Great!” cheered the enthusiastic voice. “I’ll be over in a couple of minutes.”
I stood by the phone in my basement apartment, considering calling Jacob back to tell him I couldn’t do it. Then I remembered my dad. Whenever he had to give a blessing, he went quietly into another room and prayed first. He would always say, “Just a second,” and then go say a prayer without anyone noticing. I had noticed though.
Alone in my apartment, I knelt down next to the couch. I bowed my head and started to pray: “Heavenly Father, I might be giving a blessing in a few minutes, and I’ve never done it before. If it be Thy will, help me to have my mind clear of my own thoughts and help me to know by the Spirit what I should say.”
As I stood up, I had a peaceful feeling that I was worthy and that the Spirit would tell me what I needed to say when I needed to say it. I didn’t know what I was going to say, but it didn’t seem to matter.
Several minutes later Jacob and I were in our suits and ties, sitting in the home of the young lady we home taught. The three of us talked for a few minutes about how her life was going. She was having a difficult time and hoped a priesthood blessing would help.
“Who would you like to give the blessing?” Jacob inquired.
She turned to me. “Will you give the blessing?” she asked.
“Yes,” I answered, this time without cutting the word short.
We pulled a white metal chair from the kitchen table into the middle of the room. As I laid my hands on her head, I silently repeated my prayer that I would know what to say. Jacob placed his hands on top of mine, and I began speaking: “By the authority of the holy Melchizedek Priesthood, we lay our hands upon your head and give you a blessing …”
As soon as I finished speaking those words, I knew what to say next. She had told us what her troubles were, and some of the words that came to my mind were about those troubles. Some of the words, though, dealt with things she hadn’t even mentioned. It wasn’t as though I thought ahead about what to say next; the words just came to my mind. They weren’t words I had heard my dad or my companion use. I could feel the Spirit telling me what to say.
After I ended the blessing, she looked up with tears in her eyes and thanked me. I realized I also had tears in my eyes, and I silently thanked my Heavenly Father. He really does inspire worthy priesthood holders. I learned that truth because I had prepared myself to be worthy to receive and use the Melchizedek Priesthood.