The Baby Blessing I Wish I’d Given my Children

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. . . to give you a name and a blessing. The name you will be known throughout life and on the records of the church is Tardigrade Spellbinder Peck.

I bless you that you will be lucky. That you will have an uncanny ability to be in the right place at the right time. As you go through life, I bless you that people that can help you will be drawn to you, and feel a desire to assist you.

You were born into a world of privilege. Never thank God for the luck of your placement on this earth. Never thank the Lord for blessings that you have received that others have not. Follow the example of Father Abraham who pled with the Lord to save the city of Lot when he had a mind to destroy it. When you feel blessed to have been healed, remember those who have not been and plead with the Lord that they also be made whole. When you feel blessed because your lost child is found, remember that your neighbor’s child remains missing. If you are tempted to feel blessed because you were born on this side of a wall, remember that many were born on the other side. Thank not the Lord for blessings reflecting only the accident of your birth until all have received these blessings too.

Even so, thank the Lord lavishly for misfortune. It is the greatest teacher you will encounter.

Remember that you are born of rich pioneer stock and this heritage is an honor and responsibility. Remember it was your ancestors who first used their fins to climb from Earth’s shallow seas. That it was your grandmothers who took to the trees and developed the grasping hands which allow you to do so much. Remember it was your pioneer ancestors who walked among the most ferocious and fearsome predators to have ever lived and these grandparents thrived fantastically on the flat landscape of Africa’s dangerous savannah. Remember you are from a long line of survivors. You can survive as well. Therefore I lay upon your head the blessings of cunning, of spotting predators, and the gift of being able to build a fire when you are cold, all these both in reality and metaphorically. Share your fire with all who seek its warmth.

Walk among the creatures of this place. Remember the gift of the Earth. As all have this blessing, thank the Lord lavishly for the air you breathe, for the water you drink, for the abundance of life that feeds, clothes, and sustains you. Show your gratitude to the Lord by the care you offer this home your heavenly parents have provided. Walk in and preserve the wild places of the earth so that all may enjoy communion with the divine in the holiest of temples, the Lord’s house, this home.

Follow the Spirit in all you do. Remember that it is best used with the other gifts you have been given by your Heavenly Parents: Rationality, Common sense, Deliberation, Study and Pondering, Insight, and Love. Most often its voice will call you to render service and love. The more you love, the more you will feel the Spirit. Be warned, it is easy to mistake your own voice for the Spirit’s, and it will rarely be the first thought that pops into your head. Therefore be patient in learning how to follow its voice.

Learn the voices of others. Hear those that speak from skins not of your own shade and hue. Remember that we are all children of God. Hear the voices of people from other nations, principalities, and kingdoms. Hear the voices of genders other than your own and from those who find the call to love differently than you. Hear those speaking from religions far and wide. From cultures old and new. Learn the voices of those enabled differently than you, and may your own disabilities complete you. Read the stories and poetry and perspectives of those with experiences other than those with which you are familiar. Cherish the scriptures. Both your own and those of others. Listen widely to the music of your brothers and sisters. See in them the face of your Heavenly Mother and Father. And most of all share your voice often and let it join with theirs in praise of the Highest.

I bless you that you may find love in your life. And that you may take these special people and seal them in your heart to rise with you in the resurrection.

In times you feel desiccated of spirit, drained of life, empty of the spiritual nutrients that sustain and bless you, remember the name you were given. These wondrous Tactopods can serve as a metaphor for lightless times. They can survive the emptiness of space, and sometimes in life you will know the void. Curl tight around what life you have, and trust in others to help you find again those things you need to flourish. Abide.

I bless you with wonder. With curiosity. With awe at this wonderful universe. Your life is a work of art, you are free to make it what you will. Make it something you are proud of. God will help if invited.

I bless you with all of the Deathly Hallows, an invisibility cloak, an undefeatable wand, and stone to recall the dead. All these are found in your heart. May you always be invisible to those who would harm you. May your heart and its goodness never be defeated, and may the stone of your fine memory recall the dead who have gone before whose help you will recognize as those who have and will help you on your way.

In name of Christ the Holy One, may you be blessed. Amen.

Comments

  1. Oh, my. This is both moving and powerful. A blessing I would like to give my children every day of their lives over again. Thank you.

  2. I love this. Thank you.
    (Although I’m still working on the tardigrade appreciation. It doesn’t trip off the tongue, somehow.)

  3. Aussie Mormon says:

    He’s more likely to get away with Tardigrade than water bear or moss piglet.

  4. Wonderful!
    “It is easy to mistake the spirit as your own voice..” I may have to ponder this for a time. I would have thought instead that it is easy to mistake one’s own voice as the spirit.

  5. Hope Wiltfong says:

    Love this. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Kevin Barney says:

    Amen.

  7. My daughter never received a blessing as a baby. I am going to print this out and give it to her. She finally has her blessing.

  8. Almost thou convincest me to have another child so that I may give them this blessing. Almost ….

  9. Bro. Jones says:

    Sublime. Thanks.

  10. Bro. Jones says:

    I wonder if Tardigrade is a gender-neutral name. “Tardi” sounds relatively feminine and “Grady” sounds masculine enough. And if called to be a general authority, Elder/Sister T. Spellbinder Peck sounds fine.

  11. maebridge80 says:

    Amen.
    Before each of my own children’s blessings, my husband asked me if there was anything I wanted him to specifically include. I always said that all I wanted their blessing to have was Matthew 5:16. And superpowers.

  12. Bless you, Steve.

  13. JR Good Catch. Repaired it. My meta-level-dyslexia.
    Tracy: If you do give it to your daughter, tell her it’s from one scientist to another.

  14. SteveP — and here I was working on making something profound out of it, like maybe avoiding pride in one’s own motivation to serve and love, rather than recognizing that motivation as a prompting of the spirit. Cheers, from one not so good at recognizing promptings of the spirit as such.

  15. your food allergy is fake says:

    SteveP, can you explain why you don’t want Tardigrade to thank the Lord for blessings she/he has received that others have not? Couldn’t that apply to pretty much every blessing there is? Just interested in what your thoughts are here.

  16. Paul Ritchey says:

    This, more than almost anything I’ve read, bottles the spirit of the mortal journey and holds it up to light. Well done, Steve.

  17. your food allergy is fake, This is just my way of doing things, and I don’t teach it as a general approach, but too often our prayers of thanks reflect only that things turned out like we wanted them to. Some of my greatest blessings come when prayers apparently weren’t so answered. And for me thanking the Lord for things (like that I live in a free country, that my kids got better, etc.) reflect a hidden sense that I am more or privileged or special than my neighbors. Or I’m tempted to so think. When Christ said, Therefore pray ye after this manner:

    Our Father, which art in heaven,
    Hallowed be thy Name.
    Thy kingdom come.
    Thy will be done,
    in earth as it is in heaven.
    Give us this day our daily bread.
    And forgive us our trespasses,
    As we forgive them that trespass against us.
    And lead us not into temptation;
    But deliver us from evil:
    [For thine is the kingdom, the power,
    and the glory, for ever and ever.]
    Amen.

    I notice that the focus is not to thank God for blessings. However, when I say my way of doing things, it really is a goal more than an achievement. Sometimes when I feel blessed, what’s the refrain, “How can I keep from singing?”

    Maybe this will contextualize it. Right after I moved to Utah, a boy was lost in the Unitas. Search parties came by the thousands to look for him. Stakes were asked to fast and pray for him. He was never found. The very next year (I believe) another boy was lost in the Unitas. Search parties came by the thousands to look for him. Stakes were asked to fast and pray for him. He was found. No worse for wear. Interview, after interview, expressed thanks to God for this blessing. From family, friends, and sheriffs involved in the search. I rejoiced too. But I couldn’t help but hear these expressions of gratitude with the ears of the loved ones of last year’s lost boy. God’s mysterious will was invoked, but if God will do his will regardless, what are we thanking him for? Then perhaps our thanks should be nothing more than an injunction to help those whose obvious blessings are not those we usually express thanks for. Maybe in remembering them, I am thanking God in a way that reflects his divine projects?

    Keep in mind that when I write, I experiment. I try things on. This idea of not thanking God for things withheld from others tasted good to me. I want to aim my prayers this direction. I fail, but when I fail, I do try to remember more ardently those who do not enjoy the blessings I have. Maybe what I’m saying is perhaps our thanks should take the form, not as a verbal expression of thanks, but as an injunction to help those who do not enjoy the blessings I think have. Maybe in remembering them, I am thanking God in a way that reflects a commitment to help in his divine projects?

    As I say, this is a way that I make sense of prayer. Take it as an idea and try it on. If it doesn’t work that’s OK too. God loves us doing experiments.

  18. SteveP: When I take my version of your thoughts about giving thanks (a barely discernible similarity, but there) and want to boil it down to one phrase, I pray for, give thanks for, the fullness of life. And then I’m often caught up with “really!? All of it?” Yes, but not without some thought.
    Thanks again.

  19. Michael H. says:

    This is fantastic! Thank you, Steve P!

  20. Moves me more deeply than anything I have read for months

  21. You can always give your children a Father’s blessing.

  22. This strikes a chord with me as well. This unique perspective is refreshing.

  23. I love that the non-teleological process of evolution managed to churn out a Steve Peck. Nobody could have predicted it, but I sure am grateful.

  24. Maureen Lawson says:

    Steve Im always amazed at your incite and how you write feelings I have so often..You are a marvel and a wiz at writing..