To know and understand myself

This post is part of the General Conference Odyssey. This week covers the Relief Society Session of the October 1988 Conference.
Awhile ago I ran into Emma Smith's "last blessing." Have I talked about it here? Apparently Emma asked Joseph for a blessing just before he left for Carthage Jail. He didn't have time to give her one right then, but told her to write out what she desired as a blessing, and when he came back he would sign it and it would be just as effective.

One of the talks in the Relief Society session referenced Emma's blessing, and I was glad to be reminded of it. Sister Barbara W. Winder said:
It is according to our natures, sisters, to have feelings of charity and benevolence. It isn’t always easy to put these feelings into action. But as women, we should pray for charitable desires and opportunities and then work to foster these godlike attributes. 
I suppose that Emma Smith had more than her share of frustration and disappointment. Her life couldn’t have been easy as she suffered persecution along with her husband, the Prophet. It is reported that shortly before his martyrdom, Joseph sent a message to Emma in answer to her request for a blessing. He was not able to give her a blessing, but told her to write one, and when he saw her again he would sign it. I am impressed with the faith and the righteous intent revealed in her words…
Sister Winder goes on to quote excerpts from the blessing, but I'm going to quote the whole thing:
First of all that I would crave as the richest of heaven’s blessings would be wisdom from my Heavenly Father bestowed daily, so that whatever I might do or say, I would not look back at the close of the day with regret, nor neglect the performance of any act that would bring a blessing.  I desire the spirit of God to know and understand myself that I might be able to overcome whatever Tradition or nature that would not tend to my exaltation in the eternal worlds.  I desire a fruitful, active mind, that I may be able to comprehend the designs of God, when revealed through His Servants without doubting.  I desire the spirit of discernment, which is one of the blessings of the Holy Ghost. 
I particularly desire wisdom to bring up all the children that are, or may be committed to my charge, in such a manner that they will be useful ornaments in the Kingdom of God, and in the coming day rise up and call me blessed. 
I desire prudence that I may not through ambition abuse my body and cause it to be prematurely old and care-worn, but that I may wear a cheerful countenance, live to perform all the work I covenanted to perform in the spirit-world and be a blessing to all who may in any wise need aught at my hands. 
I desire with all my heart to honor and respect my husband as my head, to ever live in his confidence and by acting in unison with him to retain the place which God has given me by his side.   
I desire to see my kindred and friend embrace the principles of Eternal Truth, that I may rejoice with them in the blessings which God has in store for all who are willing to be obedient to His requirements. 
Finally, I desire that whatever may be my lot through life I may be enabled to acknowledge the hand of God in all things.”
Of course, Joseph never did come back from Carthage, so reading this feels extra tender. I think it's so beautiful, and I like to think that Heavenly Father granted her all these righteous desires of her heart. And it makes me feel so close to Emma. I feel like I could have written most of these words myself!

My favorite part is when she says "I desire the spirit of God to know and understand myself." I am constantly asking for that same thing! And I think it's so perceptive of her to realize that God can reveal it to her. I'm hoping He'll reveal it to me too.

Other posts in this series:

Be Good Now, Perfect Later—by Nathaniel Givens
Are we spiritually prepared for now?—by Jan Tolman

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