You know what time it is. Time for the fourth installment of “Ask EOR”! The previous 3 installments can be found here here and here. I just want to remind you all that you can e-mail your questions to me at askeor.rf@gmail.com and I will do my very best to shed light on any and all Mormon (and Mormon adjacent) queries you might have.

Let’s get started:

“Dear EOR,
After years of struggling to find connection and healthy relationships I have finally found a guy who really complements my life. Our relationship has recently reached the point where we have begun discussing marriage, and I am confident that any life that we built together would be deeply meaningful and fulfilling. The only hitch is that my patriarchal blessing expressly advises that I marry a member. Not just a member, but a returned missionary. My partner is neither. To be clear, I’m not asking whether or not I should marry my partner. I’ve weighed the option and I truly believe that he is right for me. My question is: what do I do with my patriarchal blessing now? It’s a hinge blessing. An ‘if you marry an rm then all these blessings apply’. There’s no ‘here’s what to do if you don’t’. Do I set the blessing aside as counsel that applied only temporarily, or do I struggle to find meaning when I have openly flouted it’s advice?
-Anonymous”

Dear Anonymous,
My opinion of Patriarchal Blessings is that they are like personal scripture. Your life has gone down a different path than was initially anticipated when you received your blessing. No doubt you yourself even thought at that time that you would marry a Returned Missionary. Agency is a beautiful and precious thing and you are exercising your agency here. A Patriarchal Blessing is not a magical fortune-telling session—it is a snapshot in time. I take out my Patriarchal Blessing and read it once in a while (I should really do it more often) but when I do I not only see all the places where I have supposedly strayed from the advice offered me but I see opportunities to practice applying it to my current situation the same way we do with ancient scripture. In Adam S. Miller’s book, Letters To A Young Mormon, (and again on the Maxwell Institute Podcast) he makes an excellent point about us not just running our eyes over scripture but rather embarking on the hard work of re-translating it for ourselves. That is your task. You must re-translate your Patriarchal Blessing in light of this new information. Good luck to you, and congratulations.

“Dear EOR,
If Heavenly Mother is the essence of Heavenly Father, and Eve came from Adam’s rib, then what does that tell us about the nature of Heavenly Mother and how her daughters will be exalted?

-Anonymous”

Dear Anonymous,
In order to fully address your question I must lay something completely bare; I do not believe that Heavenly Mother is the essence of Heavenly Father. In fact, I have no recollection of ever hearing anyone say that, but I fully grant that I haven’t looked. Heavenly Mother is a Goddess in Her own right, and I believe that is our potential as well. This is of course why I roundly reject any notion that the reason we don’t openly discuss Heavenly Mother is because She is such a fragile wilting flower that She would melt at the mere mention of Her name (for good or ill). For my life that kind of behavior doesn’t sound like a Goddess to me. I don’t know what lies in store for womankind because unfortunately we have been robbed of those teachings, but I know we have a noble birthright every bit as robust as that of a man’s. That belief is partially what keeps me going when all I want to do is throw in the towel on it all. Hopefully it helps you.

“Dear EOR,
What is the true/optimal male facial grooming standard? If exceptions are allowed what is it that allows one to make an exception? What are the two next best options if the “standard” cannot be met?
-Anonymous”

Dear Anonymous,
Well, the “standard” in The Church is of course that set by the Brethren which is clean-shaven. This is a horrible standard in my opinion though. Exceptions should always be made because beards are the greatest thing ever. God loves a bearded man. There is a hierarchy of beardedness though. It is thus: 1. Full Beard, 2. Full beard no mustache, 3. Goatee, 4. Porkchop Sideburns, 5. There is no number 5 because only 1-4 are acceptable.

EOR is a convert and a divorcee. She is the 2013 Wheaties award winning author in the category: “Funniest Thread”, and has a B.S. in Business Management and Economics. In addition to being a permablogger at Rational Faiths, she also is a permablogger at Expert Textperts. She lives in NY, has 2 cats, and enjoys brevity, deli sandwiches, and laughing.

All posts by