One hears that a lot, some form of the word blessing.  A blessing, as a noun, seems to function as a reward for pleasing God.  “Blessed” as an adjective seems to indicate conviction that God has proffered reward for something done.  My contention is concerned with how flippant a manner this sort of language is bandied about.  Let’s talk about this.

Used as a noun, “blessing” presents a substantial amount of ambiguity, because it is a relative term.  Perhaps this is unavoidable.  For example, in the Book of Mormon, the word “blessings” as a noun, as a reward from God, is used to describe such a variety of circumstances as eating raw meat (1Ne17:2), getting a lot of baptisms (Alma 26:3), political liberty (Alma 46:10), as a synonym for civic privilege (Alma 48:12), and material prosperity (Hel.3:25).  These examples are in addition to the more numerous instances where blessings represent general divine favor or (less numerously) something that resembles an ordinance.

Regarding its adjectival form, a search in the Book of Mormon demonstrates that it is largely used to indicate the reception of, or potential for the reception of, divine favor.

The pattern is that when people in scripture are or think they are favored, when they are satisfied about their circumstances, material or otherwise, they call themselves blessed, which is, intentionally or otherwise, to claim divine favor for oneself.  It is to state that God has actively procured my good (or financial or spiritual or whatever type of) fortune.  Same thing in modernity.

In both scripture and modernity, there are surely times when, having proclaimed our blessed status, we actually have been beneficiaries of divine favor, as well as times when we’ve designated ourselves blessed for something God has not provided.

Now, it is not my purpose here to deny the role of God in any genuinely divinely invested activity or withhold glory from Him and Her.  Rather, I here call for situational sensitivity.

At this point, what I had originally typed was much longer and more complex than this:

It is right to feel gratitude toward God for everything, but let us exercise caution in our expressions regarding divine intervention on our behalf.  Quite nearly always, there is a sizable contingent of hearers, perhaps in the horridly direst of straits (medical, emotional, relational, financial, spiritual, etc), who have not seen such beneficence as have you, whencever it came.

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