“A Destiny I Wasn’t Really Seeking” – Escape Chapter 14: My Patriarchal Blessing

This is a super-short chapter. It basically centers around one religious event in Carolyn’s life: her patriarchal blessing. The blessing is the most important part of a woman’s life outside of her marriage and childbearing. It’s delivered by one of the church’s patriarchs (the dudes just below the Prophet and his apostles), and generally consists of them telling a young woman that she’s going to “become a faithful wife and a mother in Zion, raising faithful children up to the Lord.”

Carolyn hadn’t gotten her blessing prior to getting married and having kids, so her patriarch, Joseph Barlow, has to get creative. He pulls out all the stops. He puts his hands on Carolyn’s head, and informs her that she’s “a direct descendant of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jesus Christ.” In fact, “The pure blood of Jesus Christ runs through” her veins.

Waal okay then.

Then he tells her she’s a totes special spirit that God was saving up for the last days. She’s been born on this earth “to be part of ushering in a thousand years of peace.” And she’ll even get to see Jesus hisownself in this lifetime! Why so special? Because she’d “been an enormous influence in casting the devil out of heaven.” She’d been super-smart in that whole kerfluffle. And because she was so smart, God had decided to use her on Earth. She could tell if someone was good or evil just by looking at ’em. (Well, she’d pretty much proved that with Merril, right?)

So God has spirits watching over her, and will be using her “to protect his people in the last days.” She’ll “work in the temple and be responsible for many people receiving their priesthood training.”

But that’s not all!

She’ll be “working with the ten tribes when they returned to earth.” Not only that: she’ll be training lots of them! And she’ll also be giving birth to “some of the most precious spirits from the other side.”

To top it off, educational opportunities will abound for her, and she’ll “end up as a valiant member of God’s chosen.”

And all she has to do to get all this awesome stuff is remain faithful for all her life.

And Carolyn’s all, umm…. wasn’t really seeking all that, but okay…

Image shows a young woman with long brown hair and a flowing maroon robe clutching a book, looking toward the top left of the image, where a bright star is shining down on her.
“Well, God, that’s nice and all, but… I really just wanted to have a happy and quiet life with plenty of time to read my book…” Painting by by O. A. Stemler and Bess Bruce, modifications by moi.

This is how highly intelligent people with a strong will, people like Carolyn, are kept in the fold. Yeah, it all sounds ridiculous to us outsiders, but on the inside? Rather heady stuff. Who wouldn’t want to believe they’re extra-important to their god? Who wouldn’t love to believe their kids are extra-super-special? How else do you accept the sacrifices you have to make than by believing you’re destined for something great? Even if it’s not what you were looking for, it’s still pretty amazing.

And maybe Joseph sensed they were at risk of losing her, so he laid it on extra-thick. Or maybe he was just fantasy prone. But he surely gave Carolyn an earful.

She walks away quite bemused. Her husband, of course, never asks how her blessing went, because he couldn’t care less about her.

You may wonder if this extraordinary blessing makes Carolyn’s life any better. But I think you already know the answer.

Image is the cover of Escape, which is photo of Carolyn Jessop on a black background. She cradles a framed picture of herself as an FLDS teenager in her hands. She is a woman in her thirties with chestnut hair and blue eyes.

I’m reviewing Escape chapter-by-chapter. Pick yourself up a copy if you’d like to follow along. The full list of reviews to date can be found here. Need a chaser? Pick up a copy of Really Terrible Bible Stories Volume 1: Genesis or Volume 2: Exodus today!

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“A Destiny I Wasn’t Really Seeking” – Escape Chapter 14: My Patriarchal Blessing

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