DEAR BROTHER PHILLIPS,--I would like to get clarification on a matter, if you please, through means of the TRUMPET. Is it all right for the Saints to request a blessing from a brother unfamiliar to them, such as District President? Many besides myself are anxious to know the answer. I heard this being discussed among the Saints and officers, which prompted me to ask the question.
R. V. M.
As far as I understand concerning the blessing of the Saints, that is the function of the Patriarch, and he has given permission to the Twelve and to other special persons who preside over various districts. Presdient Orson Pratt has written in the "Star" the following statement: "When I first came to this country, I saw a practice among the Saints which was entirely erroneous, that is the laying on of hands to bless them." This should not be except when there is a true need and except for persons who have been set apart for some mission. I myself saw Bro. Pratt refuse to bless district presidents. President F. D. Richards was also unwilling to minister this ordinance escept when there was a true need. But President Taylor was quite liberal in this regard; but that does not give a right to anyone else. I instruct the Saints to trust in the President of their District and to recognize that he has more blessings for them than anyone else except for those who preside over them. If a man came from heaven I would not believe that he had more blessings for the Church in Wales than those who are appointed unless he is to preside over him.
W. S. PHILLIPS
[Translated from the Welsh original in Udgorn Seion, 1852, p. 338-9, by Ronald D. Dennis, 1529 W. 1170 North, Provo, Utah]