Blessings and Responsibilities of the Tribe of Ephraim

After all these years, I recently paid attention to the injunction in my patriarchal blessing that comes after the declaration that I belong to the tribe of Ephraim, a directive to learn about the blessings and responsibilities that attend that lineage.  I’ve only devoted a few Saturday mornings to this scripture study project, but the results so far have been clear, consistent, and enlightening.  Here’s what I have so far (comments in italics are just my own summaries and paraphrases to help me apply what I’m learning):

Responsibilities and Blessings of the Tribe of Ephraim



“The word of the Lord came again unto me, saying,

“Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions:

“And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.

“And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not shew us what thou meanest by these?

“Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.

“And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes.” (Ezek. 37:15–20.)

From this commandment from God to the prophet Ezekiel, these provisions should be noted:

1. That a stick or record was to be kept for Judah, and that a stick or record was to be kept for Joseph;

2. That the two records were to be joined together into “one stick,” or record, in the hands of that prophet.

Where is the fulfillment of this important commandment? Who claims to have the record of Joseph today?

The Book of Mormon Fulfills Joseph’s Prophecy

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Schedule of Activities to Reach Goals

As I mentioned in a post earlier today, I have a schedule of activities that I use to help me achieve goals.  I started in 2001 by having a “to-do” list of New Year’s resolutions, but since then it’s evolved to be specific and focused on practical planning and activities to reach those goals.  I’ve used the format below for the last three years. 

It’s really more of an ideal than a practical record of how I actually use my time, as I fall very short of consistently doing many of these things.  For example, for about two years my early weekday mornings really did look like this, but I got out of the habit last year and am still trying to get back in.  I’ve done better with the weekend planning than at first, but it’s still not a habit.  I try to view goals and resolutions as things to develop over time by a process, rather than a monolithic thing that I’ll “start doing” on a certain day, anyway.  It helps me avoid burnout.

My schedule is based on two things: my life list at 43, and my patriarchal blessing.  (I once went through my patriarchal blessing and made a list of all the things that I could glean from it that might be beneficial for me to work on, yielding a lifetime “to-do” list of 15 items.)  This year, I specifically noted on my schedule which items from those lists each of my goals is meant to develop, with the intent that it will help me keep those long-term goals in mind and stay motivated. 

Here it is:

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