Different can be difficult, so we must try to celebrate the uniqueness of every child of God.
But there’s also difficulty in sameness. When it feels like you’re just like everybody else. Just another face in the crowd. Overlooked. Not special or important.
I've often pondered Doctrine & Covenants 15 and 16 with this in mind. I’m quite partial to the revelation for John Whitmer, the heading of which reads: “The message is intimately and impressively personal in that the Lord tells of what was known only to John Whitmer and Himself” (emphasis added).
Through the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Lord told John, “I will tell you that which no man knoweth save me and thee alone—For many times you have desired of me to know that which would be of the most worth unto you.... The thing which will be of the most worth unto you will be to … bring souls unto me.” (15:3-6). This must’ve been so powerful for John! To feel truly seen, needed, and wanted by the Lord, and to know He had a specific plan just for John.
Then came younger brother Peter’s revelation. It came out exactly the same as John’s—literally a word-for-word replica. How could something be “impressively personal,” yet be a duplicate? Does God use a form letter or copy-and-paste method as He connects with His children?
I don't know if Peter or John felt slighted by this, but I think I would've. I'm not exactly sure why, but if I discovered that my sibling received an identical patriarchal blessing to me, I would have all kinds of questions and feel far less special, loved by, and connected to God.
No less true, personal, or meaningful
But identical wording doesn’t necessarily make either of those blessings any less true, personal, or meaningful! Every word of the two revelations truly was individualized, and here’s why: First, both men truly had been silently pleading for answers beforehand. Second, both were told to bring souls to the Lord—which both did, just in very different ways. John scribed for Joseph and served in the Missouri Church presidency. Peter served a mission to the Native Americans, and baptized minister Sidney Rigdon and most of his congregants.
Am I special to God? Does He really need and want ME?
Your patriarchal blessing might seem run-of-the-mill. Your talents might be a dime-a-dozen. Perhaps you see yourself as nothing short of bland. But the Lord knows the depth and significance of your individual potential and contribution to His work, and He will use your seemingly-ordinary life to influence the world around you for good.
You are never "just another" in God's eyes.
You’re never “just another” in God’s eyes. He will tell you He loves you and share glimpses of His plan for you. And it’s no less true if He’s said the exact same thing to His other children before—His relationship with and plan for you is “intimately and impressively personal.”