“I love to read my patriarchal blessing,” says Susan. “It is like a letter from home. When I read it, I always feel loved and accepted.”
Patriarchal blessings are one of the great gifts of the Restoration. Fathers are patriarchs to their families and can give priesthood blessings to family members. In addition, stake patriarchs have authority to give blessings much like the ones Jacob gave to his twelve sons (see Gen. 48–49). Stake patriarchs are ordained to declare our lineage, identify the personal blessings Heavenly Father extends to us, and indicate some of the responsibilities he asks us to assume. Only blessings given by stake patriarchs are recorded and filed with the Church Historical Department.
In order to take full advantage of a patriarchal blessing, you need to be worthy and prepared to receive it. First, meet with your bishop or branch president to get a recommend. Then make an appointment with your stake patriarch. Finally, prepare spiritually to receive your blessing. Erin remembered, “I had some definite questions in mind when I went to have my blessing. I prepared for several weeks to be spiritually in tune, and I went to the blessing fasting and praying. I received direction and inspiration for these and other questions I hadn’t thought of yet.”
Your patriarchal blessing is unique, and you will receive a copy of your blessing so you can review it regularly.
What can a person who has not received a patriarchal blessing do to obtain one?
Your blessing can give you a glimpse of your eternal nature and your possibilities as a daughter of God. One mother notes, “I have been amazed as I have listened to my children’s blessings with how personal and individual each blessing is. God knows my children even better than I do.”
It might be appropriate to share a patriarchal blessing with close family members, but it is sacred and should not be discussed lightly. Nor should we compare our blessings with those of others. Length and eloquent language are not important.
Patriarchal blessings do not detail everything that will happen to us, but they do give specific and personal guidance. “When I returned from my mission, I had many choices to make,” recalls Heather. “I read my patriarchal blessing prayerfully, and the answers were there. I’m still not entirely sure just where my path will lead, but I am sure that I am doing what the Lord wants me to do.”
President Thomas S. Monson says, “A patriarchal blessing literally contains chapters from your book of eternal possibilities. … [It] is your passport to peace in this life. It is a Liahona of light to guide you unerringly to your heavenly home” (Ensign, Nov. 1986, pp. 66–67).
Patriarchal blessings contain admonitions, promises, and assurances. They tell of our spiritual gifts, talents, and sometimes callings. Patriarchal blessings can comfort us in times of loss, be an anchor in dark days, and strengthen us as we make a daily effort to choose the right.
How can we make greater use of our patriarchal blessings?