On Being Spiritually Prepared09202_000_003
A Foundation of Faith
“If we do not have a deep foundation of faith and a solid testimony of truth, we may have difficulty withstanding the harsh storms and icy winds of adversity which inevitably come to each of us.
“Mortality is a period of testing, a time to prove ourselves worthy to return to the presence of our Heavenly Father. In order for us to be tested, we must face challenges and difficulties. These can break us, and the surface of our souls may crack and crumble—that is, if our foundations of faith, our testimonies of truth are not deeply embedded within us.” 1
Learn Lessons of the Past
“In the search for our best selves, several questions will guide our thinking: Am I what I want to be? Am I closer to the Savior today than I was yesterday? Will I be closer yet tomorrow? Do I have the courage to change for the better? …
“The years have come and the years have gone, but the need for a testimony of the gospel continues paramount. As we move toward the future, we must not neglect the lessons of the past.” 2
Your Personal Liahona
“Your patriarchal blessing is yours and yours alone. It may be brief or lengthy, simple or profound. Length and language do not a patriarchal blessing make. It is the Spirit that conveys the true meaning. Your blessing is not to be folded neatly and tucked away. It is not to be framed or published. Rather, it is to be read. It is to be loved. It is to be followed. Your patriarchal blessing will see you through the darkest night. It will guide you through life’s dangers. … Your patriarchal blessing is to you a personal Liahona to chart your course and guide your way. …
“Patience may be required as we watch, wait, and work for a promised blessing to be fulfilled.” 3
Come unto Him
“Remember that you do not walk alone. … As you walk through life, always walk toward the light, and the shadows of life will fall behind you. …
“As I [have] turned to the scriptures for inspiration, a particular word [has] stood out time and time again. The word [is] ‘come.’ The Lord said, ‘Come unto me.’ He said, ‘Come learn of me.’ He also said, ‘Come, follow me.’ I like that word, come. My plea is that we would come to the Lord.” 4
Teaching from This Message
Teaching, No Greater Call states: “A skilled teacher doesn’t think, … ‘What will I teach today?’ but rather, ‘How will I help my students discover what they need to know?’” (, 61). To help individuals learn from this article, consider providing them with paper and pencils and giving them time to read President Monson’s words and write down truths they discover about being spiritually prepared. Younger children could draw pictures about what they learn. Consider having them share what they have written or drawn.
Your Patriarchal Blessing
President Monson describes a patriarchal blessing as “a personal Liahona to chart your course and guide your way.” So what is this blessing, and how can it help guide your life?
What is a patriarchal blessing?
Your blessing has two main purposes. First, it will declare your lineage, or to which tribe in the house of Israel you belong. Second, it will contain information to help guide you. Your blessing will likely contain promises, admonitions, and warnings.
How old should I be to receive my blessing?
There is no set age, but you should be old enough to appreciate the sacred nature of the blessing. Many members start thinking about receiving their blessing in their early teenage years.
How do I receive the blessing?
First talk to your bishop or branch president. If you are ready and worthy, you will receive a recommend. After that, you can schedule an appointment with the patriarch in your area.
What do I do with my blessing?
Keep it in a safe place, and read it frequently. Remember, your blessing is sacred and personal. You may share it with immediate family members, but you should not share it publicly. Also, all blessings mentioned in your patriarchal blessing are based on your faithfulness and the Lord’s timing.
A Solid Foundation
President Thomas S. Monson said we need to build “a solid testimony of truth.” One of the best ways to do so is to read the scriptures. Look up the verse written on each stone below. Write in the blank what you learn about in that verse that helps your testimony grow stronger.
“In the search for our best selves, several questions will guide our thinking: … Am I closer to the Savior today than I was yesterday? Will I be closer yet tomorrow? Do I have the courage to change for the better?”
Road to Emmaus, by Jon McNaughton
Photo illustration by Craig Dimond; illustrations by Steve Kropp