Patriarchal Blessings

Don R. Clarke

Of the Second Quorum of the Seventy

From an interview with Elder Don R. Clarke of the Seventy; by Kimberly Reid, Church Magazines


Don R. Clarke
He shall hold the keys of the patriarchal blessings upon the heads of all my people (D&C 124:92).

Patriarchal Blessings

When I was growing up, my grandfather lived with my family. He was blind, and one of my greatest blessings was that I helped serve as his eyes. As we walked to church, I would help guide him, and he guided me too. He taught me how much Heavenly Father loves me and all of His children, and that it is important to help other people.

My grandfather lost his eyesight, but he had lots of spiritual insight. He served as a patriarch for more than 30 years. Students from nearby Ricks College (now BYU–Idaho) and others would come to see my grandpa. He would take them into the little room my family had built for him to give blessings in. Often he fasted before giving patriarchal blessings. My grandpa blessed many people throughout his life, and helped them learn to live closer to our Heavenly Father.

My grandpa’s example strengthened my testimony. As you associate with people who are close to Heavenly Father, you can feel and know by the Spirit that our loving Heavenly Father watches over us. He gave us the plan of salvation to bring us back to Him. He taught us how to be worthy to live with Him again.

We can learn more about Heavenly Father and His plan for us when we receive a patriarchal blessing. It was my privilege to receive my patriarchal blessing from my grandpa. Just recently I reread it with my family. Even though I had read it many times, it took on new meaning. It was interesting to read about things I once thought had been fulfilled, but now can see that they continue to be fulfilled. My patriarchal blessing has served as a great guide in my life. Sometimes when I want to know more about what Heavenly Father wants me to do in my life, I read my patriarchal blessing and it helps me.

The Church counsels members to receive their patriarchal blessing when it’s right for them. You will know by the Spirit, and your leaders and parents will help you to know when the time is appropriate.

Wonderful prophets had the opportunity to bless their children before they departed this life. As you read Lehi’s and Alma’s blessings to their children, remember that such blessings must be of great importance if the Lord saw fit to preserve them in the scriptures. Your patriarchal blessing will be written down so you can read it over and over again. Let your blessing serve and guide you. The Lord has the opportunity to talk to you as you think about your blessing often. Through prayer and your patriarchal blessing, you can know God’s plan for you.

Elder Clarke, about 5, with his brothers, Dale and Val, and his grandfather, Alma Benjamin Larsen