About two years ago, when I was 16 years old, I noticed that one of the value experiences in my Young Women Personal Progress book was to learn about the importance of patriarchal blessings.
I began to study everything I could find on patriarchal blessings. When I finished, I realized that by receiving a patriarchal blessing I could know my lineage and learn what the Lord desires of me, the blessings he has prepared for me, and what I have to do to receive them. I decided to ask my bishop to interview me for a recommend to receive a patriarchal blessing.
On 19 April 1995, I went to the patriarch’s home in our stake in Buenos Aires, Argentina. As he put his hands on my head, I felt absolute peace. A shiver ran through my whole body, and I felt great joy. Many times I had used the word joy as a synonym for happiness, but at that moment, I realized that joy is much more than mere happiness. Joy is a feeling so different from all others and so special that it cannot be imagined. To know what it is, one has to experience it.
When the patriarch finished the blessing, one tear after another ran down my cheeks. The patriarch, too, had tears in his eyes. I thanked him for having served as intermediary between the Lord and me. As I left, I couldn’t stop feeling how beautiful the experience had been and how I wanted everyone to have it.
I am grateful for the responsibilities the Lord has given me. I know the promises and warnings in my blessing are the will of my Father in Heaven for me, and I know that as I am faithful he will be at my side, helping me to overcome my weaknesses.
I know now that patriarchal blessings can be guides for our lives, just as the Liahona was a guide in ancient times. If we follow the instructions we are given, we can “continue in the way which is narrow, until [we] shall obtain eternal life” (Jacob 6:11).
Getting a patriarchal blessing is a big step. Here are some things to consider:
How Do I Know If I’m Ready?
Every worthy member of the Church can receive a patriarchal blessing. There is no age limit. (Even your grandmother can get one if she hasn’t already!) But you do need to be old enough to appreciate its importance and prepare spiritually to receive it.
Before you get your blessing, you must sincerely desire to receive one. Don’t let others pressure you into receiving a patriarchal blessing. Discuss your desire with your parents and your bishop, pray about it, and then take steps to receive it.
What Should I Do to Prepare?
After receiving a recommend from your bishop, schedule your appointment with your patriarch.
Be prayerful. Talk to Heavenly Father about what you are struggling with in your life.
Fast, if you wish to and if you are physically able.
You may want to read “Your Patriarchal Blessing: A Liahona of Light,” a talk by President Thomas S. Monson (Ensign, November 1986, 65–67); “Priesthood Blessings,” a talk by President James E. Faust (Ensign, November 1995, 62–64); or “Patriarchs and Patriarchal Blessings,” chapter 10 in Duties and Blessings of the Priesthood: Basic Manual for Priesthood Holders, Part A.
What Does a Blessing Contain?
A declaration of your lineage.
An inspired statement of your life’s mission and possibilities.
It may include promises, admonitions, challenges, and warnings.
What Should I Do with My Blessing?
Your blessing will be transcribed so you may refer to it as often as you wish. Read it regularly. It can’t be a guide in your life unless you know what it says.
Be cautious when sharing your patriarchal blessing. Share it only with people you trust (like your family) and then only when you feel inspired to do so.
View it from an eternal perspective. Sometimes blessings won’t be realized until after this life.
Don’t expect your blessing to outline everything that will happen in your life or to answer all of your questions.
Keep in mind that the promises in your patriarchal blessing are conditioned upon your faithfulness and the Lord’s will. Live your life so that you can receive all the gifts you are promised.
Other priesthood blessings you receive throughout your life may expand on themes mentioned in your patriarchal blessing. Know your blessing well enough to tell when those extra explanations come.