Questions and Answers

Answers are intended for help and perspective, not as pronouncements of Church doctrine.

Most of the youth my age have received their patriarchal blessings. I feel I should probably get mine, too, but I’m not sure I am ready. How can I prepare to receive it? How do I know when the time is right?

Liahona’s Answer

Many Church members are concerned about when to receive a patriarchal blessing. A person receiving this blessing should be old enough and mature enough to understand its meaning and importance.

There is no prescribed age to receive your blessing, but it will be helpful as you contemplate important decisions for your future. It is appropriate to receive a patriarchal blessing before serving a mission, leaving for military service, or moving away from home. Your bishop or branch president can help; he uses judgment and inspiration to know when to issue a patriarchal blessing recommend.

The calling of a patriarch is a revelatory calling. Patriarchs give blessings under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. These blessings name your lineage in the house of Israel and may include blessings, promises, advice, admonition, and warnings. Of course, the fulfillment of promised blessings depends on your faithfulness.

More important than the time or age at which a young person or a new convert receives this blessing is the person’s preparation. Preparation comes through daily righteous living. You prepare each time you pray, study the scriptures, serve, obey, and so on. You also prepare by learning the basic doctrines of the gospel. If you are not sure that you are sufficiently prepared, pray and fast for help to become prepared. If you do your part, the Lord will let you know when the time is right.

When you desire a patriarchal blessing and feel worthy and prepared to receive it, ask your bishop or branch president for an interview. When he feels you are spiritually prepared, he will issue a recommend. You can then make an appointment with the patriarch. If there is not a patriarch serving locally, you can make other arrangements through the stake or mission president. When you go to receive your blessing, wear Sunday clothes and go with a prayerful spirit. A patriarchal blessing is given in private, but your immediate family members—particularly your parents—may be present.

After receiving your patriarchal blessing, you will be given a printed copy. As you prayerfully study it, the Spirit will help you understand added levels of meaning. This sacred, personal record is confidential and should not be shared with others outside your own family.

Reviewing your blessing can help you during difficult times, because it is an expression of the Lord’s love for you. It can help you understand through the Spirit your own marvelous potential and the blessings the Lord wants to give you.

President Gordon B. Hinckley explains: “I hope that we are encouraging those who are mature enough to understand the importance of a patriarchal blessing to receive one. I count my patriarchal blessing as one of the great sacred things of my life. A patriarchal blessing is a unique and sacred and personal and wonderful thing given to every member of this Church who lives worthy of it” (“Inspirational Thoughts,” Liahona, August 1997, 5).

Readers’ Answers

A patriarchal blessing is one of our greatest gifts from Heavenly Father. The way to prepare ourselves is through prayer, fasting, reading and pondering the scriptures, and obeying God’s commandments and the teachings of His prophets. The Lord will help you know when you are ready.

Valentina Pyura-Pototskaya, Donetsk Tsentralny Branch, Donetsk Ukraine District

A patriarchal blessing is our own personal guide. Before receiving it we need to do a lot of pondering in our hearts. We need to be faithful to Heavenly Father, because our patriarchal blessing tells us what He wants from us and also the blessings He promises us in return.

Luisa Fernanda Guerra Hernández, Martí Ward, Guatemala City Guatemala El Molino Stake

I know I am a son of Heavenly Father. It is important, therefore, for me to faithfully seek His blessings. I will learn about these blessings in my patriarchal blessing. To be prepared spiritually, I can seek help from my bishop, stake president, and parents. And I can pray faithfully for help.

Ivan Hoe Taumoe’anga, Navutoka First Ward, Nuku‘alofa Tonga East Stake

I received my patriarchal blessing when I was 16 years old. My interest in receiving it started during a lesson about patriarchal blessings. Later that interest grew into a desire. Then our stake patriarch spoke at a fireside, and I realized I was ready.

As we pray, fast, and study the scriptures, the Holy Ghost can tell us when we’re ready. My parents also helped me make this decision.

Maaike van Andel, Zwolle Branch, Apeldoorn Netherlands Stake

Every time I learned about patriarchal blessings, I felt a confirmation of their truthfulness. There grew in my heart a desire to receive this blessing from the Lord. I tried to do everything I learned in my Church meetings, and I asked for guidance from my bishop to help me prepare for this blessing.

Valéria Cristina Ribeiro Custódio, Itapoã Ward, Vila Velha Brazil Stake

A patriarchal blessing is a message to you from Heavenly Father; it gives you a better understanding of your mission on earth. When we pray with faith, we are preparing ourselves. Fasting and cultivating good thoughts and feelings make us more worthy to receive a special message from God. He will certainly help you recognize when you are prepared.

Caroline Lopes Reboucas, Tijuca Ward, Rio de Janeiro Brazil Andarai Stake

I’m serving a full-time mission, and my patriarchal blessing really helps me. It’s like the Liahona that guided Lehi and his family. When I feel discouraged, I read my patriarchal blessing. It fills me with joy.

Elder William Enrique García Torres, Guatemala Guatemala City Central Mission

How can I prepare? I can be worthy by keeping the commandments of God. I can study the scriptures and sustain the leaders of the Church. I can also magnify whatever calling I have.

If you have done these things, then it’s time to see your bishop or branch president and talk about getting a recommend. The formula is simple: worthiness. Michelle M. Littaua, Tuguegarao Fourth Ward, Tuguegarao Philippines Stake

We need to prepare spiritually to receive our patriarchal blessings by studying the scriptures, praying to Heavenly Father, and living the way He wants us to live. We need to be clean in word and thought so we can be worthy of the companionship of the Holy Ghost. Then the Holy Ghost will bear witness to our hearts, and we will know we are ready.

Sister Estela Zuleta Chávez, Costa Rica San José Mission