How I Know:

A Father’s Blessing

by Amanda Means

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    The voice was the patriarch’s, but the words were from my Heavenly Father.

    My bishop and I sat in his small, organized office. He peered at me through his clear glasses. “A patriarchal blessing is like a blessing from Heavenly Father. And as you go through life, little by little, more of your blessing will make sense.”

    I got up from the small wooden chair and shook the bishop’s hand. He then gave me a patriarchal blessing recommend. I thanked him and left the office.

    Lately I had been pondering some questions. Does Heavenly Father really love me? Does he really know who I am? Does he know me individually and love me for who I am, not just because I’m one of his daughters?

    I would try to come up with as many answers as I possibly could. “God loves you because you’re his daughter,” my teachers would tell our class during Young Women lessons.

    “You should feel special because you’re a child of God,” my Primary teachers had told me.

    I knew those things were true. I knew he loved me. I knew I was a child of God, but would Heavenly Father be able to point me out among all of his children? Did he love me for my qualities, my personality?

    I rode to the church house with my mother and walked briskly to that small office where the patriarch was waiting. He was an elderly man with a smile and soft, kind eyes.

    He gave us a quick review of what a patriarchal blessing was and how sacred it was. He then put his hands on my head and began talking for my Heavenly Father.

    I listened closely to every word he said. I felt the Spirit so strongly at times I couldn’t help crying. I received the answer my heart had wanted to hear: “I assure you your Heavenly Father knows you well and loves you.” The patriarch also mentioned several things only my Heavenly Father knew. I felt a complete feeling of love and caring.

    I know now that my Heavenly Father loves me and knows me, just as he does each of you. He loves you for who you are.

    Photography by Melanie Shumway