Twice Blessed


My patriarchal blessing seemed pretty routine—until I took a closer look.

“It was a nice prayer.” This was my thought immediately following my patriarchal blessing. My patriarch had said some great words, and I had felt the Spirit, but I thought it was just a nice prayer, nothing remarkable like others had indicated were in their blessings.

I had graduated from high school and was preparing for my first year of college. Before I left home, I wanted to be ordained an elder and receive my patriarchal blessing. Two weeks before school started, I was able to accomplish both goals.

My patriarch gave a fine blessing, but I just did not feel that the experience was as great as everyone made it out to be. I admit that in a way I was even disappointed. I had expected so much, and it seemed that I did not receive what I had wanted. I questioned my own worthiness. Could it be my fault that I was not feeling anything spectacular?

After days of pondering, I knew I was at fault. I realized I needed to do some preparation in my own life to receive the personal witness that my patriarchal blessing was from God.

For the next few weeks, I fasted, prayed, and sought forgiveness of any sins I had. I was changing slowly. I could not tell a great difference, but by the time my patriarchal blessing came to me in the mail, I was ready.

I waited until Sunday evening to read it when all was quiet. Even as I opened the envelope, I could sense a different feeling come over me. I began to read. I had not read more than a few lines when amazing statements appeared. I could not believe this was my blessing! It seemed my whole blessing was full of material I had never heard before, and the things which I did remember began to have new meanings. A full-time mission, celestial marriage, eternal life—I now saw these expressions, that I had thought were trite, as the great promises they were. I had missed so much when I first received my patriarchal blessing. My “nice prayer” had turned into a personal revelation from God to me.

[photos] Photography by Welden Andersen