Photo illustration by Nathaniel Ray Edwards
There are basically two kinds of priesthood blessings you can ask for: (1) healing blessings and (2) blessings of comfort and counsel. The first help you overcome illness or injury. The second can give you direction and spiritual strength.
Many people wonder how often they should ask for such blessings.
Seeking Physical Healing
We have been taught to ask for healing blessings when we are sick or injured but not to ask for them too frequently in dealing with the same problem.1 In each situation where you seek a blessing, you should also be seeking appropriate medical care—and then exercise faith to be healed. Seeking a healing blessing should not necessarily be a last resort, but it should also not be the only thing you do.
Seeking Spiritual Strength
So, what about blessings of comfort and counsel? Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has said, “Do not be hesitant to ask for a priesthood blessing when you are in need of spiritual power.”2 A priesthood blessing can be a great help. But some Church members rarely—or never—ask for them. On the other hand, some may ask for blessings frequently on even small matters, neglecting to put forth any effort to solve the problems themselves. You should probably seek a balance between these approaches, recognizing that Heavenly Father has given us the priesthood to help us but remembering that blessings do not replace personal prayer, scripture study, and other sources of spiritual strength and guidance.
Some people don’t ask for blessings simply because they don’t know whom to ask or are uncomfortable about asking. Those without a Melchizedek Priesthood holder in the home can ask home teachers, other nearby family members, or local Church leaders for a blessing. You need not fear that you’ll be bothering them. They would be happy to do it. Just ask them.
When Should I Ask?
Elder Oaks once suggested some times when we could ask for priesthood blessings. Consider asking for a priesthood blessing when you are:
Making an important decision.
Overcoming a personal challenge.
Starting a new school year.
Going on a long trip.3