Sometimes it can seem hard to get through life. There are so many major things coming your way in the next few years: preparing for the temple, sharing the gospel, choosing a school and a career. And you’re only a teenager! Wouldn’t it be great if, like Lehi, you could find a Liahona outside your door, an instrument guaranteed to keep you on course if you just pay attention to it?
Actually, there are already many sources of guidance in your life: prayer, scriptures, counsel from parents and leaders, promptings from the Holy Ghost, general conference, and the list goes on. But here’s another source to add to your list—a personal Liahona known as your patriarchal blessing. It’s personal revelation for you, about you, from your Heavenly Father, who has known you since, well, forever.
Think of your patriarchal blessing as a sort of spiritual GPS, and then some. It not only allows you to know who you are and where you are; it can also help you to understand why you’re here and where you should be headed. But remember, guidance from your patriarchal blessing requires use of the same principles that made Lehi’s Liahona work: heed and diligence (see 1 Nephi 16:28; Mosiah 1:16).
What are heed and diligence? To heed means not only to hear what is said but to also pay attention to it. A related word is hearken, which means to hear and obey. So for your patriarchal blessing to serve as a Liahona in your life, you must not only read it, but you must also follow it.
“Scriptures recorded in all dispensations teach that we show our love of God as we hearken to His commandments and obey them,” said President Russell M. Nelson, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “These actions are closely connected. In fact, the Hebrew language of the Old Testament in most instances uses the same term for both hearkening (to the Lord) and obedience (to His word).”1
Diligence is another key to learning from your patriarchal blessing. Diligence means being conscientious, attentive, and persistent. It means determined, unfailing effort. “It is to learn what the Lord expects of you, make a plan to do it, [and] act on your plan,” said President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency.2
If you want your patriarchal blessing to be helpful to you, study it with earnest, energetic effort; make plans to act upon it; and carry out those plans.
Alma the Younger, counseling his son Helaman, said the Liahona is a “type,” or example, for us to follow in our own lives. In Alma 37:38–45 he says:
It was prepared by the Lord to show, like a compass, which way to travel.
It worked according to faith in God, which allowed “miracles wrought by the power of God, day by day.”
It used “small means” to accomplish “marvelous works.”
If Lehi and his family forgot to exercise faith and diligence, then “marvelous works ceased” and “they did not progress in their journey.”
When they became distracted, they did not travel a direct course.
It is easy to give heed to the words of Christ, which point in a straight course.
These same principles hold true for your patriarchal blessing. “The way is prepared, and if we will look we may live forever” (Alma 37:46).