What a Patriarchal Blessing Can Do for You

David A. Edwards Church Magazines

Our prophet’s words help us better understand the great value of our patriarchal blessings.

Sometimes we hear about people who, sensing the need for a little extra spiritual guidance, flip open the scriptures to a random page to see if something stands out. While this method may help occasionally (as a tender mercy of the Lord or just as a mental and spiritual exercise), there is a source of personal direction from the Lord that may be more helpful than the random scripture-flip.

“Read [your patriarchal blessing] frequently,” President Thomas S. Monson has said. “Study it carefully. Be guided by its cautions. Live to merit its promises. If you have not yet received your patriarchal blessing, plan for the time when you will receive it, and then cherish it.”1

President Monson has compared patriarchal blessings to a number of things, including the following, which can help you learn how to study your blessing.

“Revelation to the recipient”2

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to see your name in the Doctrine and Covenants, like one of the early Church members mentioned there? Well, according to President Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994), a patriarchal blessing is “personal scripture to you.”3 So if you think about how you study the scriptures, you can apply those ideas to studying your patriarchal blessing—making cross-references, keeping a journal of promptings you receive while you read, praying, pondering, making lists, memorizing “verses,” and so on.

“A white line down the middle of the road”4

Imagine yourself going along a narrow road with a white line down the middle. When it’s dark or foggy, it’s easy to veer off the road, but you can look to that line to keep you on track. As you study your patriarchal blessing, think 
of how its counsel and promises give you direction, safety, and peace when you face trials or 
difficult decisions.

“Chapters from your book of eternal possibilities”5

Your patriarchal blessing doesn’t reveal all of the things that will happen to you in your life, but it does give you a sense of many of the amazing possibilities. Study each of these “chapters” of your life with an eye toward the bigger story of who and what you are becoming. Then the main character in this story—you—may start coming into sharper focus.

“Read [your patriarchal blessing] frequently. Study it carefully. Be guided by its cautions. Live to merit its promises.” —President Thomas S. Monson

“A personal Liahona”6

Remember, the Liahona was a perfect compass for Lehi’s family as they traveled to the promised land—if they heeded it and kept the Lord’s commandments (see 1 Nephi 16:28–29; Alma 37:38–40). In your journey to the promises in your patriarchal blessing, take special note of what this personal Liahona tells you about what to avoid and what to do to obtain those promises.

“Your passport to peace”7

A passport allows you to enter a new land. But just having a passport doesn’t allow you to experience what that new land has to offer. You have to use it. Make frequent trips to a place of peace by studying your patriarchal blessing often.

Practical Matters

Here are some things to consider when it comes to your patriarchal blessing:

  • If you do not yet have a patriarchal blessing and feel you may be ready for one, talk to your parents and your bishop or branch president.
  • Patriarchal blessings are sacred and should not be shared with anyone but close family members. They should not be read in Church meetings or other public gatherings.
  • Keep the original copy of your blessing in a safe place where you won’t lose it and others won’t read it.
  • Consider making a separate copy (or two) of your blessing for you to study frequently. You may want to keep this copy in a secure place near your scriptures for easy access as you study.
  • If you make an electronic copy of your blessing, it’s probably best to store it where others will not be able to see it and to password-protect the file if it’s on a computer drive.
  • All patriarchal blessings are stored at Church headquarters, so if you ever lose your copy, you can request another one at apps.lds.org/pbrequest. You will need an LDS Account.

Join the Conversation

Throughout May you’ll be learning about revelation in your priesthood quorums and Young Women and Sunday School classes. One form of personal revelation is a patriarchal blessing, with admonitions, warnings, and promises specific for your life.

If you have not yet received a patriarchal blessing, consider how you can prepare now to receive it in the future. If you have already received it, think about ways you prepared and what you do today to receive strength by studying it.

Be ready to share these thoughts with your family, class, or quorum as the Spirit directs. You can also share advice with other youth by clicking on Share your experience below.

Notes

  1. Thomas S. Monson, “May You Have Courage,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2009, 125–26.
  2. Thomas S. Monson, “Your Patriarchal Blessing: A Liahona of Light,” Ensign, Nov. 1986, 66.
  3. Ezra Taft Benson, “To the ‘Youth of the Noble Birthright,’” Ensign, May 1986, 43; “To the Young Women of the Church,” Ensign, Nov. 1986, 82.
  4. Thomas S. Monson, “Your Patriarchal Blessing,” 66.
  5. Thomas S. Monson, “Your Patriarchal Blessing,” 66.
  6. Thomas S. Monson, “Your Patriarchal Blessing,” 66.
  7. Thomas S. Monson, “Your Patriarchal Blessing,” 67.