How to Get the Most Out of Your Patriarchal Blessing

What is a patriarchal blessing?

A patriarchal blessing is the inspired and prophetic statement of your life’s mission together with blessings, cautions, and admonitions. . . Study it carefully and regard it as personal scripture to you. (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.)

Tip #1: Prepare

Know what to expect! There are two things that patriarchal blessings will give: 1) declare your lineage, and 2) a blessing with personal counsel from the Lord. Anticipate and then look for those separate sections.

 

Preparing ourselves for any type of spiritual experience, or an anticipation of a deep revelation-assisted study, can look really similar: 

 

  • Sincere prayer, which means real emotions, realistic expectations of what is/isn’t in the blessing, asking your will to be aligned with God’s.
  • Scripture study: you can read about other patriarchal blessings, including the one Isaac gave to Jacob, or then that Jacob gave to his sons and Joseph’s sons, but also in general, establishing that pattern of scripture study will allow the Lord to guide your heart to whatever you might need to know beforehand.
  • Fasting: one of the purposes of fasting is to humble us and allow us to remember how much we rely on God! This is a great thing to do beforehand. 
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Tip #2: Make copies

“Those who have received a patriarchal blessing should treasure its words, ponder them, and live to be worthy to receive the promised blessings in this life and in the life to come.” (Gospel Topics: Patriarchal Blessing)

 

1) Make a marking copy

 

We regularly mark our scriptures.  It helps our brains think in different ways, helps us receive revelation, and can mark different sections to find more easily. 

 

We can do the same thing with our patriarchal blessing!

 

I recently printed a copy to use just for 2022.  I’ll be writing all of the inspiration and guidance I feel as I read it, highlight sections that are important to me, and then print a new one for 2023.  I’m excited to have a journal filled with years of patriarchal blessings.  What a gift for my kids to read when I’m gone!

 

2) Print a tiny copy for inside your scriptures

 

I printed out a copy of mine at about 30% the normal size and then laminated it.  I keep it inside my scriptures and pull it out occasionally during scripture study.  It’s a special way to read my personal scriptures more regularly.

Tip #3: Keep it sacred

Sacred means worthy of veneration and respect. By designating something as sacred, the Lord signals that it is of higher value and priority than other things.” (Elder Paul B. Pieper, “To Hold Sacred,” General Conference April 2012)

 

This doesn’t mean SECRET, but it does mean that we value it much more than other prayers, revelations, or blessings that we receive. 

 

We have been given specific guidance and been asked to NOT have other people read or try to interpret it for us, and that even includes Bishops or other leaders, including the Patriarch himself. 

We have been asked to only share it with immediate family members that we choose to share it with. 

Tip #4: Divide it into 5 categories

When reading your blessing it can be helpful to take the words and write them out under 5 categories.

 

  1. Gifts: what are the great things God sees that you are capable of?  For example your blessing might point out tha you are a happy person who makes other people happy.  That is a gift!
  2. Promises: what blessings are promised to you?  For example you might be promised that if you keep God’s commandments you will be blessed with inspiration when you need it.
  3. Counsel: what does God advise you to do?  For example you might be told that you need to pay close attention to what the prophet says.  
  4. Warnings: what warnings or stop signs does God show you?  For example you might be given a warning which is more strongly worded than counsel: a warning could include something that says, “beware of” or “if you do not _____” “then ______”.  
  5. Words of love: how does God describe you?  For example, look for the words God uses to describe you.  Try to find how God sees you.

Tip #5: Make personal goals based on what you learn as you write in these categories

We are encouraged to be “doers” of the word and not “hearers” only.  So when we read our patriarchal blessings (which are scripture to us) we should make goals to improve.

 

Each time you read consider one small thing you can do: a gift you can magnify, a warning you can pay closer attention to you, counsel you could follow better . . . but make sure to just make one goal.  More than that and it can get overwhelming!

Tip #6: Memorize parts of it

Elder Richard G. Scott said, “To memorize a scripture is to forge a new friendship. It is like discovering a new individual who can help in time of need, give inspiration and comfort, and be a source of motivation for needed change.” – Elder Richard G. Scott (“The Power of Scripture” General Conference October 2011)

 

During a really difficult time in my life when I was struggling with depression and low self-esteem, I decided to use the “words of love” in my patriarchal blessing to combat negative thinking. 

 

I memorized short phrases or even single words and would repeat them to myself when negative thoughts attacked.  I would say, “I am loved.  I am loved,  I am loved.”  Or, “I am strong.  I am strong.  I am strong.” 

 

Having just these single words from my blessing memorized help me to see myself more clearly and strengthens me in times of trouble. 

 

I hope so much that you love these tips and will use them.  Your patriarchal blessing is a source of power, but only if you use it regularly!

 

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