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Patriarchal blessings: 3 frequently asked questions and answers

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In Harry Anderson painting "Jacob Blessing His Sons (Jacob Blessing Joseph)," the Old Testament patriarch Jacob bestows his sons with a blessing similar to latter-day patriarchal blessings.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints


Following are three common questions that deal with patriarchal blessings:

Is it essential for every Latter-day Saint, particularly youth, to receive a patriarchal blessing?

Patriarchal blessings are a sought-after gift. Every worthy member of the Church is entitled to receive a patriarchal blessing.

Members should keep in mind that a patriarchal blessing is for the recipient and not for the parents. “As with many other blessings, patriarchal blessings should ordinarily be requested by the one desiring the blessing. Responsibility for receiving a patriarchal blessing rests primarily on the individual when he or she has sufficient understanding of the significance of a patriarchal blessing” (“Priesthood Blessings,” President James E. Faust, October 1995 general conference).

Read more: President M. Russell Ballard shares counsel on preparing for — and then utilizing — patriarchal blessings

How can young people best prepare to receive a patriarchal blessing?

As patriarchs are invited to be personally worthy, to seek the Spirit daily and to maintain a close relationship with God, a person seeking a patriarchal blessing should strive for personal worthiness by seeking guidance from the Holy Spirit. As President Russell M. Nelson asks, “Are you willing to let God prevail in your life?”

Those receiving a blessing can study the blessing that comes through the lineage of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They can also study the gifts of the Spirit and how to prepare to receive a gift such as a patriarchal blessing.

How can Latter-day Saints of all ages better utilize their patriarchal blessings in their daily lives?

As President Nelson has invited Latter-day Saints: “Allow the Lord to lead you on your journey of spiritual discovery.” Choose one thing to invest in, a talent to improve, a topic to study.

President Nelson said, “There has never been a time in the history of the world when knowledge of our Savior is more personally vital and relevant to every human soul.”

President M. Russell Ballard said Latter-day Saints should "turn to their patriarchal blessing when they have a spiritual need and when they desire reassurance. If they are going through an issue in their lives, it is a great time to read their patriarchal blessing. I think it’s healthy to read a patriarchal blessing anytime.”

A patriarchal blessing, he said, “is ‘spiritual encouragement’ to strive for the important objectives of life.”

Source: Office of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

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