5 things to know before you get your patriarchal blessing


(Photo courtesy LDS.org Media Library.)

A patriarchal blessing is available to every worthy, baptized member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This blessing includes personal counsel from the Lord and declaration of a person’s lineage in the house of Israel.

But before someone receives a patriarchal blessing, it’s helpful to prepare properly and to understand a few things about what a patriarchal blessing is (and isn’t).

1. You must be worthy to receive a patriarchal blessing

In order to receive a patriarchal blessing, you must first meet with your bishop and obtain a recommend. Your personal worthiness will help you prepare to receive the counsel your blessing contains and will allow you to draw closer to the Lord.

2. A patriarchal blessing is different from other blessings

Before receiving your patriarchal blessing, you should understand how a patriarchal blessing is unique. For example, “patriarch” is actually an office in the Melchizedek Priesthood, not just a calling. A patriarch is called and ordained specifically to give patriarchal blessings. This distinguishes a patriarchal blessing from a father’s blessing and from a blessing that sets members apart for callings, because only one specifically ordained and set apart to give patriarchal blessings may do so. You may also receive a patriarchal blessing only once in your life. 

3. The declaration of lineage

An important part of your patriarchal blessing is the declaration of lineage. This part of your blessing states that you are of the house of Israel and belong to a specific tribe of Jacob. 

You may be of the house of Israel through blood, or you may have been adopted at baptism. It does not matter how you became a member of the house of Israel — in any case, you are an heir to all the promises and blessings of the Abrahamic covenant.

4. The purpose of your patriarchal blessing

Patriarchal blessings contain personal counsel from the Lord to the individual. As President Thomas S. Monson taught, “The same Lord who provided a Liahona (for) Lehi provides for you and for me today a rare and valuable gift to give direction to our lives, to mark the hazards to our safety, and to chart the way, even safe passage — not to a promised land, but to our heavenly home. The gift to which I refer is known as your patriarchal blessing. Every worthy member of the Church is entitled to receive such a precious and priceless personal treasure.”

A patriarchal blessing is given for the purpose of guiding members to fulfill their life’s missions. “Patriarchal blessings,” wrote the First Presidency in a letter to stake presidents, “contemplate an inspired declaration of the lineage of the recipient and, when so moved upon by the Spirit, an inspired and prophetic statement of the life mission of the recipient, together with such blessings, cautions and admonitions as the patriarch may be prompted to give for the accomplishment of such life’s mission, it being always made clear that the realization of all promised blessings is conditioned upon faithfulness to the gospel of our Lord, whose servant the patriarch is.” 

A patriarchal blessing does not guarantee any life events or blessings, nor does it necessarily include every significant event in your life. However, you can receive guidance through the Spirit as you prayerfully study your blessing and seek the blessings it contains.

5. A patriarchal blessing is eternal

Everything mentioned in your patriarchal blessing may not be fulfilled in this life. Because a patriarchal blessing is eternal, some of its promises may be fulfilled in the eternities. The important thing to remember is that, as long as you are faithful and obedient, the promised blessings will come in the Lord’s time.


Breanna Olaveson worked in the magazine industry before taking her writing from full-time to nap time with the birth of her first daughter. Her work has appeared in the Ensign, Liahona and New Era magazines, as well as Utah Valley Magazine, Utah Valley BusinessQ, Utah Valley Bride and the Provo Daily Herald. She lives in Utah county with her husband and three children. She blogs at www.breannaolaveson.com.

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