"[Jesus Christ’s] Church provides patriarchal blessings to give each recipient a vision for his or her future as well as a connection with the past, even a declaration of lineage back to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob."
President Russell M. Nelson
Your Book of Possibilities
By Rebecca L. Craven, Second Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency
Your patriarchal blessing will be a great help to you. And you can prepare now to receive it.
Youth often ask me, “How do I know when I’m ready to receive my patriarchal blessing?” What a great question! Chances are that if you are asking, you might just be ready.
What Is a Patriarchal Blessing?
A patriarchal blessing is an inspired blessing from Heavenly Father given by an ordained patriarch, usually from within your stake. It is a personal, revelatory message just for you. Your blessing will give you counsel, warnings, advice, and promises to help guide your life.
Karl G. Maeser, a former principal of Brigham Young Academy, described these blessings as “paragraphs from the book of one’s possibilities.” Receiving my patriarchal blessing when I was a young woman was a great help to me. It can be a great help to you too!
What Can You Learn from Your Patriarchal Blessing?
Your blessing will reassure you of your divine heritage as a daughter or son of heavenly parents. Through your blessing, Heavenly Father will reaffirm His love for you. He wants you to return and live with Him again. The direction He reveals to you in your blessing will help you stay on the covenant path back to Him. You can feel His love each time you read your blessing.
Your patriarchal blessing also includes a declaration of your lineage, stating that you are of the house of Israel—a descendant of Abraham and entitled to all the blessings promised to his posterity.
Personalized Help and Direction
One of the greatest parts of your patriarchal blessing is the individual counsel you will receive. Heavenly Father knows you better than you know yourself. That is why following the specific counsel He gives you will help you now and throughout your life.
As a young woman, I remember being tempted by all types of worldly choices. When those temptations came, I would think about my patriarchal blessing. The counsel and promises in my blessing gave me strength and courage to make good choices.
Don’t be discouraged if some things stated in your blessing don’t happen right away. Your blessing extends into the eternities. As you strive to stay worthy, you will receive everything Heavenly Father has promised you.
Heavenly Father has a work for you to do in His great plan of happiness. Your blessing may tell you about specific things He needs you to do. It may also tell you about your unique gifts and talents. And you can also learn what He needs you to develop to bless your life and the lives of others. Just think of all the possibilities!
How Can You Prepare to Receive Your Blessing?
Brother Dennis Lifferth, a patriarch in Centerville, Utah, USA, has some great advice on how to prepare. He said: “Preparation for your patriarchal blessing is almost as important as the blessing itself. It is during your time of preparation that you can reflect on your life, consider the path you are on, what you hope to become, and what spiritual gift you would like to develop.”
Are you striving to say your prayers, studying your scriptures, and doing your best to follow the Savior? These things will help you prepare.
You don’t have to be perfect to receive your patriarchal blessing, but you must be worthy. If you are worthy to hold a temple recommend, you are worthy to receive your patriarchal blessing. As your interest and desire to receive this blessing grow, set up a meeting with your bishop.
A Lifelong Blessing
Since each patriarchal blessing is sacred and personal, you should not compare yours with others’. Remember, this blessing is just for you! You should review it reverently and share it only with close family members.
You will be strengthened as you read your blessing often and ponder the words given to you. As you strive to live worthy to receive your promised blessings, you will find the peace, direction, and joy our Heavenly Father wants for you.