Test your knowledge – are the following statements about patriarchal blessings true or false?
- One purpose of a patriarchal blessing is to tell you what the Lord expects of you.
- You need to receive only one patriarchal blessing in your life.
- A patriarchal blessing declares your lineage.
- The only difference between a patriarchal blessing and a blessing your father might give you is that they are given by different people.
- Unless the patriarch knows you personally, he cannot give you a very detailed blessing
- You must be at least nineteen years old to receive a patriarchal blessing.
- You must have a recommend from your bishop to receive a patriarchal blessing.
- Any of your friends should be able to read your patriarchal blessing if they want to.
- Studying your patriarchal blessing frequently can inspire you to live a better life and to reach your goals in life.
- Your patriarchal blessing will come to pass regardless of what you do.
- True. Elder LeGrand Richards stated: “If we understand where we came from, why we are here, and where we are going, then we are more likely to reach the desired port. That is really the purpose of a patriarchal blessing, to be able to interpret and reveal to us, through the inspiration of the Almighty, why we are here and what is expected of us” (“Patriarchal Blessings,” New Era, Feb. 1977, p. 4).
- True. President James E Faust said: “Generally, one patriarchal blessing is adequate, and second patriarchal blessings are not encouraged.If a worthy member has an important reason for desiring a second patriarchal blessing, the member may discuss it with his or her bishop.”
- True. “Every member of the Church belongs to one of the twelve tribes of Israel. Those who aren’t literal descendants are “adopted” into the house of Israel through baptism. Knowing your lineage can be a helpful guide in your life, because belonging to one of the twelve tribes brings the blessings and missions specific to each tribe. The blessings Jacob gave his sons (the heads of each of the tribes) can be found in Genesis 49.“ (“About Patriarchal Blessings, New Era, March 2004)
- False. President Joseph Fielding Smith wrote: “A faithful father who holds the Melchizedek Priesthood may bless his own children, and that would be a patriarchal (father’s) blessing. Such a blessing could be recorded in the family records, but it would not be preserved in the archives of the Church. Every father who is true to this priesthood is a patriarch over his own house. In addition, children may receive a blessing by an ordained patriarch. A father blessing his own child could, if he received the inspiration to do so, declare the lineage of the child” (Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1954–56], 3:172).A father would usually not declare lineage, although he has that right if he is inspired to do so, while an ordained patriarch nearly always declares lineage. Also, only the blessing given by the ordained patriarch will be recorded by the Church.
- False. Patriarchal blessings come from the Lord, not from the patriarch.
- False. There is no set age but you should be old enough to appreciate the sacred nature of the blessing.
- True. When you feel that you are ready to receive a patriarchal blessing, you should talk with your bishop or branch president.
- False. Patriarchal blessings are personal and sacred. They should be kept in a safe place and not passed around or discussed too freely. They are meant for our own benefit. However, we may wish to share them with members of our family at appropriate times, as we are directed by the Spirit.
- True. “Studying your patriarchal blessing frequently, especially in times of decision or trial or depression, will quickly remind you and give you the vision of who you really are and what your relationship with God is, and especially what his will for you is. It can comfort you when you feel unloved and unworthy and inadequate or forgotten. It can point you toward your own special purpose in life” (Elaine A. Cannon, “Season of Awakening,”New Era, July 1981, p. 10).
- False. The blessings a patriarch gives are conditional. They come to us on conditions of our obedience to God and his laws. As with most blessings from the Lord, we must live worthily to receive them.