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My great-grandmother Hazel passed away while I was serving my mission in Mexico. Something (the Spirit) nudged me to ask my grandmother if she had a copy of Great-Grandma’s patriarchal blessing. She sent me a copy, and the insights I gained by reading it gave me a lot of strength.
After I got home from my mission, I couldn’t get my great-grandfather Roy (Hazel’s husband) off my mind. I’d never met him, and the only stories I had ever heard about him were of his negligence and temper. The more I thought about him, the angrier I felt. How could he hurt my family this way? The Spirit nudged me to the lds.org page “Patriarchal Blessings.” Even though I had no clue if he had one, I requested a copy of Roy’s patriarchal blessing.
When I got Roy’s blessing in the mail, I learned he had received it a few months before he was sealed in the temple to Hazel, which took place just before he died. The blessing was full of kindness, love, and gentleness. I was shocked. How could this man, after all he had done, receive so many blessings from the Lord?
I started digging into his past. I asked my mother for anything she could tell me, and I dug around in his FamilySearch files. I learned that Roy was born during the Great Depression. Who knows how his father handled poverty? Roy enlisted in the service for World War II as a teenager. His father died when Roy’s children were young. PTSD wasn’t an acknowledged issue back then. My heart softened.
I learned to love Great-Grandpa Roy because I learned to see him as Heavenly Father sees him. My heart has turned to Roy, and reading his patriarchal blessing was the impetus to this miraculous change.
—Emilee Pugh Bell, Mormon Insights
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Find more insights
Read Jennifer Johnson’s Mormon Insights article “Patriarchal Blessings: Roadmaps for Our Lives” to learn more about patriarchal blessings.
Take a look at what the Church has to say about patriarchal blessings in the Gospel Topics essay “Patriarchal Blessings.”