Patriarchal Blessings: Roadmaps for Our Lives

Patriarchal blessings are gifts from God that can help us reach our potential as his children.

"The fulfillment of Patriarchal blessings, as of all divine promises, is conditioned on the faith and works of the individual."- William James Mortimer

Living the principles found in the scriptures leads to eternal life, but the Lord offers each of us extra help in the form of a patriarchal blessing. Our patriarchal blessings are like personal maps that lead us back to our Heavenly Father.

In the Encyclopedia of Mormonism entry “Patriarchal Blessings,” William James Mortimer discusses some common elements and benefits of a patriarchal blessing.

Elements of patriarchal blessings:

  1. Family lineage. We can know what branch of Abraham’s family is the dominant line in our ancestry. “Whether this is a pronouncement of blood inheritance or of adoption does not matter,” says Mortimer.
  2. Things to come. Patriarchal blessings often include admonitions, promises, and assurances of what will happen in our lives as we live the gospel.
  3. Things that are. We might learn some of our own characteristics, talents, and weaknesses.
  4. Things to become. As a roadmap to eternal life, our patriarchal blessing will likely describe our potential, our spiritual gifts, or information about our future family.

Benefits of patriarchal blessings:

  1. Increased self-awareness. Patriarchal blessings can help us better understand our strengths and weaknesses.
  2. Motivation to accomplish our mission. We will be given a glimpse of a more eternal perspective.
  3. Comfort and strength to face challenges. Our blessings are manifestations of the Lord’s love for us.

The blessings and promises of a patriarchal blessing are conditional on our faithfulness and obedience. As we trust in the Lord’s plan for us, the promises in our patriarchal blessings will be fulfilled.

Read the Encyclopedia of Mormonism entry on patriarchal blessings.

Source: Encyclopedia of Mormonism—Jennifer Johnson, Mormon Insights

Find more insights

Read and watch more about what Latter-day Saint prophets and apostles have said about patriarchal blessings in the Gospel Topics essay “Patriarchal Blessings.” 

Read and watch President Thomas S. Monson’s remarks about patriarchal blessings in his 1986 general conference talk “Your Patriarchal Blessing: A Liahona of Light.”

Read about one woman’s experience preparing to receive her patriarchal blessing.

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  1. I’m really glad you chose to highlight something that many people might not be very aware of. I received my pat. blessing when I was 16, and it really has taught me a lot about myself. Isn’t that a funny concept? We are eternal beings–we’ve always existed–and we all possess divine and otherwise characteristics, and we should get to know our spiritual sides more. Patriarchal blessings are a wonderful source to ourselves and our spiritual destiny.

  2. Thanks for reminding me to re-read my patriarchal blessing! SOmetimes I don’t read it as often as I should, but It’s so precious to me. I read it whenever I am feel doubtful or discouraged. Receiving my blessing was probably the most spiritual experience I’ve had in my life. I could feel the Spirit just channeling through the Patriarch to me. I’m so grateful we have this gift to guide us.

  3. I love this article! I love reading my Patriarchal blessing and seeing what else I can get out of it. It has become the first place I’d go to find answers. This article helped me figure out what to look for and how to see it next time I read my Patriarchal blessing. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Pingback: Patriarchal Blessings from the Past - Mormon Insights

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