Patriarchal Blessings

Learn all about patriarchal blessings: what are they, why we get them, who gives them, and when should we get our own.

Learn about the importance of patriarchal blessings by studying about them in True to the Faith and recent conference talks. Find out why they are given and who can give them. Discuss with a parent or Church leader how to prepare to receive a patriarchal blessing and how it can teach you of your worth and identity and be a guide throughout your life. If you have not received your blessing, prepare to receive it.” – Personal Progress, Individual Worth value experience #2



What is a Patriarchal Blessing?

A patriarchal blessing is a blessing given by a Melchizedek priesthood holder called to the office of Patriarch.  A father’s blessing is similar to a patriarchal blessing, but only a patriarchal blessing is recorded and kept as a permanent record by the church.

In 1958, the First Presidency sent a letter to stake presidents explaining patriarchal blessings.

“Patriarchal blessings, 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”

Patriarchal blessings often inspire and direct us in our lives.  With all the possibilities in the world, it offers a heavenly perspective of unique talents and blessings which are ours to claim.  It can also offer direction for our lives and a perspective of who Heavenly Father wants us to become and what we should do.

Why do we need a Patriarchal Blessing?

President Monson often quotes poems and books in his talks.  Here is one he used when talking about patriarchal blessings:

In Lewis Carroll’s classic, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Alice finds herself coming to a crossroads with two paths before her, each stretching onward but in opposite directions. She is confronted by the Cheshire Cat, of whom Alice asks, “Which path shall I take?”

The cat answers, “That depends where you want to go. If you do not know where you want to go, it doesn’t really matter which path you take.”

Unlike Alice, each of us knows where he or she wants to go. It does matter which way we go, for the path we follow in this life surely leads to the path we shall follow in the next.

Patriarchal blessings help us to know where we want to go.  They should be studied often as we look for direction in our lives.  Every time you read your blessings, different things will come to your mind.

Who are Patriarchs?

A Patriarch is a Stake Calling, approved by the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

President Monson describes a Patriarch in the following way:

Patriarchs are humble men. They are students of the scriptures. They stand before God as the means whereby the blessings of heaven can flow from that eternal source to the recipient on whose head rests the hands of the patriarch. He may not be a man of letters, a possessor of worldly wealth, or a holder of distinguished office. He, however, must be blessed with priesthood power and personal purity. To reach to heaven for divine guidance and inspiration, a patriarch is to be a man of love, a man of compassion, a man of judgment, a man of God.

When should I get a Patriarchal Blessing?

There is no specific age requirement to receive a patriarchal blessing. An interview with your Bishop or Branch President will help you decide if you are ready. If you are curious about patriarchal blessings, looking for direction in your life, and/or looking to better understand your purpose, you should talk with your family and Bishop or Branch President.

FHE treat idea

Ice Cream Sundaes – Using lots of different toppings, have each person make their own sundae.  All patriarchal blessings differ and each persons ice cream sundae will differ. However, each one is good. Some of us may have a simple sundae with just ice cream and chocolate just like some of us may have a simple blessing with just our lineage; others however may have more elaborate ice cream sundaes with cherries, whipping cream, caramel and chocolate, just like some of us may have more elaborate blessings with talents, seals and protections, prophecies and promises.

Activity Ideas:

  • Have each person make his or her ice cream sundae refreshment and then take a bite and pass it to the next person so everyone tries each sundae treat.
  • Have the members in your family who have received their patriarchal blessing share how they felt and how they prepared for their blessing.  Challenge patriarchal blessing holders to study their blessing at least once each month.
  • Keeping in mind that patriarchal blessings are personal and sacred, as a family study your blessing and try to breakdown parts of your blessing in the following categories:
    1. Blessings and Promises
    2. Lineage
    3. Admonitions and warnings
    4. Mission and callings
    5. Talents and Interests
    6. Other
  • For members who have not received their blessing, discuss ways to prepare for a blessing:
    1. Am I worthy to receive a blessing?
    2. Am I looking for direction in my life?
    3. Do I understand Patriarchal blessings?
    4. Am I mature enough to receive my blessing?
    5. I will prepare by … (reading scriptures, praying, talking to my Bishop/Branch President, fasting)

Share your ideas or how you used ours