Whether you are facing big decisions or seeking comfort in your life, your patriarchal blessing acts as personalized scripture that can guide you, comfort you, and help you receive revelation.
Which of us does not experience times of worry or even despair? No matter what sins, sadness, or stress we experience, God eagerly finds ways to speak to us, comfort us, and love us personally. A patriarchal blessing is one of the most personal ways that God can show us our potential, our mission, and our strengths. Although each one of us experience moments of forgetfulness, rereading our patriarchal blessing can remind us of God’s love, promises, and vision for our lives.
In a 1986 conference address, President Thomas S. Monson said, “Your patriarchal blessing is your passport to peace in this life. It is a Liahona of light to guide you unerringly to your heavenly home.”
Just as Lehi and his family found the Liahona in the wilderness, we can turn to our patriarchal blessings when we feel like we are in our own wilderness of sorrow, stress, or unhappiness.
However, our patriarchal blessings do not have to rest, neatly folded in the back of our scriptures, to help us only in times of extreme stress or sorrow. Whether your life is sailing smoothly or more like a bumpy road, here are six ways to really appreciate your patriarchal blessing:
1. Study Your Patriarchal Blessing after Fasting and Prayer
To make the most of your reading experience, you can approach your patriarchal blessing through fasting and prayer, ready to record impressions from the Spirit as you read. When we fast, our ability to tune into the Spirit is magnified, and we may receive impressions or insights we haven’t previously felt.
“Fasting, coupled with mighty prayer, is powerful,” Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin said. “It can fill our minds with the revelations of the Spirit. It can strengthen us against times of temptation.”
2. Make a Copy of Your Blessing and Mark It with Notes, Insights, Scriptures, and Impressions
Although you may not want to scribble all over your original copy, you can mark up and annotate your patriarchal blessing. Whether you request a new copy of your blessing or make your own copy at home, occasionally starting with a clean, mark-free patriarchal blessing can help you see things you may not have noticed before.
As you read through your blessing again, mark passages that inspire you, questions you have, or references to scriptures. On the back of your blessing or in a study notebook, make a list of blessings, promises, warnings, spiritual gifts, and responsibilities.
Elder Richard G. Scott said, “Write down in a secure place the important things you learn from the Spirit. You will find that as you write down precious impressions, often more will come.”
If you receive promptings or feelings, record them on the back of your blessing or in a study notebook. Pray about what you felt and learned. When you study your patriarchal blessing, also pull out your notes, and ponder on the spiritual impressions you have received.
3. Learn about the Abrahamic Covenant
Another important aspect of our patriarchal blessing is the declaration of our lineage. Our patriarchal blessing not only guides our future, but it also links us to our past ancestors.
“[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,” Elder Russell M. Nelson said.
Understanding the significance of your lineage will help you comprehend the true identity of God’s children, including yourself. Don’t brush past studying the Abrahamic Covenant because it is in the Old Testament or because it is hard to understand birthright and genealogy. Read the blessings God gave Abraham as if God gave them directly to you, and study as much as you can to understand how we literally became God’s heirs.
4. Set Personal Goals Based on Your Blessing, and Evaluate Your Progress
As you read through your patriarchal blessing, thoughts and impressions will come to your mind of how you can change a habit, a subject you need to study further, or something you can improve in your life.
Elder Marvin J. Ashton said: “In setting our own goals we need to examine our own needs and abilities. The direction in which we are moving is more important than where we are at the moment. Goal setting should cause us to stretch as we make our way.”
If you read your blessing and feel a sense of complacency, kneel down and pray for God to show you something more that you can do. We are here to learn and progress daily, and our constant search for perfection will continue throughout our lives.
Set a specific goal for an impression you received and write it down. Prayerfully make a plan to achieve that goal, and evaluate your progress each day or week. As you reach your goals, you will make steady progress and feel yourself drawing closer to God.
5. Read Your Patriarchal Blessing Often
Most members know that they can easily download and read the scriptures in the Gospel Library and online, no matter where they are or what they’re doing. Recently, the Church also provided an easier way to request your patriarchal blessing online. You can download your blessing to your smartphone or tablet to read whenever you have an extra few minutes.
Whether you read your patriarchal blessing online or immerse yourself in it for your personal study, make sure you read it often. Each day we face different challenges and situations, and consistently reading our blessing will help us to center our daily actions around God’s plan for our life and potential.
6. Memorize Your Blessing
Elder Richard G. Scott said, “Great power can come from memorizing scriptures. To memorize a scripture is to forge a new friendship. It is like discovering a new individual who can help in time of need, give inspiration and comfort, and be a source of motivation for needed change.”
Similarly, when we memorize passages of our patriarchal blessing, we have personalized scripture readily available in times of need or temptation. When you memorize your patriarchal blessing, lines will come to mind as an answer to a prayer or a source of motivation in difficult times. Although memorizing can be difficult, having your patriarchal blessing memorized will help you to truly appreciate it fully.
What are your experiences using your own patriarchal blessing to increase your testimony and closeness to the Lord? Share in the comments below.