A Blessing From God

We all want to know that Heavenly Father cares for us individually. We have been taught that is the case since we were young. However, physical proof of that caring is rarely offered. Gratefully, God has provided us with a way to get that proof. A patriarchal blessing is God’s physical proof that He cares for us individually and knows who we are.

At the April 2023 General Conference, there were two addresses that discussed Patriarchal Blessings. The first was given by Elder Randall K. Bennett who discussed how his Patriarchal Blessing “was critically important to [him] when [he] was young” (Your Patriarchal Blessing – Inspired Direction From Heavenly Father). He discusses how a patriarchal blessing can be a guide and provide inspiration in our lives.

The second was given by Elder Kazuhiko Yamashita and gives us the “two purposes for a patriarchal blessing:

  1. A patriarchal blessing contains personal counsel from the Lord to you.
  2. A patriarchal blessing declares your lineage in the house of Israel.

Your patriarchal blessing is a message from your Heavenly Father”

When to Receive Your Patriarchal Blessing

Personal Counsel

I received my patriarchal blessing in March of 1988. This was four months after my personal struggle to find out the truthfulness of The Church, Joseph Smith, and the Book of Mormon. I was anxious about getting my patriarchal blessing not knowing what to expect. I didn’t have any explanations as to what would happen and how it would affect me. Looking back, I wish I had an explanation that the blessing would give me personal counsel in my life.

I remember sitting in a room at BYU where the Patriarch and his wife sat ready to give me my blessing. It was only the three of us in the room until the Patriarch started. There are only a few occasions in my life where the Spirit has been stronger. I remember hearing the words and feeling that they were meant specifically for me.

At this time I was also contemplating if I should serve a mission for the Lord. I kept that thought in my mind throughout the blessing, however, nothing specifically mentioned serving in that capacity (I did serve regardless and am grateful I did).

Before I discuss how the blessing has been a source of personal counsel for me, there are two other pieces to the story. The first being that the Patriarch finished my blessing without declaring my lineage in the house of Israel. His wife gently reminded him and he then placed his hands on my head to do so.

The second was what his wife said to me after the blessing was completed. “Looks like we have a leader here.” I was left speechless. I thought to myself that “I’m not a leader.” How little did I realize that her statement would prove to be prophetic. Not in some grand way, but in ways I didn’t comprehend at the time and have realized only on reflection.

Each patriarchal blessing contains personal counsel for the recipient. Mine provides me with:

  • Identity – There are several adjectives in my blessing that describe who I am and who I can become. I look at the things like faith, courage, great, and noble as attributes God sees in my and wants me to manifest
  • Communication with God – I am counseled to call upon God in prayer daily. This is something that I’m not perfect at, but I’m working on.
  • Strength – Phrases such as “you will have the faith and courage to meet all the obstacles that shall come into your life, that you will profit by those experiences”, tell me that I have it in me to live according to God’s commandments, to do His will, and to be blessed by the trials I face.
  • Understanding – The word “understand” is found several times in my blessing. This tells me that I have the capacity to know what God is teaching me and that I can find out what knowledge He wants me to possess.
  • Seek – I am counseled to seek for several things. The one that sticks out the most is the counsel to “seek wisdom in good books.” This has served me well in my academic, professional, and personal life. I have been richly rewarded by reading and seeking out good books.
  • Life Events – As I stated above, my blessing does not mention a mission, but it does mention other events. It talks of marriage and family, of blessings to have subsistence, and that “ways may be opened to you that you’ll be able to accomplish the goals that you set.” There are events that have yet to happen and some that I know won’t happen in this life, yet they are there and I can experience them.
  • Discernment – I have always been aware of when things are right and wrong. There is no denying it when something doesn’t feel right. My patriarchal blessing confirmed that I have this gift and that it came from God. But it isn’t only that I have the gift of discernment. It’s also that I “will be able to overcome and to shun the evil influences of the world.” I don’t know how many times I have thought of that line in my life when things have seemed dismal and all I wanted to do was runaway. It is a strength to know that God believes in me that much that I can not only “overcome” but also “shun” evil.

These are some of the personal counsel given to me in my blessing. As I said before, everyone’s blessing is different. We may share some of the same counsel, but even then, our blessing is personalized to us. Cheryl and I have some things in common in our blessings that we see as a way to make our marriage stronger.

If you have your patriarchal blessing, I challenge you to review it and find the themes of your personal counsel. It is a rewarding experience that can not only strengthen your faith in God but also bring you closer to Him.


The second purpose of a patriarchal blessing is to declare your lineage in the house of Israel. For the grand majority of us, we are adopted into the House of Israel. The tribe of Israel declared to us is the one through which we receive the blessings given to Abraham. Most people I know, myself included, are of the house of Ephraim. It is very common. However, there are twelve tribes of Israel and you can be declared of another lineage. This declaration is given by inspiration to the Patriarch and is NOT dictated to them by anyone else.

Why is it important to have a lineage in the House of Israel? Each tribe has a specific role to play in the latter days. For example the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh “will be gathered first and then direct the other tribes in their gathering” (The Scattering and Gathering of Israel, Doctrines of the Gospel – Student Manual, Chapter 24).

It’s also important because that lineage ties us directly to the family of Abraham and the blessings that God has bestowed on Abraham’s house. Elder Yamashita lists these as:

“Those promises include:

  • ‘His posterity would be numerous’ (see Genesis 17:5-6; Abraham 2:9; 3:14)
  • ‘His seed, or descendants, would receive the gospel and bear the priesthood’ (see Abraham 2:9)
  • ‘Through the ministry of his seed, ”all the families of the earth [would] be blessed, even with the blessings of the Gospel, which are the blessings of salvation, even of life eternal”’ (Abraham 2:11)

As members of the Church, we are children of the covenant. We receive the blessings of the Abrahamic covenant as we obey the laws and ordinances of the gospel.”

But how does knowing my lineage in the house of Israel help me in my life? After declaring my lineage, the Patriarch stated that I would have all the “blessings, covenants, and promises that the Lord has made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and this will be a blessing to you throughout your life as you serve your fellowmen.”

There are three parts that I believe we all can have:

  1. Blessings – The number of blessings the Lord promised Abraham alone are numerous and then adding on the blessings promised to Isaac and Jacob means that there really is no end to the blessings the Lord wants to bestow upon each and every one of us.
  2. Covenants – We strive to follow the covenant path. Knowing the covenants God made with Abraham and his descendants and having access to those covenants provides strength throughout even the most difficult of circumstances.
  3. Promises – Blessings are bestowed. Covenants are made. Promises are something that are kept. God does not break His promises and so we can be assured that the promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will be fulfilled.

How comforting it is to know that we are adopted into the house of Israel and have a lineage declared to us. It is another witness that God knows us individually and cares for us as His son or daughter.


To have physical proof that God knows you and cares for you is one of the greatest treasures we can have on this earth. He has provided this for us through patriarchal blessings. Each blessing gives personal counsel as well as declares our lineage in the house of Israel. By reading, studying, and understanding our patriarchal blessings, our lives can be enriched, temptations can be overcome, trials can be endured, and we can walk the covenant path that leads to God and His kingdom.

Tips for Teaching

Teaching about patriarchal blessings can be challenging. As you think about what to share, you may consider:

  1. Discussing what a patriarchal blessing is and what it isn’t
  2. The importance of receiving a patriarchal blessing
  3. The components that make up a patriarchal blessing
  4. How can someone prepare to receive a patriarchal blessing?
  5. As the Spirit guides, you may want to share parts of your patriarchal blessing. Instead of asking others if they want to share parts of their blessing, allow them to do so organically.






Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: