Q&A: Questions and Answers
May 2002

“Q&A: Questions and Answers,” New Era, May 2002, 16

Questions and Answers

Answers are intended for help and perspective, not as pronouncements of Church doctrine.

I’m about to receive my patriarchal blessing. I’m a little nervous. What are good ways to prepare for it?

New Era

  • Study. The more you understand what a patriarchal blessing is and why you receive one, the more you will appreciate its significance.

  • Talk to your bishop. If he feels you are prepared, he will give you a recommend to receive your blessing.

  • Fast and pray to be spiritually prepared to receive your patriarchal blessing.

  • Read and ponder your blessing often.

  • Keep your blessing sacred by sharing it only with close family members.

Receiving a patriarchal blessing is a wonderful opportunity. Preparing to receive it is a serious responsibility.

The personal revelation you receive from a patriarchal blessing shows how much love Heavenly Father has for you. He wants you to be happy and live with Him again. Receiving this blessing is a chance for you to hear what Heavenly Father expects of you and some of the blessings you can receive if you live righteously. President Thomas S. Monson said, “A patriarchal blessing literally contains chapters from your book of eternal possibilities” (Ensign, Nov. 1986, 66).

The experience of receiving a patriarchal blessing will be even more meaningful if you are prepared. Here are some suggestions to help you get ready.

Study. The more you understand what a patriarchal blessing is and why you receive one, the more you will be able to appreciate its significance. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask your parents or bishop.

Keep the commandments. Living righteously will allow you to feel the Spirit. It is through the Spirit that you will understand your blessing. And, like any blessing, the fulfillment of promises made to you in your patriarchal blessing will depend on your faithfulness.

Talk to your bishop. Your bishop or branch president will interview you to determine your worthiness. If he feels you are prepared, he will give you a recommend to receive your blessing. It is your responsibility to make an appointment with the patriarch.

Fast and pray. Fasting and prayer are good ways to make sure you are spiritually prepared to receive your blessing. If you feel nervous about receiving your blessing, pray for the comfort of the Holy Ghost. As well as praying for your own preparedness, it is also appropriate to pray for the patriarch, that he will receive the inspiration he needs.

Learn humility. The blessings and promises you receive in your patriarchal blessing will only be possible if you are willing to live worthy of those blessings. Prepare yourself to do whatever the Lord asks of you in your blessing.

Keep your blessing sacred. Remember that your patriarchal blessing is your personal scripture. You may wish to invite your parents to be present when you receive your blessing. If you choose to share it with others, only do so with close family members.

Study your blessing. Your blessing will be recorded and you will receive a printed copy. You should study it often. “It is a sacred guideline of counsel, promises, and information from the Lord; however, a person should not expect the blessing to detail all that will happen to him or her or to answer all questions,” said President James E. Faust. “The fact that one’s patriarchal blessing may not mention an important event in life, such as a mission or marriage, does not mean that it will not happen” (Ensign, Nov. 1995, 63).

President Ezra Taft Benson

“A patriarchal blessing is the inspired and prophetic statement of your life’s mission together with blessings, cautions, and admonitions as the patriarch may be prompted to give. … Receive your patriarchal blessing under the influence of fasting and prayer, and then read it regularly that you may know God’s will for you” (Ensign, May 1986, 44–45).
—President Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994)


If you pray and have the Spirit with you to comfort and help you, you cannot go wrong. It is a sacred experience that is meant for you and you alone. Do what you feel is right, and let the Spirit guide you.

Colby Park, 17
Salt Lake City, Utah

I think a good way to prepare for your patriarchal blessing is to be in tune with the Spirit. Also, speak to Heavenly Father on a daily basis. Let Him know your concerns, hopes, and plans for the future. Get to know Him by studying His teachings. By doing these things, you’ll become anxious to find out what His plans for you are because you’ll see how much He loves you.

Josy Petit, 15
Woodside, New York

I know I was very nervous when I was going to receive my patriarchal blessing. I talked to my bishop and asked him about the things I should do to prepare. He told me to fast and pray for the Spirit to be with me. A patriarchal blessing is truly from God, and I encourage everyone to get theirs when they are ready.

Scott Ostermiller, 16
Fruit Heights, Utah

To prepare for it, I would ask some of the members of your family, some friends, and your bishop to help you gain knowledge about what a patriarchal blessing really is. After you receive it, go over it on a regular basis. It will really help you to preserve and strengthen your testimony.

Shawn Goodman, 15
Dillon, Montana

In my Young Women class, they told us that before your patriarchal blessing you should talk to your parents about how they prepared for their patriarchal blessings. They also told us to fast and pray that the patriarch will be inspired.

Jessie Caldwell, 13
Kennesaw, Georgia

Photography by Kelly A. Larsen. Posed by model