Q&A: Questions and Answers
May 2007

“Q&A: Questions and Answers,” New Era, May 2007, 14–16

Questions and Answers

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

“I just received my patriarchal blessing. What do I need to learn from it?”

New Era

  • As you read your patriarchal blessing, look for warnings, counsel, and future blessings.

  • All blessings come by obedience to laws, so live worthy to receive the promised blessings.

  • A patriarchal blessing doesn’t describe your whole life. If it doesn’t mention something important to you, that doesn’t mean you can’t accomplish it.

  • Read your patriarchal blessing regularly throughout your life because it can become more meaningful as you grow older.

  • A patriarchal blessing is sacred and not meant to be shared with just anyone.

Congratulations on receiving your patriarchal blessing. It is like scripture from Heavenly Father to you. There is a lot you can learn from it now, but as the months and years go by, continue to read it, because it can help you in different ways at different times. One day when you’re going through a trial, for instance, it might give you some comfort. Another time it might guide you in making an important decision. Phrases from it can even come to your mind when you need them.

One way to study your patriarchal blessing is to look for warnings, counsel, your strengths, important roles, and promises of blessings. God sees you as you really are and as you can become. He is aware of the challenges you will have and may give you warnings to guide you through some of those challenges. He may also give counsel to help you. If you are humble enough to follow that counsel, you will one day see His wisdom in giving it to you. If your patriarchal blessing mentions some future blessings or events in your life, ponder and pray about what you will need to do to prepare for those events.

Blessings promised in your patriarchal blessing will come after your obedience (see D&C 130:21). So just because your patriarchal blessing says you will receive a certain blessing doesn’t mean that blessing will come to you no matter what. You still need to live worthy to receive it.

As you study your patriarchal blessing, keep in mind that it doesn’t describe your whole life. It is a “[paragraph] from the book of your possibilities.”1 Even if it doesn’t mention something important to you—like a mission or temple marriage—you can still accomplish these righteous goals. Also, remember that it extends beyond this life, not being limited to mortality.

You might also be wondering what it means to be of the house of Israel. It means you are a descendant of Abraham and have certain responsibilities and blessings. Abraham chapter 2 explains some of those. The tribes of Israel were anciently given certain responsibilities. Some of them carry forward to today. The tribe of Ephraim, for example, has the primary responsibility for leading the Lord’s work in our day.

Finally, keep in mind that a patriarchal blessing is sacred and personal. Do not share it with others, except perhaps immediate family members.

Like the scriptures, your patriarchal blessing is another way the Lord can guide you. So read it regularly, ponder it, and pray about what it means to you. If you live worthy of the blessings it promises, they will all come to pass in this life or the next.

President Ezra Taft Benson

“Receive a patriarchal blessing. Study it carefully and regard it as personal scripture to you—for that is what it is. 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.”
President Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994), “To the Youth of the Noble Birthright,” Ensign, May 1986, 44.


This blessing is a map of how your life can be if you are worthy. It isn’t a fortune; you have to have a desire and be willing to work for the sacred promises contained inside. God knows your strengths; magnify them. He knows your weaknesses; heed His warnings. Go through and identify specific blessings and warnings He has given; write them down, and refer to them often. Your blessing will guide you through the darkest of times to the joy and eternal happiness that only the Lord can provide. Above all, read it and realize how much He loves you.
Rachael R., 19, Tasmania, Australia

Your patriarchal blessing is like the scriptures: every time you read it, there’s a different meaning. It does not necessarily tell you what you’re supposed to do, but it’s like a compass and points you in the right direction. As long as you read it often and truly reflect upon it, the Lord will bless you and guide you to the path of eternal happiness.
Brianne W., 17, Colorado

Reading your blessing can give you eternal perspective and help you see some of the great things that will happen in your life. You can learn of the great love Heavenly Father has for you. Your blessing can bring you the comfort that all trials will pass. It can also help you make decisions for your life. You can learn to trust the Lord.
Shalyn S., 16, California

When I received my patriarchal blessing, I was so excited. There are so many great things in my blessing that I can achieve. I think of my blessing as guidelines for my life. It tells me what I need to improve on and what I’ll accomplish by following those guidelines.
Hilary T., Utah

Patriarchal blessings are given to us from God. From them we can receive warnings, counsel, comfort, and other guidance our Heavenly Father has reason to place before us to help us along the path of making it back to Him. Many of life’s important, as well as difficult, decisions are made easier when you have a patriarchal blessing as a guide. As you read your blessing, ponder the words given to you through the power of the priesthood. Just the fact that you have a blessing shows the great love and care our Heavenly Father has for each of us.
Tyler G., 16, Utah

Your patriarchal blessing is a map so you can better prepare yourself. Start preparing now for what it says you could do, like a mission, temple marriage, family, and so on. The best thing to do is listen to what Heavenly Father is saying in your blessing and do your best to be prepared. Also, a patriarchal blessing is between you and Heavenly Father and should be private. Don’t go around telling everyone what blessings you are going to get or what great things you are going to do. You can discuss it with your parents and pray for understanding.
Diedra H., 13, Tennessee

From a patriarchal blessing I learn that I am a child of God. It is Heavenly Father’s blueprint for my life. If I follow it, it will help guide me back to Him. It tells me what Heavenly Father expects from me, and it motivates me to live for the promised blessings. It also teaches me a valuable lesson that even though many blessing are promised, for me to receive them I must be willing to work according to Heavenly Father’s will.
Elicia M., 14, West Indies

Your blessing will tell you talents you possess, characteristics you have, and it will give you specific warnings. Before you read it, you should pray for the Spirit to help you understand what to do. Read it often. I read parts of my patriarchal blessing every week. Your blessing might tell you what qualities you had in the premortal existence, and it might promise blessings that lie in the future. With this knowledge you will better understand yourself and be able to prepare more effectively. The most important thing is to keep yourself worthy so you will be able to receive those blessings.
Colin M., 18, Arizona

Next Question

“My friends like to hang out at a coffee house. Is it OK if I go with them and just drink decaffeinated coffee?”

Send us your answer, along with your full name, birth date, ward and stake, and photograph (including your parent’s written permission to print the photo, if you are under 18) to:

New Era, Q&A, 6/07

50 E. North Temple St. Rm. 2420

Salt Lake City, UT 84150-3220, USA

Or e-mail: newera@ldschurch.org

Please respond by June 15, 2007.

For more, read President James E. Faust’s article “Your Patriarchal Blessing,” New Era, Nov. 2005, p. 4.


  1. Harold B. Lee, Stand Ye in Holy Places (1975), 117.

Photograph by Matt Reier, posed by models