A patriarchal blessing is a sacred, personal blessing in which the Lord shares individualized counsel and promises with His children. It is a “powerful witness of the mission of the Lord Jesus Christ in bringing exaltation to each of us” (“Patriarchal Blessings,” 30 March 1980).
Patriarchal blessings are given by one who is called as a patriarch, which is one of the offices of the Melchizedek Priesthood within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Before giving one of these blessings, the patriarch must personally prepare spiritually so that he can be in tune with the Spirit to give the blessing that the Lord would have him give.
A central part of a patriarchal blessing is the pronouncement of lineage. Our lineage specifies a family line that connects us to Abraham. This family line is important because it is the genealogical link through which we receive many blessings. There are people who belong to all of the tribes of Israel. And, because there are many who receive patriarchal blessings who are not descendants of a specific tribe, it is possible to be adopted into the lineage of Israel. Those who are adopted into the lineage of Israel receive the same blessings and opportunities as those who are part of the lineage by blood.
Each patriarchal blessing is unique. Outside of the declaration of lineage, the patriarch may give promises, warnings, and advice. He may mention the strengths, weaknesses, and spiritual gifts of the person he is blessing while offering counsel for the future. Whatever promises are contained within a patriarchal blessing, they are contingent on the faith and works of the individual who received them. Additionally, some blessings are not fulfilled during this earth life but will be in the next life. Those who are faithful will receive every blessing that the Lord has in store for them.
These talks offer additional insight and doctrinal clarifications about patriarchal blessings. As you read and listen, you will gain a greater understanding of how these blessings are a sacred gift from a loving Father in Heaven.