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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mormon Theology no. 33 - The Patriarchal Blessing

A very special office within the Melchizedek Priesthood is the office of Patriarch.  Like the ancient Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the modern Patriarch's duty is to give a special blessing called a Patriarchal Blessing.  We will discuss what it is and the like.

Said the Prophet Joseph Smith, "Wherever the Church of Christ is established in the earth, there should be a Patriarch for the benefit of the posterity of the Saints, as it was with Jacob in giving his patriarchal blessing unto his sons. (TPJS, p. 151)"  If one may recall, Jacob gave twelve special blessings to his twelve special sons.  They foretold the eternal possibilities of each person.  So it is with the modern Patriarchs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; eternal possibilities of each person is made known through the Patriarch, and will come to pass according to the person's worthiness.

Elder John A. Widstoe said of Patriarchal Blessings, "The patriarch, looking into the future, enumerates the blessings and promises, some special, others general, to which the person of the proper lineage . . . is entitled; and through his authority seals them upon him, so that they may be his forever through faithfulness. (Evidences and Reconciliations 1:73-74)"

Elder LeGrand Richards put it this way:

If we do not know where we are going, then we are just like a ship on the ocean without a rudder, without anyone to steer. We are tossed to and fro with the wind and the waves. But if we understand where we came from, why we are here, and where we are going, then we are more likely to reach the desired port. That is really the purpose of a patriarchal blessing, to be able to interpret and reveal to us, through the inspiration of the Almighty, why we are here and what is expected of us that we might fill the measure of our creation here upon the earth. ("Patriarchal Blessings", Enisgn, September 1981)

President James E. Faust stated, "Our patriarchal blessings indicate what the Lord expects of us and what our potential is. Our blessings can encourage us when we are discouraged, strengthen us when we are fearful, comfort us when we sorrow, give us courage when we are filled with anxiety, lift us up when we are weak in spirit. ("Patriarchal Blessings, Liahona, June 1983)"  I try to read my Patriarchal Blessing at least once a week.  I know that they are inspired of God.  

I know that the Patriarchal office is of God, and that the blessings given by the noble Patriarchs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are lighthouses, as it were, steering us as individuals away from the ragged rocks of the Adversary and into the Harbor of the Celestial Kingdom if we would only live right.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen!

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