Published: Published: Sunday, April 23 2016; 7:31 p.m. DMT
Three and a half years ago I went through much the same type of interview with the Bishop as I would have to go through later to get my first Temple Recommend. And with the Stake President. But this wasn’t about that. This was about a Patriarchal Blessing. After the interviews, I was given opportunity to set up an appointment with the Stake Patriarch, which meant calling his wife and seeing when he was available. Having done that, I talked with a Brother in the Church who had volunteered to give me a ride. He was free that day! Two weeks later, he drove me to a town about an hour from where we live. The Patriarch answered the door and let us in, a beautiful house, very well kept, very cozy. We met his charming wife and we all sat down in the living room.
No rushing here, we chatted for awhile, and they were both impeccable hosts. The Patriarch then went over everything, so there’d be no surprises, and we’d know what to expect. At the proper time, and with the recording machinery tested, I sat in the chair and he laid his hands on my head while my friend and the Patriarch’s wife witnessed.
What was then said was not from him, but through him. It was from above, and our Patriarch was the conduit. For what? For personal inspiration, specifically for me. For Holy Scriptures, but scriptures that applied to my life, my past, my present, my future…my eternal future. Revelation for myself, and pertaining to myself and my loved ones and my situation.
As almost a bonus, though it is a regular part of each Patriarchal Blessing, I learned of my lineage, that is, which tribe in the House of Israel I was spiritually descended from.
When done, he lifted his hands. I got up, a little shakily, and shook his hand, then hugged him. I thanked him. I shook my friend’s hand and hugged him, too. It’s an emotional experience. There are usually no dry eyes in the house.
The Patriarch turned off the recorder. As he had explained earlier, his wife will be transcribing it (that’s her calling) and then he will pray over it and review it and make sure all is right with it. He’ll then send me a copy of the transcript, and he will send a copy to Salt Lake City. Since it’s Holy Scripture, it needs to be archived. Also, if you have need, you can look up your blessing there, or if appropriate, that of your ancestors.
Still no rush, we chatted a bit more, then took our leave.
It takes awhile to sink in. A Patriarchal Blessing is a thing that we are all entitled to, and something that we should all receive, but not everyone does. And no one understands it all at the first hearing. Or the first reading! Or even dozenth! The blessing is powerful and personal. Prophet Thomas S. Monson said, “Your patriarchal blessing will see you through the darkest night. It will guide you through life’s dangers.” and he spoke true.
It is a sacred thing, not to be shared with anyone, though some parts can be appropriately related to close family and friends if merited and needful. I did with my copy what many do, that is, I micro-copied it so I could paste it into my Quad. It is as much scripture for me as anything else in that Holy collection. I read it quietly when I first got it. And again after I pasted it in my Quad. I’ve read it quite a few times since.
If you compose yourself appropriately, and are doing right things, and read it carefully and attentively, and ponder and pray over it, you never fail to get something more from it with each reading. And to receive answers. And solace. And comfort. It is a thing of inestimable value, and I do wish more would seek it out.
Any who have turned 18 and are about to leave home should get one. It is a great road map to your life here and for time and all eternity! And any who have got past that age, and still don’t have it – do not delay, but go and schedule an appointment with the Bishop so you can start on the path to getting your own! I, myself, had since had the honor of escorting two others, and I can’t emphasize enough how important it is!
They are a bounteous blessing that can only do you good, and I share all this and say all this in the name of our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.