The following is what a patriarchal blessing means every member of the Mormon Church.
“Every worthy, baptized member is entitled to and should receive a patriarchal blessing, which provides inspired direction from the Lord. Patriarchal blessings include a declaration of a person’s lineage in the house of Israel and contain personal counsel from the Lord. As a person studies his or her patriarchal blessing and follows the counsel it contains, it will provide guidance, comfort, and protection.” (lds.org)
Not long after I was baptized into the Mormon Church I was encouraged to receive my patriarchal blessing. Prior to meeting with the Stake Patriarch to receive my blessing, I had to have an interview with my Branch President (local church leader) to assess my worthiness. After I passed, and was found worthy, I received a recommend that I would take with me when I visited the Patriarch to receive my blessing.
It’s been awhile since I’ve read over my blessing, and to be honest when I read it now it has a strange feel to it. As I look at it from the perspective of one who knows what being saved by grace is truly all about, I wonder why I even wanted this thing in the first place.
These ‘blessings’ the Mormon Church provides certainly aren’t founded on what Jesus taught. In the Old Testament fathers gave blessings to their sons before they passed away, unlike in Mormonism where ‘patriarchal blessings’ are given to those who aren’t related to you.
I wish I had known how redundant receiving this ‘blessing’ was, and that by desiring it I was being disobedient to God. Looking back now, with the knowledge of how God sees these things I realize that I was participating in mysticism. God has forbidden us to have anything to do with divination, soothsayers, fortunetellers, and sorcery. He’s made it clear that anyone who participates in this has no place in Heaven.
Leviticus 19:31 Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God.
Hebrews 13:8-9a “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. 9 Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines.”
Leviticus 20:6 And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people.
A copy of the blessing is at the end of this article. I’m sure you’ll notice ‘quid-pro-quo’ phrases used in my blessing. For example, if I received all the callings willingly, I would be blessed mightily, and I would also be ‘blessed’ if I used my gifts and taught my children about the Mormon gospel. It makes it very clear all these blessings and promises are contingent upon me obeying ‘the laws and commandments’ of the Mormon gospel.
According to Thomas S. Monson I was to look at my patriarchal blessing this way –
“Your patriarchal blessing is your passport to peace in this life. It is a Liahona of light to guide you unerringly to your heavenly home.” — President Thomas S. Monson, October 1986 General Conference
As I read over this quote, with my blessing in mind, I can’t help but think of 2 Timothy 3:16-17
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
God’s word is what guides us in this life. It’s what teaches us about God and His laws, which helps us correct our behavior, and makes us obedient to Him.
I wish Mormons would realize that God has provided all they need to know His will for them. God’s word, and His Holy Spirit are there for them. He’ll teach them what they need, or want to know about Him, and His desire for their life.
Below is a link to an article we wrote a little while ago that gives more information on Patriarchal Blessings in Mormonism.