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.
President Thomas S Monson refers to receiving a patriarchal blessing as "your passport to peace in this life. It is a Liahona of light to guide you unerringly to your heavenly home." He continues on to say: "A patriarchal blessing is a revelation to the recipient, even a white line down the middle of the road, to protect, inspire, and motivate activity and righteousness. A patriarchal blessing literally contains chapters from your book of eternal possibilities. I say eternal, for just as life is eternal, so is a patriarchal blessing. What may not come to fulfillment in this life may occur in the next. We do not govern God’s timetable.
Your patriarchal blessing is yours and yours alone. It may be brief or lengthy, simple or profound. Length and language do not a patriarchal blessing make. It is the Spirit that conveys the true meaning. Your blessing is not to be folded neatly and tucked away. It is not to be framed or published. Rather, it is to be read. It is to be loved. It is to be followed. Your patriarchal blessing will see you through the darkest night. It will guide you through life’s dangers. Your patriarchal blessing is to you a personal Liahona to chart your course and guide your way."
The Old Testament's Book of Genesis Chapters 48-50 reference the blessings that Jacob pronounced upon his sons extending unto them their birthrights.
Genesis 49 shows that the promises of the Lord were not shared equally among the 12 brothers. Because of his righteousness, Joseph was given a double portion that extended to his sons Manasseh and Ephraim. What is unusual is that the birthright, which usually goes to the first born son (Manasseh) was actually given by Jacob to the younger son (Ephraim). (see Genesis 48)
Judah, also, was given a blessing that was "choice above the blessing pronounced upon the heads" of his brothers. The lineage of Judah was blessed to have kings come from his line. Jesus Christ, himself, descended through the lineage of Judah.
Ye are my disciples; and ye are a light unto this people, who are a remnant of the house of Joseph. And behold, this is the land of your inheritance; and the Father hath given it unto you.
This week as I have studied into patriarchal blessings, I found this quote in the Old Testament Student Manual. Something to think on!
"One’s activities in his premortal life had an influence on his being born into a particular situation on this earth.
President Harold B. Lee made this observation:
‘When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.’ (Deut. 32:8.)
“ ‘For the Lord’s portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.’ (Deut. 32:9.)
“It would seem very clear, then, that those born to the lineage of Jacob, who was later to be called Israel, and his posterity, who were known as the children of Israel, were born into the most illustrious lineage of any of those who came upon the earth as mortal beings.
“All these rewards were seemingly promised, or foreordained, before the world was. Surely these matters must have been determined by the kind of lives we had lived in that premortal spirit world. Some may question these assumptions, but at the same time they will accept without any question the belief that each one of us will be judged when we leave this earth according to his or her deeds during our lives here in mortality. Isn’t it just as reasonable to believe that what we have received here in this earth life was given to each of us according to the merits of our conduct before we came here?” (“Understanding Who We Are Brings Self-Respect,” Ensign, Jan. 1974, p. 5.)
If you do not yet have a patriarchal blessing and feel you may be ready for one, talk to your parents and your bishop or branch president.
All patriarchal blessings are stored at Church headquarters, so if you ever lose your copy, you can request another one at apps.lds.org/pbrequest. You will need an LDS Account.