In our attempts to read our patriarchal blessing frequently to learn the counsel the Lord has for us, are we watching out for these five key things?
Life is full of uncharted waters: Where should I go to school? What should I study? Should I go on a mission? Whom should I marry? If you were given a personal map to navigate the decisions of life, would you follow it?
Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have given us such a map—patriarchal blessings—to give us direction in our lives. Though we are given the gift of agency to make decisions of our own free will, patriarchal blessings can shed light on what paths will bring the greatest happiness.
But simply having a map isn’t enough. We must study, understand, and apply the meaning within the map. Likewise, as you come to understand the language used in your patriarchal blessing—your own personal guide to life—you will be able to discern who you are in God’s eyes and what you can become.
A map won’t necessarily mark every hazard along the way, but fortunately, patriarchal blessings often sound warnings to protect us along the way. Some of these admonitions help protect us from Satan’s influence; others might enlighten us on how we can overcome the natural man within us.
For Caitlin Carr of Utah, some of the admonitions in her patriarchal blessing weren’t immediately clear, but later study of her blessing yielded new insights.
“When I received my patriarchal blessing, I was warned about people who would try and sway me from the truth with pleasing talk. I didn’t think much of it; I had a firm belief in the doctrines I’d been taught.
“However, the following year I was confronted with ideas and philosophies that, on the surface, seemed rooted in fairness and love but were not. These messages seemed to be coming from everywhere: the media, school, even close friends. Even though I knew these philosophies were contrary to God’s plan, I found myself wanting to support both these new worldly ideas and the Church. I soon realized that ‘no man can serve two masters’ (Matthew 6:24) and that I shouldn’t rely on the wisdom of men. Heavenly Father resolved my doubts through the scriptures and spoke peace to my mind and heart. As a result, my testimony has been strengthened and I have become more firm in defending that which I know to be true.”