“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.” —President Monson
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.
Discover Your Lineage
First and foremost, your patriarchal blessing declares your lineage, or the specific tribe of the twelve tribes of Jacob (who was later called Israel) to which you belong. Though we are not all literal descendants of Jacob, the scriptures teach us that Church members are adopted into the house of Israel: “For as many as receive this Gospel shall be called after thy name, and shall be accounted thy seed, and shall rise up and bless thee, as their father” (Abraham 2:10).
Shelisa Schroeppel of Utah, USA, says, “Knowing that I’m from the house of Jacob helps me understand my purpose in this life and why I’m called to certain callings in the Church.”
Your patriarchal blessing may also describe any related blessings that accompany your particular tribe. For instance, many members of the Church belong to the tribe of Ephraim, a tribe that has the unique responsibility to spread the message of the restored gospel to the world (see Deuteronomy 33:13–17; D&C 133:26–34).
Find Personal Counsel
When used properly, a map keeps a traveler from becoming lost. Similarly, on this earthly journey, your patriarchal blessing may offer counsel and direction for your life. Your patriarchal blessing doesn’t simply tell you what to do, but it can offer personalized insights about which paths—if pursued in faith—can help you know when you’re aligning your life with Heavenly Father’s will. As you study your patriarchal blessing and seek to live in a manner that invites the Spirit of the Lord, you can find safety, joy, and direction.