In last year’s April general conference, President Russell M. Nelson issued a timeless invitation to Latter-day Saints worldwide seeking to deepen their faith and trust in God.
“Allow the Lord,” he said, “to lead you on your journey of spiritual discovery.”
Prayer, fasting, scripture study, obeying the commandments, and following the guidance of inspired prophets and apostles are all steps one can take to “allow the Lord to lead you on your journey.”
Each of those actions invites the Lord to become one’s guide to spiritual discovery.
In ancient days, God provided the Book of Mormon prophet Lehi with the Liahona to clarify the direction for his family to travel, on condition of their faith and obedience. It proved to be a priceless gift during their journey.
Today, Latter-day Saints can receive their own divine guiding gift—even a personal “Liahona”—by receiving their patriarchal blessings (see “Your Patriarchal Blessing: A Liahona of Light“, President Thomas S. Monson, October 1986 general conference).
A patriarchal blessing is a blessing bestowed by an ordained patriarch, given by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood and through the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. It includes a declaration of one’s lineage—along with sacred statements about the life of the blessing’s recipient that includes promises, admonitions and warnings.
Revelation in the Doctrine and Covenants states, “it is the duty of the Twelve…to ordain evangelical ministers, as…shall be designated unto them by revelation” (Doctrine and Covenants 107:39).
The Prophet Joseph Smith explained: “An Evangelist is a Patriarch…Wherever the Church of Christ is established in the earth [organized into stakes], there should be a Patriarch for the benefit of the posterity of the Saints, as it was with Jacob in giving his patriarchal blessing unto his sons” (see “Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith,” compiled by Joseph Fielding Smith, page 151; and “Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith,” page 140).
The Church News recently sat down with President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, to discuss the gift of patriarchal blessings—along with what members can do to prepare for, and then utilize, this unique gift of guidance.
You can read President Ballard’s insights and comments on Church News.
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