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The following is excerpted from LDS Living. To read the full article, CLICK HERE.
How does a patriarch know what to say in the blessings he pronounces?
All patriarchal blessings come from God. They are revelations from the Father, and the patriarch is the revelator whom the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has assigned to receive that revelation. Consequently, a patriarch must be a spiritual man who is seasoned in the gospel, who knows the doctrine, and who lives a life that is beyond reproach. He is a man who, over years of faithful service in priesthood callings, has learned how to receive revelation and has developed in his personal life the gift for recognizing the whisperings of the Holy Ghost. He is wise, dignified, and mature. Because he has been ordained to the office of patriarch (in the Melchizedek Priesthood), he has a right—by virtue of his priesthood office—to receive revelation on behalf of others, so long as he lives his life in such a way so as to be receptive to God’s Holy Spirit.
You should know that, in the days prior to giving you your blessing, the patriarch will pray specifically for you and about you dozens of times—seeking to see you as Heavenly Father sees you and to know you in ways he only could by revelation. Some patriarchs fast before they give blessings. Your patriarch will study his scriptures intently and be very cautious about what he watches or listens to in order to have the Spirit fully with him. He will be making significant sacrifices in his own life in order to be ready to bless you. These sacrifices will enable him to hear the voice of the Lord through God’s Holy Spirit. These sacrifices will enable him to receive revelation about you even before he places his hands upon your head.
Would a different patriarch give me the exact same blessing?
No two patriarchs would give, word for word, the same blessing. However, there is a reason for that. Elder John A. Widtsoe (1872–1952) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained, “Since patriarchs are but men, … their manner of speech and thinking is reflected in their blessings. Different men express the same idea in different words. The Lord does not dictate blessings to them word for word…. Nevertheless, if the patriarch lives worthily, he is sustained by the power and authority of his calling, and will pronounce blessings intended for us.” In other words, regardless of how many patriarchs gave you your blessing, similar themes would likely be discussed in each. Yet it is important to know that God gives the patriarch the truths that should be spoken, but He often leaves it up to the patriarch to articulate those truths—to the best of his ability—in his own language.
To read the full article, CLICK HERE.