Here are some ideas on how to mark your Patriarchal Blessing so that you can understand the blessings, counsels, warnings and covenants within it. This would be great to introduce at Family Home Evening, Young Women/Young Men, etc.
A patriarchal blessing is “an inspired and prophetic statement of your life’s mission together with such blessings, cautions and admonitions as the patriarch may be prompted to give.” (James R. Clark, Messages of the First President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)
Obtaining patriarchal blessings may provides us with some glimpses into the book of our life possibilities and give us some general direction. Wisely, perhaps, such a blessing is rarely specific enough to guide us in day-to-day decisions. Instead, it paints with broad brushstrokes. (R. Britsc and T. Olson, Counseling: A Guide to Helping Others)
Using four different colored markers, you will highlight the statements in your patriarchal blessing into four categories: Blessings, Counsels, Warnings, and Covenants.
When you have highlighted your blessing with each of the four colors, you can make a list of the things that are in your blessing in each category. You will then have a list of all the blessings that are promised to you. This can make wonderful reading when you are feeling low. The other lists can be used to help you set goals to be able to accomplish your special mission in this life. You will have a page with counsel, a page with covenant blessings, and a page with any warnings that are in your blessing.
President Kimball has given this advice: “It is true of all of us that as we progress spiritually, our sense of belonging, identity, and self-worth increases. Let us create a climate in which we encourage sisters of the Church to have a program of self-improvement. It ought to be a practical and realistic program, one that is determined personally and not imposed upon them. Yet it ought to cause them to reach for new levels of achievement. We are not asking for something spectacular, but rather for our sisters to find real self-fulfillment through wise self-development in the pursuit of righteous worthy endeavors.”
After praying for guidance, read and ponder the page that contains counsel and warnings. Then read the page of covenants/promises. Determine which areas you feel you can work on at this time in your life. Prayerfully select a few, and then follow the procedure for setting goals by writing down what you want to accomplish and then your plan for doing so.
These are identified as gifts from Heavenly Father. They are not subject to any future performance in that they are given to you as a child of God. As long as your life is in harmony with the principles of the gospel, these blessings will be given to you at the time the Lord dictates. They will read similar to:
Friends and associates will be raised up unto thee in times of need…
You’ll be privileged to experience and to enjoy the blessings of _______.
You are to be blessed with the gift of discernment…
Instances where counsel is being given will read:
Be faithful…. Continue….
Be diligent…. Endeavor to…
Seek…. Prove yourself….
Thou shalt…. Use this ability to…
There will generally be only a few or none in this category. The wording of these lines should make them clear. The important thing is that when warnings are given, they must be carefully noted. Highlight any of these in a third color and impress them upon your own mind.
These statements can be identified as statements where a blessing is mentioned which is connected with certain things you must do to receive the blessing. Some examples:
Thy friends shall be a special blessing unto thee… inasmuch as thou shalt select for thine close associates those who are righteous.
If thou wilt give of thy time and talents in building up the Kingdom of God…Thou shalt gain a certain testimony that Jesus is the Christ.