Patriarchal Blessings

    Scripturally, fathers’ blessings had legitimacy because they were spoken through the gift of the holy ghost. Three years previous to the death of Adam, he called together his posterity into the valley of Adam-Ondi-Ahman, and there bestowed upon them his last blessing…and, notwithstanding he was bowed down with [great] age, being full of the holy ghost, predicted whatsoever should befall his posterity unto the latest generation (T&C 154:19–20). That was the first patriarchal blessing. It was given by the power of the spirit, and it was prophecy. It would be appropriate to read “priesthood” out of that event and to read “holy ghost, power of the spirit, word of prophecy” into it. A patriarchal blessing that is delivered with no benefit of the spirit is just more ink on paper, but a blessing that is delivered by the power of the spirit, as a prophecy, is the word of the Lord, the mind of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation, which cannot be broken. Later, when both Jacob (Israel) and Lehi called their children before them to bestow their final blessings, it was a reenactment of that event with the first father, Adam, in the valley of Adam-Ondi-Ahman. Jacob and Lehi were, likewise, bowed down with great age, knowing that they were going to soon depart this world; they had no personal investment in the outcome, but only intended to say what was for the blessing and benefit, through the spirit, of what would befall their children after them, things that they would not be around to witness; they confirmed by the spoken voice what it was that God had put into their hearts. A patriarchal blessing is generally given by someone like Lehi or like Jacob (in Genesis 12:14–26). They are calling upon all of the experience that they’ve had with the children throughout their lifetime, and then they’re projecting forward by the power of the spirit. Sometimes what is prophesied to befall a child may be surprising to the one filled with the spirit who is pronouncing the blessing, but generally, that lifetime of experience with the child helps prepare the mind, the heart, and the connection of the father to Heaven. All of this, every bit of it, can occur with or without priesthood — people need not associate, and therefore limit, the power of the spirit to influence any person, without regard to rank, position, or office.1 The identification of a Tribe of Israel in the Latter-day Saint patriarchal blessings does not restore the covenant, nor does it connect you to the “living vine,” nor does it alter the status of being “gentile” by identification.2

    1 “Cursed: Denied Priesthood,” Jan. 07, 2018, Sandy, UT, 19, transcript of Q&A.

    2 “Jacob 5:52,” April 9, 2012, blog post.