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Church History

Library

Patriarchal Blessings

 

Two new online tools have been created and released to facilitate submitting, gathering, preserving, and sharing patriarchal blessings. A new online submission tool helps leaders create patriarchal blessing recommends and submit the official blessings to the Church, and a new online request tool allows users to request digital copies of blessings and then view the copies online. Both tools are accessible through LDS Account log-in on a new landing page at LDS.org.

The online submission tool is accessible to priesthood leaders and patriarchs. Bishops and branch presidents submit recommendations online where patriarchs can see who has requested a blessing. After giving a blessing, patriarchs submit the blessing text with header information to the Church History Library through the online tool. Blessings are stored in the library’s digital preservation system in multiple formats and storage locations, including the Granite Mountain Records Vault. In January 2015, the tool was released to more than 50 percent of stakes in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. In coming months, the tool will be made available to every stake and will be available in 14 languages.

With the online request tool, users can request a copy of their own patriarchal blessing or those of deceased direct-line family members. Personal blessings and blessings of deceased direct-line family members will be made available online through LDS.org. Because of the sacred nature of patriarchal blessings, every request is carefully researched and verified by a staff member at the Church History Library. Blessing requests that have been fulfilled since 2011 are already available through LDS.org.

The new landing page serves as the starting point for member requests and ecclesiastical submissions, presents information about the significance of patriarchal blessings, and provides user support and answers to frequently asked questions. The landing page is available in 14 languages and is designed for desktop and mobile devices (iOS and Android).

Frequently Asked Questions about Patriarchal Blessings

Q: What is a patriarchal blessing?

A: “Every worthy, baptized member is entitled to and should receive a patriarchal blessing, which provides inspired direction from the Lord” (Handbook 2: Administering the Church [2010], 20.12.1). Patriarchal blessings include a declaration of a person’s lineage in the house of Israel and contain personal counsel from the Lord. As a person studies his or her patriarchal blessing and follows the counsel it contains, it will provide guidance, comfort, and protection. (Learn more on the LDS Gospel Topics page.)


Q: How can I obtain a copy of my patriarchal blessing?

A: Handbook 2: Administering the Church states: “A person who has received a patriarchal blessing should carefully safeguard the copy he or she receives. However, if this copy is lost or destroyed, another one may be obtained from the patriarch if he still has the original in his binder of blessings. If the original has been sent to Church headquarters, a copy may be obtained” (20.12.3). The Church History Library can provide a copy of a patriarchal blessing that has been submitted by your patriarch.

To obtain a copy of a patriarchal blessing, you will need:

  • An LDS Account.
  • Your Church membership record number (MRN). If no MRN is available, primary documentation of the identity of the requester is needed.
  • The blessing recipient’s current name.
  • The blessing recipient’s name at the time the blessing was given.
  • Names of the blessing recipient’s parents, including the mother’s maiden name.
  • The birth date of the blessing recipient.
  • The approximate year the blessing was given, if known.
  • The patriarch’s name, if known.
  • Your relationship to the recipient (for deceased direct-line family member blessing requests).
  • If no MRN has been provided, documentation of your relationship to recipient.
  • Your mailing address, including apartment number or PO Box number.
  • Your email address.
  • Your primary telephone number.

You may request copies of patriarchal blessings in several ways:

  • Online: Go to LDS.org. In the top right corner of the screen, click My Account and Ward, and then select Patriarchal Blessing. In the new window, sign in to your LDS Account, and then click My Blessings. Follow the instructions to verify personal information. Please ensure that the membership record number (MRN) field is filled in. If you do not have an MRN, you will be required to submit documentation regarding your personal identity and your relationship to any deceased family members whose blessings you request. To request a blessing, click the personal request icon or the family member request icon, and provide all required information. Upon verification by library staff, patriarchal blessings will be delivered online through your LDS Account. Internet Explorer and Edge are not supported web browsers.
  • Ecclesiastical Leader: If you do not have access to a computer or are unable to create an LDS Account, you may have your ecclesiastical leader (bishop, branch president, or mission president) request a copy of your blessing on your behalf.
  • In Person: Individuals may use Church History Library computers during regular hours to request copies of their own patriarchal blessing or those of deceased direct-line family members. Individuals will be required to create an LDS Account to request copies of any patriarchal blessings. Library patrons may also use the library’s cash-operated printers to print copies of patriarchal blessings already attached to their LDS Accounts.

For information, please call 1-801-240-3500.

 

Q: Why must I include my membership record number (MRN) or provide alternative documentation?

A: Your patriarchal blessing is sacred, confidential, and personal. The best way for us to verify that we are delivering your blessing to the right person is through your membership record number (MRN). You may be able to locate your MRN on your temple recommend, on another Church record, or with the help of a parent, clerk, or ecclesiastical leader.

You can find instructions about how to upgrade your LDS Account with your MRN under number 5 on this page. If you have difficulties upgrading your account, please contact your ward clerk or call 1-801-240-3500 for LDS Account help.

If you have no way to determine your MRN, you will be required to provide documentation verifying your identity and lineage for family member blessing requests. Acceptable documentation includes primary documents such as photo IDs, birth certificates, death certificates, marriage certificates, and census records. Secondary sources, such as FamilySearch, will not be accepted. All documentation will be used for verification purposes only.

 

Q: Will my personal information from my LDS Account be used for any purpose other than verifying my patriarchal blessing request?

A: No. All information remains confidential and will be used only to verify your patriarchal blessing request.

 

Q: May I share my patriarchal blessing with others?

A: Handbook 2 states: “Each patriarchal blessing is sacred, confidential, and personal.” Further, “Church members should not compare blessings and should not share them except with close family members. Patriarchal blessings should not be read in Church meetings or other public gatherings” (20.12.2). They should not be distributed or shared through electronic means, such as in the Memories section of FamilySearch or on social media, websites, or blogs.

 

Q: Whose patriarchal blessing may I request?

A: You may request a copy of your own patriarchal blessing or that of a deceased direct-line ancestor, deceased child, or deceased spouse.

 

Q: What is a direct-line family member?

A: A direct-line family member is an individual within your direct ancestral bloodline, such as a parent, grandparent, or great-grandparent. This does not include siblings, aunts or uncles, cousins, foster parents, or in-laws. Deceased spouses and children are also considered direct-line family members.

 

Q: Why can’t I request the patriarchal blessings of my living spouse, children, or grandchildren?

A: Patriarchal blessings provide inspired direction to individuals. The decision to share a blessing rests with the recipient. We invite Church members to create an LDS Account and request their own patriarchal blessing.

 

Q: May I request the patriarchal blessings of my children if they are on a mission or in the military?

A: We invite Church members to create an LDS Account and request their own blessing. The blessing will be delivered through the requester’s LDS Account and will become accessible wherever he or she may be serving or stationed.

 

Q: How quickly will I receive copies of requested patriarchal blessings?

A: Because of the sacred nature of patriarchal blessings, every blessing request is carefully researched and verified by a member of the staff at the Church History Library. Information on your membership record is cross-checked with the information in the blessing’s header. Depending on the circumstances in which the blessing was given and recorded, significant research may be required. We will contact you if we have questions or concerns. We prioritize the fulfillment of requests for personal blessings. The time frame for fulfilling your request may be several days to several months, depending on the circumstances. The request page in your LDS Account will be updated periodically with notifications. We appreciate your patience as we seek to honor your requests.

Please remember that if you have recently received a patriarchal blessing, you will need to wait until you receive a paper copy of your blessing before you request an electronic copy. Patriarchs need time to transcribe and send a copy of your patriarchal blessing to the Church History Library before it becomes available electronically.

 

Q: Why was my personal blessing or family member’s blessing not found?

A: It may be that your blessing has not yet been submitted to the Church History Library. If you have received your blessing within the last two years, please check with the patriarch. With respect to ancestral blessings, the Church History Library preserves copies of more than 4.3 million blessings. However, depending on the circumstances in which the blessing was given and recorded, a copy of the requested blessing may not be in our collection. Patriarchal blessings were first recorded in the United States in 1833 and in England and Scandinavia after 1837 and 1849, respectively. In our process of careful research and verification, we will make every effort to locate a copy of the blessings you request.