Request Patriarchal Blessings Online

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The new LDS.org has a lot of cool new features and tools, some of which we’ve illuminated in the past. One great new feature is the ability to request your personal Patriarchal Blessing—or one of your ancestors’—online. I discovered this great feature recently and decided to give it a try.

I didn’t need a new copy of my blessing, but have been curious about my Great-Grandfather Washburn. He died when my Grandpa was only a boy, and I’ve heard little of him. In order to request a Patriarchal Blessing, all you need to do is visit new.LDS.org (soon to replace the main site at lds.org), then follow these steps:

  1. Login using your LDS account
  2. Click the “Tools” menu, then select “Patriarchal Blessing” at the bottom
  3. Fill out the form (starting with whether its your own, or someone else’s)
  4. Check the agreement at the bottom and select “submit”
  5. Wait a week or two until the blessing arrives via snail-mail

My Great-Grandfather’s blessing arrived within 2 weeks in the mail. It looks like a print from microfilm. These are not digitized records, so somebody is pulling the requested blessing by hand, printing, and mailing it to you. So if you use this service, and ever meet up with a missionary that works in the records department, make sure you thank them for their service. Oh, and just for the record, your blessing has nothing to do with love of country:

pa·tri·arch·al adj [pay-tree-ARK-all]

of, relating to, or being a patriarch or patriarchy

audio pronunciation of “patriarchal”

Let us know what you think of this great new service, and any great new features you’ve found at new.LDS.org, in the comments.



5 comments
  1. I think it’s great to provide this information, but posting the content of anyone’s blessing online is against policies found in the general handbook.

      1. I think the above comment comes from the fact that there’s a photograph of a patriarchal blessing here in the article. This photo shows only the very beginning, but it begs the question… why was it necessary to post a photo that shows even a portion of it? The contents of the blessing aren’t secret; they are sacred. Telling the world that his blessing would be a source of comfort to him throughout his life (along with real names, etc) is already sharing information that wasn’t yours to share. Information that you gave your word not to share. Claiming it okay to share “just a little bit” is likely saying it’s okay to drink just a little bit of alcohol, look at just little bit of porn, or pay 9% of your income towards tithing. “Just a little bit” can mean a great deal in the long run, especially when dealing with sacred things. And what if “just a few” people see this article, and mistaking think it means it’s okay to post their ancestor’s entirely blessing. Is it okay that the article’s photo was just “a tiny bit” misleading, and that you were only “partly” responsible for the mistake? Hundreds are deleted daily from LDS websites, all uploaded by members, so clearly the message is being lost somewhere along the line.

      2. I’m sorry Nonya, but I’m not sure what you mean by “gave your word not to share.” This is my great-grandfather’s patriarchal blessing. It’s family history.

        I think in the church we’ve built a culture of secrecy that extends far beyond the original intent of keeping things sacred. It’s looking beyond the mark. It’s a Pharisaic approach that prevents the Spirit from being able to tell us when we should share something sacred. We’re so intent on keeping the secret, we don’t open ourselves up to the possibility that it might be completely appropriate to share our patriarchal blessing, or talk about portions of what goes on in the temple, or any number of other things, in situations that may not fit the letter of the law. The culture is not the law, nor is it doctrine. But it is usually imperfect and inaccurate because it’s the interpretation and application of the doctrine by imperfect people, that’s then mixed with or made into tradition. We give a lot of weight to tradition, even when it might be a tradition with a sandy foundation.

        Regardless of the spirit or letter of the law, the small portion of my great grandfather’s blessing that I’ve included here, is completely appropriate to share. That’s borne out by the fact that the instruction to not post a blessing online is applied to your own blessing, not to your ancestors: https://history.lds.org/article/chl-pb?lang=eng#share. It begs the question though: “when does it become part of history and so okay to share?” I don’t know the answer to that, and so I won’t be posting my great-grandparent’s blessings anytime soon. But if someone did, I wouldn’t criticize them for it. It’s long enough ago that I would completely respect their decision to call it valuable history that needs shared with those who are interested.

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