By Kat West
** This is the sixth installment in Kat’s conversion story to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If you would like to read more of her story, click here.
For as long as I can remember I have always been interested in psychics, tarot cards readings and fortune tellers - anything to get even a glimpse of what might be happening in the future . When I was a kid my favorite thing to do after my mom was done reading her magazines was to go to the back and find the horoscopes. It was always just for fun and I knew when I was ten that I probably wasn’t going to meet the love of my life or land my dream job that week like the article suggested, but it was still exciting to see what they would come up with, and sometimes I felt like they did come true. As an adult, I once had my palm read and was so surprised when she accurately guessed my profession as a massage therapist. She went on to tell me I would be getting engaged soon (which was also true!) and that I was on the right path, maybe it was just coincidence.
I had been baptized just over a month when I found out that I was going to receive my patriarchal blessing* in two weeks. Unlike psychics, tarot cards, palm readings, and fortune tellers, my patriarchal blessing provides a direct communication from the Lord to me about me and provides guidance and promises contingent upon following the guidance provided and keeping the commandments. This is a sacred one time blessing given to every member by a patriarch in the church. The patriarch uses the Holy Ghost to receive direct inspiration from God to deliver a detailed plan of guidance for your life. A patriarchal blessing is a gift that you need to be worthy of and is to be taken seriously . To prepare I was told to pray , fast, and study the scriptures. To me, I took it as a personalized fortune told by none other than Heavenly Father. Nothing could be more exciting, but at the same time I was nervous. What if the patriarch didn’t receive anything?
*Every worthy, baptized member is entitled to and should receive a patriarchal blessing, which provides inspired direction from the Lord. 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."
-Gospel Topics “Patriarchal Blessings”
After a few weeks of diligent scripture study, fasting with intent, and prayer I woke up the morning of my blessing feeling spiritually prepared, worthy and excited. When I arrived at the patriarch's house, he took me through the process of what to expect and after he answered all my questions we went to his office where he would perform the blessing. We started with prayer. After the blessing, I sat in a lone chair in the middle of the room and he stood behind me and placed his fingertips on my head. The room fell silent for a few minutes while he gathered inspiration of what to say from God. I closed my eyes and prayed silently that the patriarch would be able to obtain this insight to my life and future that I so desperately wanted.
Everything was communicated to me fluidly. He didn’t stumble over words or grasp at what to say. It was effortless, as if Heavenly Father was sitting right there and the patriarch was just repeating the information over to me. The Patriarch began with informing me of my lineage and heritage and from there then went into detail about what that means to me, and how it will help me determine my responsibilities and how I will be able to fulfill them throughout church, this life and the next. I was promised that when faced with conflict or hardship, I would overcome with the help of the Spirit. I was showered in blessings for myself, family, and all those in my life’s path. My personality and core values were described so spot on that I knew that this couldn’t have been coincidence, these words came from someone who truly knows me . I can't divulge in the details of what was shared with me because it is sacred and meant just for me, but what I can say is that after the blessing I had a much better expectation of what wonderful opportunities and blessings await me on this path as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
It’s recommended that you read your blessing often and remember that not all the information acquired may be applicable at the moment, but that in different stages of life you will get new perspectives and guidance, some even spanning to the next life. As for me, I resonated with everything he said on such a spiritual level that I knew it was nothing other than divine intervention. Getting my patriarchal blessing helped realize my full potential ,and validated that God indeed has a specific plan for my life, eradicating any remaining doubt I could have had about where I am in my life and where I'm going.
With my Patriarchal Blessing, I feel I have been given my own personal book of scripture- The Book of Kat, a “Pearl of Great Price.”
Next : Month 6 – Going to the Temple