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Patriarchal Blessing Length


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Three of my children have received their patriarchal blessings this year.  On the occasion of the third child, the patriarch mentioned something he said was from his training.

He said the apostle said that patriarchal blessings should be short and succinct.  That if it was too long it was offering guidance not a blessing. 

This struck me as odd.  I had never such a comment previously. 

What are your thoughts on this? 

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Weird. I’ve never heard that before (my 17 year old received his blessing two months ago). 

Edit to add--what would be considered "too long"?  That's really subjective.

Edited by bluebell
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I know a person who has a one page blessing and another that has a 4 page blessing.   Most people seem to have a 2 page blessing. 

If a patriarch is moved to give a longer blessing, so be it.  It was just such a weird comment and a have been pondering it ever since the blessing.  

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I had a mission companion that had a 4 page blessing that was oddly specific. Some of the things in it didn’t come to pass. One section said he would be using social media as a missionary and that didn’t happen.

He mentioned to me that he was annoyed by it because of how specific it all was. There wasn’t a lot of room for interpretation. 

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31 minutes ago, Fether said:

I had a mission companion that had a 4 page blessing that was oddly specific. Some of the things in it didn’t come to pass. One section said he would be using social media as a missionary and that didn’t happen.

He mentioned to me that he was annoyed by it because of how specific it all was. There wasn’t a lot of room for interpretation. 

If he's not dead then there's still a good chance he can use social media as a missionary, if he chooses/is able to serve a mission as a senior.

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1 hour ago, SkyRock said:

I know a person who has a one page blessing and another that has a 4 page blessing.   Most people seem to have a 2 page blessing. 

If a patriarch is moved to give a longer blessing, so be it.  It was just such a weird comment and a have been pondering it ever since the blessing.  

My husband's is two pages but with tiny little margins and incredibly small font and no breaks between paragraphs.  Mine is probably 3/4 or a page with regular sized font and paragraph spaces.  It always makes me laugh to see them side by side.

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I'm still reading mine 30 years later. It's so, so, so long.

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4 hours ago, Pyreaux said:

Mine was two or so pages, and the font was small. This is my one and only God sanctioned fortune reading, so you better dig deep old man, and give me something meaty.

Lol, I have that reaction and try to control it.  You have me rolling with this.

Mine was short in relation to my husband and mom’s, but hit the essentials.  I generally like straight and to the point in other things when it comes to instruction…which I was taught PB’s were meant to be.  But I was hoping for something extra…

Edited by Calm
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I had a mission comp that his was also 4 pages long. I have no idea what it said of course but he's totally inactive. I've wondered why bother giving one to someone God knew would go inactive 

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On 6/13/2022 at 4:25 PM, SkyRock said:

Three of my children have received their patriarchal blessings this year.  On the occasion of the third child, the patriarch mentioned something he said was from his training.

He said the apostle said that patriarchal blessings should be short and succinct.  That if it was too long it was offering guidance not a blessing. 

This struck me as odd.  I had never such a comment previously. 

What are your thoughts on this? 

Yeah I've never heard that and my blessing personally doesn't look like that. (it's 2 pages back and front...so 3.3 pages all together).

Once you get that long blessings do tend to get more specific and mine also tends to have some repetitious language.  So either short and succinct are super relative or that may not be consistent advice....or that advice has changed recently. What's generally in a blessing has shifted over the years. 

Personally I'm glad my PB doesn't fit that. My PB doesn't directly give me guidance per se, but it's been a source of guidance and support at important points in my life. I would prefer a Patriarch just prepare themselves spiritually, we understand that something may not come to pass as we initially picture them, and that length doesn't say much about who you are as a person or the importance of your mission.

But it's also not my stewardship so I don't really care one way or the other. 

 

With luv,

BD

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On 6/13/2022 at 9:56 PM, bluebell said:

If he's not dead then there's still a good chance he can use social media as a missionary, if he chooses/is able to serve a mission as a senior.

Or that he'd simply share the gospel in his general life online. Every member a missionary and all that jazz...

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Just now, BlueDreams said:

Or that he'd simply share the gospel in his general life online. Every member a missionary and all that jazz...

Very true.

One thing I have learned about my blessing is that there are a few things in it where it seemed really straightforward and obvious what they meant, and then a few years go by and the spirit says something at a specific time in my life and suddenly that section didn't mean what I thought it did at all. 

But the new interpretation isn't convoluted and doesn't wrestle with word definitions or anything.  It's not an attempt to fit a size 8 foot into a size 4 shoe.  The new interpretation ends up being just as obvious and straightforward as the old one.  I just wasn't in a place where I could recognize it yet, which is trippy but also kind of amazing.

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1 minute ago, manol said:

My patriarch described the process to me like this:

He said it's like he sees "scenes" from the person's life, and that the "movie" doesn't progress to the next scene until he has adequately described the current oneHe also said that the specific wording is his choice and not to get caught up in that, because the specific words aren't critical. 

Anyway assuming this description of the process was more or less representative, I'm not really comfortable with "keep it short and succinct".  Seems to me that if God is showing/revealing information to the patriarch, he's probably supposed to pass it along. 

Perhaps my feelings on the subject are colored by my experience:

The typed copy I was given of my patriarchal blessing was pretty short because the tape ran out early in the blessing so there was no recording of most of it.  I'd much prefer to have "the long version" instead of the "short and succinct" version that was mailed to me. 

Perhaps the guidance spoken of by SkyRock is meant to apply to the bolded part, and not the underlined part, of your post.

I think that some people are  naturally more wordy than others, but could a patriarch get caught up in the scene so that he over describes it?  It's probably possible.

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7 minutes ago, manol said:

My patriarch described the process to me like this:

He said it's like he sees "scenes" from the person's life, and that the "movie" doesn't progress to the next scene until he has adequately described the current one.  He also said that the specific wording is his choice and not to get caught up in that, because the specific words aren't critical. 

Anyway assuming this description of the process was more or less representative, I'm not really comfortable with "keep it short and succinct".  Seems to me that if God is showing/revealing information to the patriarch, he's probably supposed to pass it along. 

Perhaps my feelings on the subject are colored by my experience:

The typed copy I was given of my patriarchal blessing was pretty short because the tape ran out early in the blessing so there was no recording of most of it.  I'd much prefer to have "the long version" instead of the "short and succinct" version that was mailed to me. 

Very interesting.   That sounds like every other patriarch I heard, unlike this one. 

My own PB is very detailed.  There are very specific blessings and very specific warnings.  The idea that a patriarch would give a shorter blessing than he feels inspired to do so seems very troubling.

I have given many blessings over the years.  Most of the time the words just flow and I almost don't even feel much more than a conduit.  I also have felt constrained not to say things at times that I wanted to say. 

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On 6/15/2022 at 1:07 PM, SkyRock said:

Very interesting.   That sounds like every other patriarch I heard, unlike this one. 

My own PB is very detailed.  There are very specific blessings and very specific warnings.  The idea that a patriarch would give a shorter blessing than he feels inspired to do so seems very troubling.

I have given many blessings over the years.  Most of the time the words just flow and I almost don't even feel much more than a conduit.  I also have felt constrained not to say things at times that I wanted to say. 

I listened to a podcast this morning, on Mormonism Live. It was centered on PB's. This isn't a faith promoting site too much. They had call ins and a woman called in and said in her mother's blessing it said she would always have safety, not sure of the wording, and that her mother would take risks sometimes, when her husband would warn her if she was off and out of the house, to be safe and she'd say that her PB said she would always walk in safety. Well this woman was hit by a car and died. This caller wonders if her mother hadn't heard/read that part in her PB, she'd be alive today. 

Another woman from Britain called in and gave the podcast team some negative feedback saying how her father that was a Patriarch was a wonderful man, and had honesty and integrity. And was pragmatic and didn't use flowery language for the blessings and even said "I think" rather than "I know" sometimes. So she wasn't pleased at how the podcast show didn't shed a good light on the Patriarchs sometimes. And she said that it is a lonely calling (no counselors or quorum) in the church. So we need to give them a lot of credit for what they are called to do. 

My 2 cents. 

Edited by Tacenda
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A friend of mine was promised in his that he would be married “in this life”.  He was burned over 80% as a child and endured surgeries constantly- he kept going in anticipation of finding his love and was very faithful- 

He died alone at 70 four years ago.  I suppose some might say that he wasn’t living worthy of the promised blessings. I find it all quite heartbreaking honestly. I have never really looked at my own (4 pages! ) as a predictor of anything.  Life is messy.  Do your best, expect the unexpected, and love God.  End of story. 

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21 minutes ago, MustardSeed said:

A friend of mine was promised in his that he would be married “in this life”.  He was burned over 80% as a child and endured surgeries constantly- he kept going in anticipation of finding his love and was very faithful- 

He died alone at 70 four years ago.  I suppose some might say that he wasn’t living worthy of the promised blessings. I find it all quite heartbreaking honestly. I have never really looked at my own (4 pages! ) as a predictor of anything.  Life is messy.  Do your best, expect the unexpected, and love God.  End of story. 

I would much rather patriarchs boldly say what they feel should be said, than have them "play it safe" and keep it bland and generic to avoid things like this (and we all know examples of this). I think the potential for amazing prophecy outweighs the chance that some things might be blatantly unfulfilled.

President Packer told us in a meeting about a blessing he gave a toddler, and he "played it safe" and gave a generic, bland blessing that didn't say much. He was smitten with guilt, and returned a few minutes later, surprising the mother. He said that he had just given the toddler a blessing, and he had come back to give her the blessing the Lord has for her. He told us to prophesy, and don't be afraid, and leave it up to God to fulfill it. 

Again, I think that overall, for most people who take it seriously, the amazing, inspiring, and aspirational prophesy in their patriarchal blessings far outweighs the "misses." No mortals are human fax machines, and that would also be true of President Nelson in giving a blessing. But the Church and our lives are much better with patriarchal blessings than saying, "Aw, what's the use? They don't really guide, direct, and predict much of anything." 

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