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Patriarchal blessing

In the LDS church, people have the opportunity of getting what is called a patriarchal blessing.  This blessing is given by a special priesthood holder, one set apart as a patriarch.  They are informed that this blessing is personal scripture--revelation from God to the individual getting the blessing, through the patriarch.  This is the only blessing in the church that is recorded.  The church keeps a copy and gives another copy to the individual.  Also, the recipient is instructed that this is sacred and should only be shared with close family members or intimate friends, not to be widely published or casually discussed.

I received my patriarchal blessing shortly after I turned 17.  I have read it many times in my life, and have even made notes on it from impressions that I've had while reading it.  Even after the point I decided to leave the church, and even now that I no longer believe the church, I still read it for guidance and wisdom. I no longer view it as sacred scripture from God to me.  Instead, I view it as good counsel from a wise man.  Since I believe there is so much good advice in it, and so many encouraging words, I will share it here.
Brother Keith Gordon Penrod, by the authority of the holy Melchizedek Priesthood and in the office of Patriarch, I lay my hands upon your head and, as the Lord directs, give you a patriarchal blessing.  It will serve as a compass that will always give you direction.  It will bring you joy, comfort, inspiration, and will be a protection to you through out your life.  Read it often for it will help you stay on the path of eternal vigilance.  You are one of your Heavenly Father's most faithful and valiant sons.  He knows you and loves you and has blessed you with a gentle loving spirit and an honest and sincere heart.  Through your faith and devotion in the pre-existence you earned the right to be born into the gospel, into a family, to parents who love you and have given you every opportunity to grow and to succeed.  Honor your parents, seek their counsel and learn from their experiences that you might avoid many of the hardships of life.  Be strong in standing for right, even if it means standing alone.  Know ahead of time the things you will do and the things that you will never consent to do.

I bless you with the gift of discernment. This gift will help you distinguish between right and wrong, to read under the surface and detect hidden evil. You will be able to view the trends of the world and distinguish between those that are shallow and evil.

Reach out to your Heavenly Father each day in prayer. Thank Him for the many blessings that He has bestowed upon you. Thank Him for the great privilege you have of living in a family and for your life. If you will stay close to Him on a daily basis He will stay close to you and you will receive untold blessings in every aspect of your life, especially the most important, the spiritual.

Get your own testimony by reading and studying the gospel each day in the scriptures. Study them that you might become familiar with each principle of the gospel and be able to live them in your daily life. To study them is as if you are being taught at the feet of the prophets. Learn the stories of the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and the faith promoting stories of the life of the Savior that you might be prepared to meet the responsibilities that will be given to you through out your lifetime.

Listen to and obey the words of the living prophet for in your day it will be the only safe path for you to follow.

You are of the lineage of Ephraim, the son of Joseph, the same Joseph who was sold by his brothers and carried captive into Egypt. You are and [sic] heir to the blessings of the priesthood and the gospel and eternal life. To be born of this lineage gives you both the right and the spiritual capacity to know the truth as your Heavenly Father knows it. Continue to search diligently for truth and cherish it above all else. With these blessings comes the great responsibility to accept and fulfill the assignment given to you through out your lifetime by your priesthood leaders. Your Heavenly Father is pleased that you are conducting your life that you might be worthy to take the message of the gospel to the people of the world. Your mission will be hard but you will enjoy it and the Lord will bless you and you will be guided by inspiration. Many souls will come into the gospel because of your efforts. I bless you that you will be able to go in peace and return in safety. When you return there will be much for you to do in the kingdom. You will have many opportunities to serve in the quorums and the organizations of the church. You will enjoy doing vicarious work for the dead in the temple.

I bless you with the gifts of love, humility, and understanding. These gifts will help you live the gospel. They will bless your life and the lives of your family and friends.

Seek after and obtain a good education that you might gain the skills necessary to make a good living for you and your family. I bless you with the gifts of wisdom and reason. These gifts will help you make wise and reasonable choices; they will help you acquire a sound understanding of life and living.

Stay free of sin and seek sanctification. Be careful of the things you read and view in the media. Keep your thoughts clean and it will be easy for you to resist temptations as they come along. Live by principle, not by comparison. Like the things that you have and take good care of your possessions. Love your home. Remember that being is more important than having. What you become is more important than what you have. I bless you with health and strength and the courage to follow your convictions. Shed any thought of failure, discard any habit that might hinder your progression, remember that the Lord loves you and He will give you success if you will work for it. I bless you that you might, through out your life, be able to resist evil, hold fast to good and find joy in your life.

I seal you up to come forth on the morning of the first resurrection, crowned in glory and blessed among your family and friends. I do this in the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ, Amen.
 I've had many thoughts and impressions while reading through this document over the last 11 years--some of which I have annotated on the page itself and many others I did not.  I may write down some of those musings or impressions in later posts or in another setting.  However, at the moment I just wanted to point out the second from last sentence of the first paragraph "Be strong in standing for right, even if it means standing alone."  I believe this is wise counsel for all people, and I mean to follow it myself.  Gladly, I have never really felt like I am truly standing alone.  However, I romantically think that even if I were standing alone, I would be able to stand for what is right.  I do get passionate about things, and I do like standing for what is right.  I have been known to be quite tenacious in that, and I mean to keep on doing so.  So, let people say what they will about me, I will press boldly forward along the path that I believe is right.

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