Patriarchal blessings

(also see “Making decisions”)


Pros of Mormonism from the perspective of the
Patriarchal blessings are one of the most unique opportunities for us to learn about how God loves us, knows us, and has a plan for us. They contain personal revelation and instructions from Heavenly Father, who knows our strengths, weaknesses, and eternal potential.
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Cons of Mormonism from the perspective of the
Many believing members can feel guilt and unworthiness when specific, promised blessings do not occur. Rather than helping them feel God’s love, a patriarchal blessing can ironically be a source of pain and bitterness.
Many patriarchal blessings often say very specific things about how many children someone should have, when they should get married, what type of job or education to pursue, and so on. A nonbeliever who does not view these patriarchal blessings as inspired likely sees great harm in this. It can encourage people to make important decisions without due thought and consideration because it is assumed that God is telling them what to do. Some nonbelievers even view patriarchal blessings as deceptive, similar to how psychics use cold reading to deceive others into thinking they have magical powers.


Comments relating to your lived experience with Mormonism are welcome. Although it can be difficult to distinguish at times, please focus on how the church helps and harms rather than it being true vs untrue.

  • Shawn McInnes

    Things that ware wrong in our patriarchal blessings:

    First up, my mom. She was told that my non-member, alcoholic father would eventually join the church.

    He never made any bones about the fact that he thought the church was a cult and that Mormons were brainwashed. (Which I know most of you will agree with. Haha) There was always that “church” wedge between the two of them. They fought about it all the time. She stuck it out with him for several more years (14 to be exact, from the time that she got her blessing) thinking that he would eventually join. Eventually, she got sick of his crap (he is NOT a nice man — a real jerk actually) and divorced him. He is still opposed to the church. He’s 85 years old and has terminal cancer. He will die a non-member. After he and my mom divorced she took me aside one day and said, “If I should die and he should die don’t you DARE seal me to that man!” I don’t blame her for saying that one bit.

    Next up, my husband. He is told that he will have a “great and choice posterity.”

    We have only one child. A son. Born through in vitro fertilization. Subsequent attempts to get pregnant again (via IVF) were unsuccessful. Our son is 24, gay, and doesn’t particularly care for children.

    And finally, me — I was told that I would be a “great influence” upon my father. “Your spirit will carry through and humble him that he may feel the spirit of the Lord through you.”

    I have a HORRIBLE relationship with my father. We barely tolerate each other and we barely speak to each other. But, in my true believing Mormon mind, I just told myself that all of this would come true in the next life.

    I was also told that I would I would have “children” (plural). My husband and I spent tens of thousands of dollars trying to conceive “child-REN”. After all, that’s what our patriarchal blessings said, right? And if your patriarchal blessing says that you will have “child-REN” and “a great and choice posterity” that means that you’re gonna have more than one child and that you may even have a LOT of children. Finally my husband and I were out of money and ready to get off the infertility roller coaster so we stopped trying to have more children. We just accepted that perhaps our patriarchal blessings meant that the promises of having a great and choice posterity would happen in the next life. I remember being in the temple once and another sister and I were talking to one of the members of the temple presidency. The subject of not being able to have children or not having more children came up and he said, “Sisters, don’t worry about it. One day you will populate WORLDS.” That gave me a lot of comfort at the time.

    But now I question these patriarchal blessings. I basically don’t believe in them anymore. There’s just too many things that the patriarch got wrong. Very discouraging to be honest with you.

    • Xposit

      My grandmothers’ patriarchal blessing said she would live to see the second coming. She lived her entire life believing that would happen. She died in 1986 so either Christ has returned to earth very quietly or her blessing was just like all the others, a bunch of hocus-pocus.