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Dear Gramps,

My Patriarchal Blessing states that I will “have the blessings of the great patriarchs”  and “the yearnings of Abraham.” Could I please get a little clarification on these. And I know that these, as well as all blessings are contingent on our personal level of worthiness!


Dear Michael,

The Lord’s promise to Abraham was that he would have a great posterity as it would be numbered as the dust of the earth.  This is found in Gensis 13:  15 “For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.  16 And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.”   Yet later in Genesis 15, Abraham asks the Lord:  2″And Abram said, Lord God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?  3 And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed:”

Though I have not heard it referred to as his yearning, Abraham’s desire was to have children and a large posterity.  He had been promised that his posterity would be numbered as the dust of the earth and yet he had no children. The name Abraham means father of a multitude.

In the Bible Dictionary we find the following definition:  “A patriarch is called an evangelist in D&C 107: 39 . As such patriarch is an ordained office in the Melchizedek Priesthood. The fathers from Adam to Jacob were all patriarchs of this kind. The word as used in the Bible seems to denote also a title of honor to early leaders of the Israelites, such as David (Acts 2: 29) and the 12 sons of Jacob (Acts 7: 8-9). The word is of Greek derivation and means father-ruler; the Hebrew word it translates is simply father. ”

The ones most commonly identified would be Abraham, Issac, Jacob and Jacob’s sons, but there were many great ones before Abraham, with Adam being the first.  There are many blessings that would be identified with these great men.  Abraham had the higher priesthood given to him and entered into celestial marriage, which is the covenant of exaltation.  He was given a promise that all of these blessings would be offered to all of his mortal posterity.  Further in the Bible Dictionary it states:  “The portions of the covenant that pertain to personal salvation and eternal increase are renewed with each individual who receives the ordinance of celestial marriage (see D&C 132: 29-33). Those of non-Israelite lineage, commonly known as gentiles, are adopted into the house of Israel, and become heirs of the covenant and the seed of Abraham, through the ordinances of the gospel (Gal. 3: 26-29). ”

To me the blessings of the patriarchs would be the blessings of the Gospel and Exaltation provided by our Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ.


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