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My wife is struggling with her faith right now. She has lived a very faithful life. So far, we have not been able to conceive. She was told in her patriarchal blessing that she would be “a mother in Israel, as an instrument in providing earthly tabernacles for spirits yet unborn, assigned to receive physical bodies in this generation…”

She is 41 years old. We will soon be trying IVF which doesn’t increase our odds greatly.

Her priesthood leaders for years have told her to not doubt her patriarchal blessing and therefore, she hasn’t allowed herself to prepare for the fact that we may remain childless. I worry that because she has not allowed herself to prepare a negative result, her faith and mental health could be greatly shaken.

Should I, as her husband and priesthood leader in our home, continue to encourage her to have faith in her blessing, or should I somehow help her to prepare for a negative result from the fertility treatment?





Dear Steve,

The following is given in “True to the Faith”, which I found on the Church’s website.

Learning from a Patriarchal Blessing

Those who have received a patriarchal blessing should read it humbly, prayerfully, and frequently. It contains personal revelation and instructions from Heavenly Father, who knows our strengths, weaknesses, and eternal potential. Patriarchal blessings may contain promises, admonitions, and warnings.


Those who follow the counsel in their patriarchal blessing will be less likely to go astray or be misled. Only by following the counsel in a patriarchal blessing can one receive the blessings contained therein.


While a patriarchal blessing contains inspired counsel and promises, it should not be expected to answer all of the recipient’s questions or to detail all that will happen in his or her life. If the blessing does not mention an important event, such as a full-time mission or marriage, the person should not assume that he or she will not receive that opportunity.


Similarly, the recipient of the blessing should not assume that everything mentioned in it will be fulfilled in this life. A patriarchal blessing is eternal, and its promises may extend into the eternities. If one is worthy, all promises will be fulfilled in the Lord’s due time. Those promises and blessings that are not realized in this life will be fulfilled in the next.


Patriarchal blessings are sacred and personal. They may be shared with immediate family members, but should not be read aloud in public or read or interpreted by others. Not even the patriarch or bishop or branch president should interpret it.


Those who have received a patriarchal blessing should treasure its words, ponder them, and live to be worthy to receive the promised blessings in this life and in the life to come.

—See True to the Faith (2004), 111–13

We need to do all that we can do, and then rely on the Lord.  As it states in the above, “Those promises and blessings that are not realized in this life will be fulfilled in the next.”  Also they are not to be “interpreted by others.”

We need to continue to exercise faith in the Lord and with him all things are possible.  In Genesis 18, we read the story of Abraham and Sarah where when told she was going to have a son, she laughed.

13 And the Lord said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old?


14 Is any thing too hard for the Lord?





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