Ask Us: Top Five Reference Questions about Patriarchal Blessings

    by the Consultation Team
    19 May 2020

    In this post, the second in a new series, discover the answers to some of the most common questions that come to our consultation team through Ask Us.

    What kinds of questions are people asking? What kinds of library resources are available to answer your questions? In a new blog series called Ask Us: Top Five, the consultation team will share questions and answers on key Church history topics with you. You can read the first post in the series here. Maybe we’ll answer one of your burning questions or get you started down a new research path!

    We receive many questions about patriarchal blessings. Below are our top five questions and answers on patriarchal blessings. Enjoy!

    1. How can I get a copy of my patriarchal blessing?

    You may request copies of your patriarchal blessing through ChurchofJesusChrist.org. On the website you will be able to track the status of your request, and the blessing will be forever linked to your Church Account, no matter when or where you log in. Follow these simple steps:

    If available, a digital copy of your blessing will be delivered online via this same Patriarchal Blessings site. Read the patriarchal blessing FAQs for more information.

    2. Can I request copies of family members’ patriarchal blessings?

    You may request copies of blessings of deceased direct-line family members. Direct-line family members include spouses, children, parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and so forth. Direct-line family members do not include siblings, aunts, uncles, or cousins. Also, if family members are living, only they can request a copy of their own blessing as outlined above.

    3. Where can I find information about patriarchal blessings?

    To learn more about patriarchs and patriarchal blessings, we would suggest first reviewing the gospel topic “Patriarchal Blessings.”

    Other valuable resources:

    4. Where can I find information about patriarchs?

    As outlined in the General Handbook, 38.9.1, “The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles directs the calling of stake patriarchs (see Doctrine and Covenants 107:39).”

    Other sources for information about patriarchs:

    5. Who was the last Patriarch to the Church, and why was this calling discontinued?

    The last individual called to the position of Patriarch to the Church was Elder Eldred G. Smith. He was made emeritus during the October 1979 general conference, at which time President N. Eldon Tanner stated:

    “Because of the large increase in the number of stake patriarchs and the availability of patriarchal service throughout the world, we now designate Elder Eldred G. Smith as a Patriarch Emeritus, which means that he is honorably relieved of all duties and responsibilities pertaining to the office of Patriarch to the Church.”

    The Patriarchs to the Church included the following:

    Other sources of information:

    • Joseph Fielding Smith, “Presiding Patriarchs,” Improvement Era, Apr. 1935
    • Irene M. Bates and E. Gary Smith, Lost Legacy: The Mormon Office of Presiding Patriarch (Urbana: University of Illinois Press), 2003

    Bonus Question: Where can I find the Prophet Joseph Smith’s patriarchal blessing?

    Joseph Smith’s patriarchal blessing is available on the Joseph Smith Papers website. He received it on December 9, 1834, from his father, Joseph Smith Sr. Emma Hale Smith received her patriarchal blessing on the same date, and her blessing can be found immediately after Joseph’s.