Patriarchal Blessings at the Church History Library

    Church History Library staff
    6 May 2019

    In this second of two posts on patriarchal blessings, library staff explain how blessings are processed and preserved and how you can access your blessing and the blessings of family members online. 

    One of the important missions of the Church History Library is to collect patriarchal blessings given to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints around the world. Blessings submitted to the library are processed and preserved and become part of the sacred records of the Church.

    Processing

    Through the benefits of modern technology, patriarchs all over the world can now submit blessings to the Church History Library online. There are many advantages to submitting blessings online, including immediate digital preservation and quick request fulfillment. Although online submission is the safest and most secure way for patriarchs to submit blessings, the Church History Library still receives many blessings on paper.

    When paper blessings are received, they are placed in archival folders that are bar-coded and labeled with the patriarch’s name, the range of blessing numbers, and a volume number for the purposes of physical arrangement. All the information is entered into a secure internal management system, which allows select Church History staff access to retrieve the blessings if necessary. Each folder is put into an archival box. When the box is full, it is also labeled and bar-coded.

    After the blessings have been physically arranged, each blessing is scanned and digitally preserved.

    Microfilm storage; reel of microfilm

    Preservation

    Patriarchal blessings are preserved along with other sacred and historically important records of the Church. Paper blessings are preserved in secured storage areas at the Church History Library. Three digital copies are made of each blessing and stored in three different secure locations. This is done to ensure that blessings will not be lost even if something were to happen to one of the copies. One of these digital copies is kept in a different geographical location to secure records against any kind of regional disaster.

    Additionally, a copy of each blessing is put onto microfilm and is stored in a secure vault. This copy can be viewed without the need of advanced technology like computers and software.

    Requests

    We are pleased to respond to all requests for copies of patriarchal blessings through the online Patriarchal Blessing Request page. On the Church’s website you will be able to track the status of your request, and the blessing will be forever linked to your membership account, no matter when or where you log in.

    To request a copy of a blessing:

    1. Click on My Account and Ward.
    2. Log in using your Church account.
    3. Select Patriarchal Blessing from the menu.
    4. Click on the blue My Blessings icon.
    5. Click on Request personal blessing or Request family blessing and complete the submission form. (When requesting a family blessing, be prepared to provide names and approximate birth dates.)

    Church History Library staff will then respond to your request, which can take up to three months. When your request has been fulfilled, click on the name of the blessing recipient to view the blessing. If we are unable to fulfill the request, a notification will appear next to your name explaining why the request cannot be fulfilled.

    In addition to personal blessings, you may access the blessings of deceased direct-line family members. A direct-line family member is a spouse, child, parent, grandparent, or great-grandparent. It is not a sibling, aunt, uncle, or in-law. Also, if the family member is living, they must create their own account and request their own blessing.

    Because of the sacred nature of patriarchal blessings, we ask that recipients share blessings with immediate family members only. We discourage the distribution of blessings electronically on the Memories section of FamilySearch, social media, websites, or blogs.

    For additional information, please see the patriarchal blessing FAQ page.