Early Patriarchal Blessings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
H. Michael Marquardt, compiler
hardback / 500 pages / 1-56085-202-X / $70.00
In the LDS Church, patriarchal blessings offer comfort to individuals and foretell possible future accomplishments. The blessings are pronounced in the form of a prayer by an ordained patriarch. Drawing on Old Testament precedent, the patriarch rests his hands upon the individual’s head, eyes shut while speaking and without forethought regarding what to say. In most cases, the blessing identifies the recipient’s spiritual heritage and lineage as a member of one of the twelve tribes of Israel and thus heir to the blessings Israel bestowed upon his sons. The promises and counsel contained in one’s patriarchal blessing—prophetic insight into one’s life and future—are said to be contingent upon worthiness. A patriarchal blessing is given only once in a person’s lifetime.
Contained in this volume are 755 blessings from 1833 through 1845, delivered by the church’s first oracles: Hyrum Smith, Joseph Smith Jr., Joseph Smith Sr., and William Smith. Prominent in these blessings is the promise that the recipients will live to witness the Second Coming of Christ, together with other period-specific expectations and doctrinally based beliefs. The compilation is an indispensable source of early Mormon intellectual history, as well as a valuable resource for historians, biographers, and genealogists.
H. Michael Marquardt is the author of Inventing Mormonism: Tradition and the Historical Record; The Joseph Smith Revelations: Text and Commentary; and other works. He is the webmaster for Mormon Origins. He and his wife, Dorothy, live in Sandy, Utah, and have five children.
See: Volume 2