May Young Women Lesson: How can a patriarchal blessing help me?

Traduction en français/Click for French Translation

by Lawrence OP on flickr https://flic.kr/p/q91R5DBefore the new Come, Follow Me curriculum, the 12 and 13 year old Sunday School classes studied the Presidents of the Church for 2 years. In that time, I remember hearing about prophets who received their patriarchal blessings at the ages of 13 (George Albert Smith and David O. McKay, precisely) and wanting to be righteous, I thought it would be good to want a patriarchal blessing just as early. However, every time I asked my parents if I could start the process of receiving a patriarchal blessing, they told me I ought to be older and needed to wait. I waited until I was 16 and it is very special to me.

The lesson plan focuses on the title question, “How can a patriarch blessing help me?” A great way to start the lesson might be to ask the girls to write down the big questions they have for their lives and futures. It would also be a great conversation starter. There are other directions you can go with this lesson, such as “How can I prepare for a patriarchal blessing?”

The resources listed in the lesson are good, but I thought I’d add a few others I found:

The Come, Follow Me lesson recommends inviting the stake patriarch to the class. Similarly, I think for my own class, I’d like to invite women in my ward to talk about the experience of receiving a patriarchal blessing. This post from Segullah has a series of questions at the end that would be interesting to use as prompts:

How old were you when you received your patriarchal blessing? How did you prepare yourself beforehand? Do you wish you’d waited longer or prepared better? What advice do you give your children about receiving their patriarchal blessings? How has your blessing been a guide and help to you throughout your life?

Other prompts I recommend:

  • What surprised you about your patriarchal blessing?
  • What was in your blessing that you didn’t expect?
  • What was missing that you expected?
  • How did you seek for answers that your patriarchal blessing didn’t give?
  • When has your blessing been most comforting?
  • When has your blessing felt like a struggle?
  • How have you dealt with promises that haven’t yet (or might never be) given?

In my blessing, there were surprises. There are a couple of spelling and grammatical errors. One in particular turns a noun/verb pair singular or plural depending on which way to read it, changing the meaning of the sentence (for example, “the dog eats” versus “the dogs eat”). Another thing that surprised me was that it spent a lot more time on things that happened in the pre-mortal life than I expected. I went into the blessing expecting to hear mostly about my future! That has been very dear to me.

In all my lessons a patriarchal blessing was usually outlined like it is in the New Era article I mentioned above: declaration of authority by the patriarch, lineage, then personal blessing. For myself, I was also surprised that my declaration of lineage is mentioned in the very last paragraph, almost as an afterthought. While receiving my blessing, I spent a lot of mental energy wondering if the patriarch forgot that the lineage was supposed to be there! I’ve grown to love that my lineage is mentioned last; it feels more personal to me, that God wants me to know that I as a person am more important than where I come from.

I am currently in the midst of a career change and I have most recently found my patriarchal blessing comforting because it mentions my “professional life” and so I know I have a lot to look forward to.

I think this lesson can turn out to be very beautiful and personal and engaging because patriarchal blessings are held to be almost like personal scripture.


Comment une bénédiction patriarcale peut-elle m’aider ?

 

Avant le nouveau curriculum Viens, et suis-moi, les classes de l’Ecole du dimanche des 12 et 13 ans étudiaient les présidents de l’Eglise pendant 2 ans. Je me rappelle avoir appris que certains prophètes ont reçu leurs bénédictions patriarcales à l’âge de 13 ans (George Albert Smith et David O. McKay). Je voulais être aussi sage et j’ai voulu recevoir ma bénédiction moi aussi à 13 ans. Mais chaque fois que j’ai demandé à mes parents, ils m’ont dit que je devrais attendre. J’ai attendu l’âge de 16 ans et elle m’est très précieuse.

Cette leçon focalise sur le titre : Comment une bénédiction patriarcale peut-elle m’aider ? Une bonne manière de commencer cette leçon serait de demander aux Jeunes Filles d’écrire les grandes questions qu’elles ont sur leur vie et leur avenir. Vous pouvez aussi vous demander « Comment puis-je me préparer à recevoir ma bénédiction patriarcale ?

La leçon recommande d’inviter le patriarche à assister à la classe. Je pense que pour ma classe, je voudrais inviter quelques sœurs à venir parler de leur expérience. J’ai pris une série de questions d’un billet du blog Segullah qui pourrait être intéressante :

A quel âge avez-vous reçu votre bénédiction patriarcale? Comment vous êtes-vous préparées? Est-ce que vous auriez aimé attendre plus longtemps ou mieux vous préparer ? Quels conseils donneriez-vous à vos enfants? Comment votre bénédiction a-t-elle été un guide et une aide pour vous dans votre vie?

D’autres questions :

  • Qu’est-ce qui vous a surprise dans votre bénédiction ?
  • Qu’est-ce qui était dans votre bénédiction auquel vous n’avez pas attendu ?
  • Qu’est-ce qui manquait dans votre bénédiction?
  • Comment avez-vous recherché les réponses que votre bénédiction n’a pas données?
  • A quel moment votre bénédiction vous a-t-elle apportée du réconfort?
  • Quelles difficultés avez-vous avec votre bénédiction?
  • Comment faites-vous avec les promesses qui ne sont pas encore réalisées?

Dans ma bénédiction, il y avait des surprises. Il y a des fautes d’orthographe et de grammaire, dont une qui change le sens de la phrase. J’étais surprise qu’elle a passé autant de temps sur des choses qui sont passées dans la vie prémortelle. J’avais envie d’entendre des choses sur mon avenir ! Tout cela m’est très cher. Je suis en train de changer de carrière et je trouve du réconfort dans ma bénédiction patriarcale car elle parle de ma vie professionnelle.

Je pense que cette leçon peut être très belle est très personnelle car les bénédictions patriarcales sont considérées comme des Ecritures personnelles.

TopHat

TopHat is putting her roots down in the Bay Area with her husband and three children. She loves the earth, yarn, and bicycling.

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2 Responses

  1. Rachel says:

    Such good reflection. Such good questions.

    I was 14ish when I received mine. When I remember to remember it, it can still be a great comfort to me. I have also loved the ancestor feature you mentioned, and have cherished reading my grandparent’s blessings.

    I also really love this podcast with Richard Bushman on some of his experiences and feelings about Patriarchal Blessings as a Patriarch. http://mormonmatters.org/2012/01/10/69-patriarchal-blessings/

  2. spunky says:

    What a beautiful lesson plan! I remember teaching a Sunday school class for 16 year olds who had not received their patriarchal blessings. I made it all q&a, so they could ask me about mine. Some of the kids were disinterested, others were uncertain about getting one- for example, one girl really wanted to be a nurse and she was afraid her blessing might tell her to be something else. At the end of it, they all seemed relieved and interested in getting the blessings, but mostly, I think they appreciated just asking about me and my blessing and how it effected me.

    I didn’t know we could get past family members’ blessings! What a great resource!! Thank you!!!

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