Recently I decided I need to be more focused, more purposeful in my efforts to become more Christlike. (The world is so darned effective in distracting me from the most critical use of my time and energy!) Studying the Savior's life, pondering his teachings and attributes is one of those efforts that can yield so much more than you would think. In a few short days of this focus I've already felt improvement and hope in my efforts.
In the process of this studying, I felt impressed today to re-read my patriarchal blessing. I cannot, ever, do that without becoming emotional. Today it hit me that here is an individualized, inspired instrument that can help me do exactly what I most need to do: become more like Christ.
In this simple document my gracious and loving Heavenly Father has pointed out to me strengths--attributes--I already possess, qualities I worked on developing pre-mortally that are Christlike in nature. He also kindly but soberly highlights areas where I'm not so Christlike: weak spots, vulnerabilities, danger zones that will keep me from this all-important goal.
Reading my patriarchal blessing is something of a two-edged sword. I'm old enough now to see the sad consequences of warnings I failed to heed, and that's painful. On the other hand, I always feel hopeful as I read my blessing. I sense that even though I've goofed, sinned, fallen short (way short) of the glory of God, Heavenly Father and His Saving Son know how to save me still. And Holy Ghost starts sending small nudges as I continue my path toward salvation.
What a blessing to belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! What a blessing to access the ancient gift of patriarchal blessings, which offer the opportunity God has always offered His children of being personally directed toward their personal salvation, if they so choose.