By now you’ve probably heard — maybe received a couple of breathless emails — about the Church’s plans to make patriarchal blessings available via the internet. There will probably not be a flurry of emails retracting that announcement, although such would be appropriate.

The announcement has been pulled from the website. It was premature, possibly a misunderstanding on someone’s part, or perhaps even the understandable human desire to be the first to tell something important. Blessings are not yet available online, nor has any date been announced when they will be available online.

The Church does plan on eventually making electronic scans of patriarchal blessings available to members via the internet. Eventually. They are working toward that goal now, and have scanned part, but by no means all, of the three million-plus blessings on file in the Church Historian’s Office. Nor have they completed work on any website for you to request these blessings, including the necessary security procedures to preserve the sacred nature of these blessings.

The premature announcement has resulted in a flood of telephone calls to the Church Office Building. I understand (gossip alert:) that some of the calls have been from people wanting to request blessings, but that the majority of calls have been from people expressing concern that just any ol’ anybody could read their personal, private, sacred blessings.

No. They can’t. And they won’t. Don’t call. Please. Not yet.

If you do want to request a copy of your patriarchal blessing, you can still do it in the old fashioned way: You can visit the Church History Library if you happen to be in Salt Lake City (the door to the library is in the lobby next to the huge “Christ commissioning the apostles” mural). Or you can write (no telephone or email orders, just written ones) to Patriarchal Blessings, Church History Library, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 50 East North Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84150.

You may request your own blessing, that of your spouse, those of your descendants, and those of your deceased ancestors — direct line ancestors only, not aunts and uncles. The only people who can request your blessing are you, your spouse, your parents, and your grandparents. No ex-girlfriends, no nosy ward members.

State your name and mailing address (including your maiden name if you are a married woman), your birthdate, and whatever information you know that will help the missionaries find your blessing: the name of your patriarch, the stake where you got your blessing, the approximate date. If you are looking for anyone else’s blessing, state your relationship to that person.

There is no charge for these copies. Please request no more than four at a time; wait until you receive those, then ask for any others you might want.

We’ll all enjoy the ease and speed of being able to request blessings via the internet. That is still a blessing of the not-too-distant future, though.

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