Selected Teachings on
Why Do We Learn Our Lineage?

David A. Bednar (Quorum of the Twelve)

Truly, great responsibility rests upon the seed of Abraham in these latter days....

Either by literal lineage or adoption, every man and boy within the sound of my voice tonight is a rightful heir to the promises made by God to Abraham. We are the seed of Abraham. One of the primary reasons we receive a patriarchal blessing is to help us more fully understand who we are as the posterity of Abraham and to recognize the responsibility that rests upon us. (Ensign, Nov 2005, 44) (See also Teachings on the Seed of Abraham)

James E. Faust (Quorum of the Twelve)

Genealogical ancestry or blood lines are of importance because our lineage is a chain or linkage through which many of our blessings flow. This began with father Abraham: "I give unto thee a promise that this right [meaning the right to receive the gospel and the priesthood] shall continue in thee, and in thy seed after thee" (Abr. 2:11). This teaching has been reconfirmed in our day and time through this statement found in the Doctrine and Covenants: "Thus saith the Lord unto you, with whom the priesthood hath continued through the lineage of your fathers--For ye are lawful heirs, according to the flesh, ... Your life and the priesthood have remained, and must needs remain through you and your lineage" (D&C 86:8­10). (Brigham Young University, 30 March 1980)

Russell M. Nelson (Quorum of the Twelve)

Do you see the importance of your patriarchal blessing? I hope each one of you has obtained one. It is precious. It is personal scripture to you. It declares your special lineage. It reminds you of your linkage with the past. And it will help you realize your future potential. Literally, you can lay claim upon the Lord for fulfillment of those blessings through your faithfulness....

Are you of Israel? Absolutely. You are the "Hope of Israel, Zion’s army, Children of the promised day."...

Are you Hebrew? Yes, as scriptures define the term. You are related to Abraham, who was the great "Eber" from which the term Hebrew was derived. (“Thanks for the Covenant,” in 1988–89 Devotional and Fireside Speeches [Provo: Brigham Young University Press, 1989], p. 58)