Patriarch 

Summary

An office in the Melchizedek Priesthood with the authority and responsibility to give inspired blessings similar to those given by the Old Testament patriarchs.1 Joseph Smith Sr. was the first appointed patriarch, ordained in December 1834.2 According to the Book of Patriarchal Blessings, he held “the keys of the patriarchal priesthood over the Kingdom of God on earth.”3 Additional patriarchs were called thereafter.4 Joseph Smith Sr. periodically held “patriarchal meetings” or “blessing meetings” to administer such blessings.5 JS sometimes referred to patriarchs as “evangelical ministers” or “evangelists.”6 The blessings they gave were recorded and preserved as church records.