In chapter 10 of the book of Matthew in the Bible, Jesus gave his twelve apostles priesthood authority and sent them out to preach and do the miracles that they had seen him perform. As part of his instructions, he told these disciples to do the following as they visited the homes of believers as they traveled:
And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you.I am a descendant of Aaron, the brother of Moses, who was ordained, along with his male progeny called the kohenim, to lead the Levitical and Aaronic priesthoods. My resulting family heritage includes the reciting of the priestly blessing in certain settings. At its conclusion, this blessing states this: "May the LORD lift up His face unto you and give you peace..." I personally connect these "peace" references together - if you are in a worthy house, or are visiting a worthy family (I interpret this as being welcomed in the home and the family being accepting of your spiritual message), you should leave "your peace" (or your priesthood blessing) with them.
As a home teacher, priesthood holders are commissioned by the local bishop and the quorum leader to serve their assigned families. This service is meant to keep each family diligent to their covenants, help them to progress toward exaltation, and to bring the power of the priesthood into their lives. As part of that service, bearers of the priesthood should leave their blessing ("your peace") wherever they visit. You holders of the priesthood should always offer to leave a blessing on the home and the family before you leave a visit. As a bearer of the Melchizedek Priesthood, it is your duty to bless the homes you enter as permitted by the head of the household.
Here are my suggestions on pronouncing a blessing on a family and their home:
- Seek inspiration in what words of blessing to give.
- Respect the head of the household. Offer to give a blessing and accept their choice regarding this. If they request specific blessings, honor that request within the inspiration you receive.
- Personalize the blessing to those you bless and their circumstances.
- State that this is a blessing and state your priesthood authority, similar to the way you would do so in an ordination.
- State that all blessings are contingent on faith and worthiness.