When I think of the word "righteous", sometimes I get a picture in my head of a list of tasks with checkmarks. That is completely incorrect and more like the style of worship the Pharisees lived in ancient times. The Savior frequently denounced their hypocrisy. The condition of their hearts did not match their actions.
The ancient prophet Moroni said, "For I remember the word of God which saith by their works ye shall know them; for if their works be good, then they are good also. For behold, God hath said a man being aevil cannot do that which is good; for if he offereth a gift, or prayeth unto God, except he shall do it with real dintent it profiteth him nothing. For behold, it is not counted unto him for righteousness." Moroni 7:5-7
Righteousness is seeking out the Lord's will and being obedient because we love Him. It involves being pure inside and out, with integrity of heart. There are times He is persuaded to grant us the special blessing we seek because of our love for Him. Sometimes that blessing is for ourselves, sometimes it is on behalf of someone else. We must remember that just because we ask and seek does not mean it will be given unless it is in harmony with His will for us. I could pray for the rest of my life to win the lottery but I doubt He wants me to go through that grand challenge before I master the smaller challenge of working within my means, budgeting and doing all things within my power to be a wise steward over my finances.
In the account of Alma the Younger in the Book of Mormon, an angel visits him to command him to cease his behavior which was injurious to the church. "...the angel said: Behold, the Lord hath heard the prayers of his people, and also the prayers of his servant, Alma, who is thy father; for he has prayed with much faith concerning thee that thou mightest be brought to the knowledge of the truth; therefore, for this purpose have I come to convince thee of the power and authority of God, that the prayers of his servants might be answered according to their faith." Mosiah 27:14
The pleadings of a righteous father and a people rang in the Lord's ears and He answered in a grand way. Can we plead for blessings for those we love? Of course we can! Does our faith and righteousness have power to persuade the Lord to bless? Yes, they do but each and every prayer needs to be concluded with "Thy will be done."
Elder Dale G. Renlund compared faith to the action of lighting a match to the process of building a fire. He said, "Restored truth reveals that blessings are never earned, but faith-inspired actions on our part, both initial and ongoing, are essential...most blessings that God desires to give us require action on our part—action based on our faith in Jesus Christ. Faith in the Savior is a principle of action and of power. First we act in faith; then the power comes—according to God’s will and timing. The sequence is crucial.The required action, though, is always tiny when compared to the blessings we ultimately receive." 1
Blessings pronounced and sealed upon our heads by those in authority are passed down to our posterity by inheritance. In such a way, we can seek blessings on behalf of others. The thirteenth article of faith states, "if there is anything lovely, virtuous, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things." May we continually seek to bless others through our actions and inspired prayer!
"Abound with Blessings," Elder Dale G. Renlund, General Conference, April 2019