I’m working on a different research project that I’ll hopefully upload here soon, but thought this might be worth adding. As many of you probably know, Boyd Packer spoke to a “multi-stake” conference in Utah and the regions thereabout back on September 12th. A few of the sites I meander to on occasion had devoted large threads to discussing what he did, or did not, say. What these sites shared, and those posting stated, were the inspiration for this.
In an email correspondence with a couple of my friends, one of them received an email from another friend which discussed this same conference and what Packer had said.
What’s amusing is that this isn’t the first time this sort of thing has surrounded Packer. In 2001, Packer rather infamously stated (or did he?) this statement that has been denied by all parties involved:
“The youth of the Church today were generals in the war in heaven.”
This rumor was so widespread that the LDS church had to issue a formal denial through the LDS Church News on April 28, 2001, which read:
“[Boyd Packer] did not make that statement. I do not believe that statement. … None of the Brethren made that statement.”
In 2008, at a rather infamous talk given to the Forest Bend Ward, Packer was alleged to have said some fairly dire things about the then current economic climate. In one such email that made the rounds among the LDS community, one sister noted:
“I can’t even begin to describe what an amazing and wonderful meeting it was today. The Spirit was so strong and the counsel so heartfelt and direct: a personal message for us, each of us, delivered by an Apostle of the Lord, from the Lord. A message to counsel, inspire, and strengthen us in troubled and worry-filled times. And yet so uplifting! Reminding us of the great promises the Lord has made to us. It was a sacred experience and I am so grateful I was there and that I’m able to share some part of it with you.”
This “inspiring” talk was, once again, denied to have happened by all the pertinent parties and merely a result of our internet culture. The “Church Public Affairs” office stated that although Packer did speak a that ward (the Forest Bend Ward), there was no official transcript of the talk. As such, the one making the rounds in emails must have been written after the meeting and therefore “not be considered authoritative.”
That talk, it seems, stated that:
“We live in troubled times. There is a great financial crisis and we’ve seen something that hasn’t happened in the last 60 years: the world’s financial markets are collapsing … I pronounce upon you an Apostolic blessing. Comfort our children. Little children can be afraid of things we might not think of. Comfort them and strengthen our families. Turn off the television and focus on family. Pay your tithing. The promise is there – pay your tithing and you’ll be watched over. You’ll be alright. None of us is exempt from trials. If hard times come upon you and your income dwindles, remember that tithing is equitable for everyone: 10%. If you have nothing, then it’s 10% of practically nothing. Pay your tithing, do what you’re supposed to do. You’ll be comforted. Sure, trials will come. Because of them, faith will increase. Happiness will increase. Security will increase.”
Whether or not true, in spite of the doctrinal inconsistencies mentioned therein, it’s alleged to not have happened. In response to such matters, the Church reported, back in May 2004, that:
“From time to time statements are circulated among members which are inaccurately attributed to the leaders of the Church. Many such statements distort current Church teachings and are often based on rumors and innuendos. They are never transmitted officially, but by word of mouth, e-mail, or other informal means.
We encourage members of the Church to never teach or pass on such statements without verifying that they are from approved Church sources, such as official statements, communications, and publications. Any notes made when General Authorities, Area Authority Seventies, or other general Church officers speak at regional and stake conferences or other meetings should not be distributed without the consent of the speaker. Personal notes are for individual use only. [emphasis added by FAIR]
True spiritual growth is based on studying the scriptures, the teachings of the Brethren, and Church publications.”
Though you won’t find that letter on the LDS Church News site which acts as a repository for First Presidency Letters, it’s nevertheless assumed to be true.
Then again, this past week another one of these “events” is reported to have happened. This time Packer is alleged to have said,
“I’ve thought a lot about this conference and all of you and brother Holland and the others have talked about the pioneer days. THEY HAD THE EASY PART. From now on it’s going to be different and it’s going to be rougher. When you think of the Hole in the Rock or Rocky Ridge or any of the other places where the pioneers served, in many ways their part was easier than our part is going to be. … The easy times are in the past. The Rocky Ridge and the other pioneer challenges like the Hole in The Rock were the easy times. Now we have the difficult times. But we’re not being left without strength and power. The priesthood is with us and the gospel is with us as we live our lives as best we can. We have a father that will guide us and he will correct us, sometimes painfully, but he’ll correct us.” (emphasis was in the original emailed sent to me. I assume it’s not original to the actual talk).
LDS bloggers have gleefully responded:
“All of the messages were very strong and very clear. Despite all that was said I feel that those who have heeded the voice of the prophets and have done all that they could to prepare will not have reason to fear. The messages were a strong confirmation for me of the timeline that we are on. … Big big changes coming in the next 6 months to a year. General Conference will be amazing I have no doubt.”
“Just heard from a friend that attended and gave very much the same report as the others who have posted. I’m glad I got another 120 lbs of flour in sealed containers last week. Time to visit the cannery again this week for more milk.”
“I really appreciate all of your posts. It sounds like it was an amazing conference. I hope some of you took notes and can share further with us. It certainly does seem that now is the time to get with the program and to do whatever we need to as soon as we’re able.”
“Like others here, I was impressed that Pres. Packer was giving us a warning. He actually mentioned the fact that the pioneers had it easy three different times. I won’t give the exact quote (I wrote it down) but in essence he said The pioneers had the easy part. Things will be different for us in the future. It was similar to the warning he gave a year ago in April’s priesthood session where he said We move from a generation of ease and entertainment to a generation of hard work and responsibility. We do not know how long that will last. Some here have suggested that his talk was typical stake conference fodder, but I couldn’t disagree more. It was a warning loud and clear for those with ears to hear.”
“Great day in the morning! [He] has now realized that the brethren are NOT and have NOT been silent!”
“…our Stake Pres mentioned in the Sat night session that a lot of the negative influences are coming from the press. He also stated that he was going to stop listening to most of the news, including Fox as he no longer felt the Spirit during many of their broadcasts. Our Stake Pres works for the Church in the Education Department and travels all over the World on various assignments from the Brethren.”
And this would be the crème de la crème of the bunch:
“Elder Bruce R. McConkie said in General Conference, I don’t remember which one, that the saints would experience greater future persecution than any they have experienced in the past. That seems to be the same prophecy that Elder Boyd K. Packer is making here. In the mouth of two or more witnesses are all things established. This is the Law of Witnesses.”
As these examples show, people were very much satisfied to hear such a strong “voice of warning,” indeed, a “prophecy.”
In response to this email, a different (good) friend of mine chimed in:
“Elder Packer seems to be hinting about upcoming trials. That agrees with the scriptures. His conclusion “The priesthood is with us and the gospel is with us as we live our lives as best we can“ does not agree with what the Savior told the Nephites about the church in our day. This sounds like more “feel good” and “follow the Prophet” tripe.
The Lord warned us quite clearly what to expect “But if they will not turn unto me, and hearken unto my voice, I will suffer them, yea, I will suffer my people, O house of Israel, that they shall go through among them, and shall tread them down, and they shall be as salt that hath lost its savor, which is thenceforth good for nothing but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of my people, O house of Israel.” (3 Nephi 1:15)
The “they” and “them” here refers to the people of the latter-day Gentile church which has frittered away the Fullness of the Gospel. These things spoken of by the Savior, and by Elder Packer, appear to be at our door.
Living our lives “as best we can”…if that means chasing the idols of Babylon as the large majority of LDS people have been doing for generations…won’t cut it. The Lord told us that He will not protect the Gentiles (LDS people) “if they will not turn unto me, and hearken unto my voice”. The scriptures agree with Elder Packer that things are going to get ugly very soon. The scriptures do NOT support his assurances of forthcoming Divine protection for those within the LDS church who live ”as best we can.”
“Why should we any longer jump and twitch, or even take much note, of the weak hints issuing forth from modern day leaders who have failed so significantly in their responsibility to WARN of the rapidly impending “calamity” when every two-bit internet prophet can now see what’s coming!”
Every pundit on the internet is also hinting at bad times coming. It doesn’t take a prophet to see that the economy is continuing to crumble, despite the lying assurances issuing out of the White House. The “hard times” foretold by the Savior will catch most people, including those in the church who don’t study the Book of Mormon, by complete surprise.”
As the author of “The Unwritten Order of Things,” I fail to see how his remarks are anything remarkable. Because a guy (Packer) is in a position of authority that LDS members cling to with their entire belief system only appeals to those inclined to believe in a “doomsday” scenario, waiting with bated breath. Then, flags and eyebrows are all raised and suddenly everyone pays attention to what’s going on.
If Packer (or anyone else for that matter) were to truly prophesy and call everyone to repentance, then figurative riots would happen in the streets. But, then, calling us to repentance would more than likely condemn our participation in the City Creek Center and other Babylonian endeavors.
I find it amusing how quick we jump when someone inside the church, but only when it’s a member of leadership, says how bad things are and how bad they may become in the future. If you take the exact same words and put them in any other persons mouth the information is shoved to the side and its truthfulness questioned. When Boyd states it, though, it’s prophecy, truth and such an “inspiring” “voice of warning.”
Talk about an amazing cult of personality we hold to.
But, only so amazing as this comment (emphasis is mine):
“Over the years, I have had a hard time understanding people who get so angry or upset at something the prophet says, and they even go against what the prophet or apostles say.
If you believe that the President of the Church is truly a prophet of God, wouldn’t you want to know what he says? There are times when I don’t know exactly what is the truth, or which way to look at a situation, but when the prophet, or apostles speak, that clarifies it for me. I want to know what the Lord wants or desires. If there is something I have trouble accepting or understanding, I pray about it in order to understand and/or accept, but I don’t go against it, or the prophet, or the church. I stand back until that understanding comes.
If you believe that the prophet really is a prophet of God, then we should follow him, and I do know that Pres. Monson is a prophet of God & Boyd K. Packer is an apostle.
How many times in the scriptures have we read that a prophet was writting what had been revealed to him, when the Lord forbids him to write more. I know that the general authorities know more than we do. How many times have they been told not to reveal more to the general church members? I have no idea, but I know that they know more than I do.”
As we gather round the TV and Internet for general conference, we should remember that “general authorities know more than we do” and that if we follow the prophets blindly, yay, stupidly (because they do know more than us) we will be blessed. The Lord honors those who follow the “arm of the flesh” in faithfulness. Hooray for blind obedience.
Perhaps Nephi might have something applicable to this situation:
And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins; nevertheless, I know in whom I have atrusted. My God hath been my asupport; he hath led me through mine bafflictions in the wilderness; and he hath preserved me upon the waters of the great deep. He hath filled me with his alove, even unto the bconsuming of my flesh. He hath confounded mine aenemies, unto the causing of them to quake before me. Behold, he hath heard my cry by day, and he hath given me aknowledge by bvisions in the night-time. And by day have I waxed bold in mighty aprayer before him; yea, my voice have I sent up on high; and angels came down and ministered unto me. And upon the wings of his Spirit hath my body been acarried away upon exceedingly high mountains. And mine eyes have beheld great things, yea, even too great for man; therefore I was bidden that I should not write them.”
But see, Nephi was wrong here. He only thinks his support was his God. In actuality, had he been alive when there were 15 prophets and apostles prophesying every time their mouths opened, he too would have put is support and trust in them. Heck, I can’t believe anyone believes any differently. How can you not follow lockstep when you have men who (a) know more than you, or I do and (b) are speaking scripture every time they open their mouths?
It’s sheer insanity to believe any differently. The pathway is marked clear. If you have any question, simply read declaration #1. They can’t be led astray. They can’t do wrong. They are infallible. They are our pope. They define, interpret, give, state, utter, profess and state scripture whenever they speak. They are scripture. They are walking books of knowledge. The Book of Packer – The Written and Unwritten Order of Things. The Book of Monson – To The Rescue. The Book of Nelson – The Story of A Disciple of Armand Hammer. And on and on. Come on people, the scriptures state what, “when you awaken to the sense of your awful situation.” You need to awaken and realize that your only salvation is in following the Brethren. Anything else is diced tomatoes. Anything else is chopped liver. Anything else is insanity.
Repent, ye vile sinners for thinking that you should have a personal relationship with Christ or God when you have men to whom your allegiance belongs. Smart men. men way smarter and way more inspired than you ever could be. Thus Saith Tom, return to your golden calves (or gray haired old men) and hear their counsel. Follow their ways. Build multi-billion dollar investments and be satiated with your spoils. Thus ended Tom’s saith-ings.
 http://community.babycenter.com/post/a1883615/forest_bend_ward-president_packer. Retrieved 09/27/2010.
 http://www.fairblog.org/2008/10/20/talk-by-president-boyd-k-packer-goes-viral/. Retrieved 09/27/2010.
 Packer, Boyd. 09/12/2010. Utah Multi-Stake Conference. Allegedly.
 See: 2 Ne. 4:19-25.