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BOYD K. PACKER
Boyd K. Packer, Mormon Apostle.
| Boyd has spoken out against Masturbation calling the penis a "Little Factory" that must not be touched (see "Little Factories"). He has spoken out against truth in his talk "The Mantle Is Far Far Greater Than The Intellect".
Boyd K. Packer stated "A testimony is found in the bearing of it." ("The Candle of the Lord," Ensign, Jan. 1983, pp. 54-55.) Those who do not have a testimony of Mormonism are asked to bare their testimonies anyway - even if those testimonies are baring false witnesses. Boyd states that by doing so, eventually a person will gain a testimony. This defines the very spirit of cult-like behavior.
In the year 1977, Boyd gave a talk at BYU counseling members to marry only their own race:
We've always counseled in the Church for our Mexican members to marry Mexicans, our Japanese members to marry Japanese, our Caucasians to marry Caucasians, our Polynesian members to marry Polynesians. The counsel has been wise. You may say again, "Well, I know of exceptions." I do, too, and they've been very successful marriages. I know some of them. You might even say, "I can show you local Church leaders or perhaps even general leaders who have married out of their race." I say, "Yes--exceptions." Then I would remind you of that Relief Society woman's near-scriptural statement, "We'd like to follow the rule first, and then we'll take care of the exceptions."
Boyd K. Packer is a man for whom truth is utterly expendable and who cares more about the results (creating belief no matter what) than about integrity. He clearly believes that honesty is not a necessary part of the due process of obtaining one's belief.
Boyd K. Packer also stated that the three greatest threats to the church were homosexuals, feminists and intellectuals. "The dangers I speak of come from the gay-lesbian movement, the feminist movement (both of which are relatively new), and the ever-present challenge from the so-called scholars or intellectuals." (Talk to the All-Church Coordinating Council, May 18, 1993).
In General Conference, October 2010, Boyd K. Packer again stated that homosexuals were sinners. He stated that nobody is born gay and that those who are gay are choosing a sinful lifestyle.
| If you're active LDS, you've probably heard this infamous Orwellian quote from the Boydster repeated in Sacrament Meeting talks and Priesthood lessons at least a few times every year, if not more often. It's the one where he advocated combatting your doubts by lying about them publicly. Here is Packer's notorious semantic-perverting phrase:
"A testimony is found in the bearing of it." (from "The Candle of the Lord," Ensign, Jan. 1983, pp. 54-55)
That message - which has been reiterated time and time again to missionaries at the MTC and at zone conferences in every mission worldwide - was a classical example of someone shamelessly promoting self-brainwashing!! The implication is: If you don't know whether something [we Mormons teach] is true, just bear your testimony of it anyway, as if you knew it, and eventually you will come to find that you 'know' it.
How acceptable would THAT sort of 'testimony' be in a court of law?!?!?!
After all, what does the word 'testimony' mean? Isn't it a sort of solemn oath that what you are stating, you already personally know to be true???
In a legal court or in any other context, giving a 'testimony' does NOT mean that you want to know that it's true; or that you believe it is true; or that you hope it's true; or that you're confident you will eventually know it's true..... no, it means you already know it.
So if you follow Packer's Orwellian counsel, and bear testimony of something that you doubt, aren't you guilty of perjury? Isn't there a commandment in Exodus that specifically prohibits bearing false witness?
How else can you construe his counsel? Isn't this implicitly what Packer is advocating, once you cut through all the Orwellian Double-Speak bullshit:
"If you don't believe something that we teach, or if you have doubts, BEAR FALSE WITNESS about it, and KEEP LYING until you've convinced yourself that your testimony is true."
Yeah, Boyd, try THAT approach in a court of law, you dishonest bastard.
This counsel is freaking sick stuff -- literally, Brainwashing Methodology 101 -- not to mention unethical (perjury) and immoral (bearing false witness).
Combine this with his quote to Mike Quinn (original post on this thread) and his frightening anti-Truth screed in his 1981 talk 'The Mantle is Far Far Greater Than the Intellect' and you see that this is a man for whom Truth is utterly expendable, who cares more about the results (creating belief, no matter what) than about Integrity. He clearly believes that Honesty is not a necessary part of the due process of obtaining one's belief.
I concur with Sterling McMurrin; there is no worse, no more despicable man among the General Authorities of modern Mormonism than Boyd K. Packer.
| || Something I Read In A 1964 Relief Society Magazine By Boyd K. Packer |
Monday, May 9, 2005, at 03:19 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: BOYD K. PACKER -Link To MC Article-
| ↑ |
| He is the author of an article in the 1964 Relief Society Magazine. This was way back when the RS sisters actually had their own little magazine, some of you may remember these. My grandma always had a stack of them on her front room reading table and she would read and re-read them. In them are pictures of RS groups from different parts of the world. And pictures of the singing mothers with articles about service projects they had been involved with. Also faith promoting stories. It wasn't nearly as preachy as the ensign is today.
Well anyway, I found an article by Packer about the lamanites called "For the Blessing of the Lamanites". He refers to a recent youth conference where 200 Indian Placement students gathered for a special conference.
"Today thousands of Lamanites are coming into the Church. More than one hundred lamanite branches have been organized among the stakes and within the missions. In many of these branches the leadership is provided by the Lamanite members. They are the branch presidents, the teachers, the auxiliary leaders, the music directors. Lives are being transformed. In some cases whole Indian communities are being affected.
Today it just makes me laugh to see the church today try to wiggle out of the American Indian-Lamanite connection.
.... In fulfillment of Nephi's prophetic words, the Lamanites in our day are, indeed,being restored to their rightful plae in the House of Israel. By their obedience to the principles of the gospel, they are beginning to receive the blessings promised to their ancient fathers".
| || No Pearls From This Swine: What Boyd K. Packer Was In Favor Of (as Opposed To), When It Came To The ERA |
Thursday, Jul 28, 2005, at 09:01 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: BOYD K. PACKER -Link To MC Article-
| ↑ |
| Great Moments in Mormon Misogeny
The following golden nugget of nonsense is from LDS Apostle Boyd K. Packer's talk, "The Equal Rights Amendment," (8 January, 1977, Pocatello ID, manuscript copy, pp. 25-26).
For the full text of this hodgepodge of claptrap, see: http://www.fairlds.org/apol/ai138.html . Under "Ensign Articles," click on "Boyd K. Packer, 'The Equal Rights Amendment,' Ensign, March 1977, 6."
Take it away, Boyd:
"One might ask . . . if you are against the Equal Rights Amendment, then what are you for?
I am for the equitable enforcement of existing laws. There are sufficient of them to protect the rights of women and of children and of men. Or to enact judiciously and wisely any needed legislation to correct particular circumstances.
I am for protecting the rights of a woman to be a woman, a feminine, female woman; a wife and a mother.
I am for protecting the rights of a man to be a man, a masculine, male man; a husband and a father.
I am for protecting the rights of children to be babies and children and youth, to be nurtured in a home and in a family.
I am for recognizing the inherent God-given differences between men and women.
I am for accommodating them so that we can have physically and emotionally and spiritually stable, happy individuals and families and communities.
Without that, when the floods come, in the end what will really be worth saving?
May God bless us and preserve the sacred institution of the family, to the end that this generation and future generations can be preserved. May He bless fathers and mothers and their children to be happy in the life pattern He has ordained."
| || Guitars, Trumpets, Dancing, And Loud Crashing Cymbals In Sacrament Meeting - Boyd K. Packer And Sacrament Music |
Wednesday, Sep 28, 2005, at 08:56 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: BOYD K. PACKER -Link To MC Article-
| ↑ |
| In about 1976, I read a disappointing talk from old Brother Boyd K Packer. By the way, I think his middle initial stands for "Killjoy".
When I had my mission homecoming, I got permission for a brass choir to play a medley of hymns from the land of my missionary service. My Bish, now a GA, was worried about it being "too loud". So I read him the 150th Psalm and he relented. Members of my Ward told the musicians afterward that it was one of the most inspiring moments in Sacrament Meeting they had ever experienced. I agreed.
I don't remember all the hynms they played, but they started with "Praise Ye the Lord, the Almighty etc". It was loud and BEAUTIFUL! I wanted to pee my pants it was so lovely.
But first, the HOLY SCRIPTURES:
1 Praise the LORD! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty firmament!
2 Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his surpassing greatness!
3 Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp!
4 Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe!
5 Praise him with clanging cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
6 Let everything that breathes praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!
Just read these excerpts from Bother Boyd's talk.
Boyd Killjoy Packer:"And I think a brass section could play a hymn in such a way as to be reverent and fitting in a worship service. But if it should happen, it would have to be an exception. We cannot convey a sacred message in an art form that is not appropriate and have anything spiritual happen. But there is a constant attempt to do it."
Soooooooo. Are you contradicting the Bible. And about that constant attempt to praise, would that not correspond to "LET EVERYTHING THAT BREATHES PRAISE THE LORD" ? Go JESUS FREEKS!
Boyd Killjoy Packer: "A few years ago Sister Packer and I were in Washington, D.C., to represent the Church at an awards banquet held in the reception hall of the Department of State. The elegant and stately surroundings, with a priceless collection of antiques and memorabilia, were impressive. Here, for instance, hangs the painting of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart and other priceless works of art. Both the occasion and the setting were ideal to make reference to the spiritual heritage of our country. And what was the program? A large brass section from one of the service bands played at great length, and with deafening volume, music from Jesus Christ, Superstar.
I sat next to a lovely, dignified woman, the wife of an officer of the government. When the crescendo weakened for a moment I was able to ask, by raising my voice a bit, if she was able to hear them all right. Her obvious amusement at the question soon changed to serious disappointment, as she asked in return, "What would Jesus think?"
Maybe he would think Jesus H. Christ "Hmmmm. That is one fine loud trumpet. And that is one fine guitar (lute), and one fine pipe (flute). And DAMN! That is a damn fine LOUD CRASHING CYMBAL!!! PRAISE ME!"
| Bulletin: As I work out my board etiquette with fear and trembling I inadvertantly hijacked a thread so I probably should have just started a new thread, here it is:
After reading the September 05 Ensign (The Twelve Apostles, Episode 8, by Elder Packer), it appears that the new term for apostates and many of us foyerites is "Some...in the darkness of anonymity" (SITDOA). Elder Packer has, IMHO, definitely identified and acknowledged the existence of various less-than-Mormon boards and is familiar with their content. Here is some additional data indicating the COB's awareness of NOMs, Foyerites, RfMers, and all the other "harmless little fuzzballs" out there.
Apparently, many of us have reproached "leaders in the wards and stakes and in the Church, seeking to make them 'an offender for a word'." I don't exactly know what that means yet, but I plan to look it up and seek understanding. I think I'm pretty clear on what he means when he refers to us internet folks as as "the servants of sin, and "the children of disobedience themselves ..."
I am willing to be open to that possibility; I may indeed be a servant of sin and a child of disobedience. However, I'm not simply going to allow this proclamation to go unexamined. Let's see, I too consider myself "from the ordinary paths of life" and I don't see myself as a servant of sin. In fact I can honestly say that I really work hard to be an ethical and upright person and honest with folks. I value goodness so I would argue that I must then also value Godness. In fact, this dark view of mine appears to be growing in importance as I grow older; and I'm getting better at it by the way.
I place my family firster and I am actually getting better at this as well; after 12 years of marriage I am and have been "true blue". I'm far more afraid and intimidated at the thought of my "woman scorned" than God and his prophets viewing me as a murderer-lite.
I actually do believe in Christ and him crucified, and I believe Christ is very likely indifferent to white shirts and ties. And I would actually lose a great deal of respect for Christ if I were to learn that he was a TBM with all the trimmings.
I don't cheat and steal anymore. I used to when I was between the ages of 5-15; no one need assume me guilty of some heinous deed, it was never in my nature to do so without feeling horribly guilty and having it written all over my face and completely incapable of lying effectively.
However, I did have some affinity to JS in my youth in that I did manage to rack up a rather impressive "necking and petting" rapsheet at BYU and beyond, but that was then I don't believe I "teach that anymore". I guess my rapsheet would constitute heinous crimes in the eyes of some.
I feel confident saying that my crimes pale in comparison to JS'; and on the other hand I certainly am not second only to Jesus in serving humanity. Oops, I just did it again -- I reproached JS for things he clearly never did and I'm weaving this reproachment thing from whole cloth because there ain't a shread of evidence to suggest such a thing. Does sarcasm count as reproachment?
Elder Packer wraps up his column by saying that "There are limits to what the Spirit permits us to say". I find this statement utterly abusive, manipulative and filled with self importance. Even if this is the case (and I am open to that possibility), please keep it to yourself. I don't need to know that you know all kinds of overwhelmingly convincing, irrefutable things that you can't share with me as a grown, mature adult. These are the kinds of statements that folks run with and work themselves into a frenzy over. I can hear it now, "Gee, maybe he does actually dine with God on a daily basis and has seen the Savior face-to-face. And I'll bet you he does receive ministering of angels on a daily basis to boot." Statements like these really smack of "cult".
Elder Packer then states his knowledge/belief in the church being "the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth." Someone out there somewhere may in fact know what is good and right for all of humanity and can in fact execute a Plan of Salvation, but I will proceed with caution before accepting that Elder Packer is the proxy for that someone.
I, Boyd K. Packer, am just as the Savior when wearing an apostle hat. It might as well be the creator of the universe himself penning this article; and you wouldn't dare dream of disobeying the Savior, would you now? Now, of course I'm not going to let you in on whether or not I'm wearing an apostle hat right now, I'll just let you torture yourself trying to divine that one.
I don't know Elder Packer, never met him; I will assume that he is indeed "from the ordinary paths of life" and just "a fun guy with a dream" who is working out his salvation just like all the other salvation-working-outers. I simply do not believe parts of his message; they JUST DON'T FEEL RIGHT and they never have for me.
Thanks to the internet and that pesky principle of transparency (Christ's equivalent for transparency were the words, "yes" and "no") plus 20 or so years of direct experience with the church, my rational mind is now lining up with my feelings (and "isn't it about feelings?", oops I mean time).
In closing, must I and some of my fellow foyerites be labeled as "servant of sin" and a children "of disobedience"? Can't it be as simple as those clever lyrics:
"There ain't no good guy, there ain't no bad guy."
"There's only you and me and we just disagree."
Or better yet, howz about permitting the following noble teaching to apply just a little bit within the church itself:
"we allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may."
| || One Of The Talks On Child Abuse - Boyd K. Packer's Talk On "Little Children" |
Monday, Dec 5, 2005, at 08:34 AM
Original Author(s): Lunaverse
Topic: BOYD K. PACKER -Link To MC Article-
| ↑ |
| So I've been analyzing the general conference talks on "child abuse", you know.. those 30 or so the Church claims they've given since 1976.
My initial assessment was that these were mostly a collection of talks on other topics, where child abuse was briefly mentioned. I'm about half-way through now, and it seems I was correct.
I just came across a talk that actually *is* about child abuse (mostly...), and the message is a great example of why the Church is enabling it to continue, while still being able to claim they "condemn" it.
The talk itself is by Boyd K Packer, "Little Children ", and can be found at that link.
Here's what I've written:
The talk begins by listing four great modern trends in sin that affect children, in this order: Sex between adults is now acceptable, perverted sexual acts are now promoted, abortion is legal, and children are abused physically, mentally, and morally.
Even if order does not indicate importance, Packer seems to be placing child abuse on equal footing with responsible consensual extra-marital sex, in the degree to which these things harm children. All of these items are expounded upon further in the talk.
This is one of the rare times when a General Authority makes an honest effort at addressing victims and perpetrators, in an attempt to offer healing to both.
Unfortunately, the answer is more of the same... To the abusers, he admonishes them to repent. To the victims, he asks them to... repent. And forgive.
He does not recommend therapy. He does not recommend self-help books. He does not recommend a program of self-esteem improvement, or address the difficulties that arise from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or other deeply-seated psychological problems. He does not suggest that modern science may have an answer for complicated situations.
In fact, he expressly speaks against it! In one place, he addresses secular "doctrines", blaming them for the moral decline that is leading to child abuse (and the other sins).
He also says:
"The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior. Preoccupation with unworthy behavior can lead to unworthy behavior. That is why we stress so forcefully the study of the doctrines of the gospel."
So here we have one of the few talks that is actually about child abuse, and the official word from on high is that the scriptures know more about the human mind than modern psychology.
This is does not merely have a neutral effect. Abuse victims who heard this talk were specifically harmed, because these words kept them trapped in the same cycle they've always been in. Abusers who heard this talk went on abusing, because repentance and the Gospel isn't enough to teach people how their minds and emotions work, and how to overcome their difficult problems.
Packer wants to simplify these problems into a neat little package that can be cured by the love of Christ. He seems to believe the human mind is a neatly-functioning little machine, and that all it needs is the correct doctrine to oil it right up. The root of the problem lies in listening to worldly authorities, and if only people would listen to Church leaders, the mechanisms of the mind would jump right back into working order.
Packer wants to use the magic wand of religion to cure one of the most serious diseases within Mormonism. And that wand, not secular knowledge, keeps enabling the disease to spread.
Here is the exact wording of the advice he gives:
"To you adults who repeat the pattern of neglect and abuse you endured as little children, believing that you are entrapped in a cycle of behavior from which there is no escape, I say:
I say, "No". It didn't work for me, and it isn't likely to help most other people, either.
It is contrary to the order of heaven for any soul to be locked into compulsive, immoral behavior with no way out!
It is consistent with the workings of the adversary to deceive you into believing that you are.
I gratefully acknowledge that transgressions, even those which affect little children, yield to sincere repentance. I testify with all my soul that the doctrine of repentance is true and has a miraculous, liberating effect upon behavior.
To you innocent ones who have not transgressed, but were abused as little children and still carry an undeserved burden of guilt, I say:
Learn true doctrine–repentance and forgiveness; lay that burden of guilt down!
For we are all children of the same Heavenly Father. May not each of His children, of any age, claim the redeeming sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and in so doing, through complete repentance, be cleansed and renewed to childlike innocence?"
| Almost twenty-five years ago, I was married in the SLC temple to, what I believed at the time, was the right and correct woman. She was, however, from another country (not to be named in this post).
While the initial years were happy, fun and passionate, the fun, happy and passion soon gave way to many problems. Her parents could not speak english to our children and vice-versa. Her perspective about the American (little league football, high school football, proms, high school in general, et al Americana) way of life was always seen through "foreign" eyes. While her family was one to kiss on both cheeks, they were not truly affectionate. The male siblings tended to be full of "machismo" despite their activity in the church. The ability to apologize was always hampered by pride - a "foreign" pride. I knew it, she knew it - we both denied it. As the years passed by, I noticed the lack of affection between our children and their mother - my wife. A type of pride that takes on a "machismo" life of its own - strange and difficult to explain, yet real. And yet, her father had been Bishop twice and Stake President for twelve years in their country - many GAs knew of him and ate at their home. While my TBM wifewas promiscuous before I met her, our temple marriage was the beginning of a judgmental and conditional relationship - i.e., if I was active, she liked me. If I had a temple recommend, she like me. If I worshipped her parents, she like me (almost loved me on that one). Everything became a life about her parents (the perfect ones) and the Church. When I began to pull away from activity, she would tell my children that "I'm not a good father because I'm not a good member of the church".
Finally, two years ago, we separated and began the painful journey through divorce. When I say painful, I am referring to our children. I never wanted divorce for them - the stigma, the dual-homes, all of the painful issues that are associated with divorce. Yet, truth be known, I should have done it long ago.
And now, I have never been happier - free of the judgmental, condescending, prideful existence that was our marriage. I spend each day doing the best I can with my children
While I embraced her family and traveled to her country many times (yes, I learned the language and no, I did not serve my mission in her country - ours was a BYU romance),I soon found that cultural differences were the source of great unhappiness.
I believe that an individual should be free to marry anyone they choose despite the pathetic advice of BKP. However, from one who has experienced a cultural divide within marriage, I would agree with Boyd on this one. For me, at least and for many years it was, "I wish they all could be California, I wish they all could be California, I wish they all could be California girls......."
My thoughts -
| || Bedtime Story #2 - Boyd K. Packer At His Best - Some Of You Kids Said You Liked Scary Stories |
Monday, Jan 9, 2006, at 08:31 AM
Original Author(s): Former Church Insider
Topic: BOYD K. PACKER -Link To MC Article-
| ↑ |
| Subject: Bedtime Story #2 - BKP at his best - Some of you kids said you liked scary stories
Steve Benson posted some of what I'm about to say a couple of days ago (from our private correspondence) sans a few of the details. I'm going to take a chance that admin. won't pull this one, but you better read fast just in case.....
During the 1980's, the church's purchases of products for its microfilming initiatives were gargantuan in terms of dollars spent. The church was at the time (and may still be) the largest user of raw photographic and microfilm. As an example of some of the ongoing projects, in a deal with the Vatican, the church arranged to offer them two free rolls of microfilmed records for access to data about deceased members of the catholic church..... The catholic church didn't seem to have as much problem with the weird "work for the dead" rituals conducted in the mormon temples - as the Jews did.
There were three companies that competed for the church’s film business, one being Eastman Kodak, headquartered out of Rochester, NY. That was back when Kodak was still in its heyday and was a pretty vibrant company. It just so happened in the late 1980's that a member of the Church by the name of Kay Whitmore (not sure of spelling) became the President and CEO of Kodak.
Kay had been a stake president and regional rep. in NY and was considered by many church insiders to be a prime GA candidate at some time in the near future.....
Apparently at the time Kodak was looking for a sizable charitable contribution for tax purposes, and someone below Kay decided that maybe they could get into Kay's good graces by suggesting a large donation of film product to the mormon church. Obviously, Kay thought this was a good idea and a call was made back to SLC to arrange for the donation.
Kay represented Kodak in presenting the gift to the church.... a handful of COB employees were asked to attend - maybe a couple of dozen (you know to fill seats); most of us didn't even know why we were there. There was a sanitized "church news" employee there to ensure positive spin... particularly for the church and more incidentally to Kodak....
As usual, BKP got up on the wrong side of the bed that morning (the other side must be next to the wall)... anyway, to our embarrassment and horror, after a gracious and short speech by Mr. Whitmore from Kodak and an unfortunate comment about how BKP and Mr. Whitmore had worked together when he'd been a stake president.... BKP got up and instead of graciously accepting the $6 million gift, spent the next 10 minutes berating Mr. Whitmore about what a poor stake president he'd been and how unimpressed BKP had been with his stake.
I do not make this up folks...... There were a few other GA's present and a noticeable silent look was exchanged among them. Those of us, who were there to fill seats only, thought we must have missed something.
Someone in an earlier post asked that I refrain from my opinions and stick with the facts.... You can draw your own conclusions. BKP is the closest individual, bar none, that I've ever been exposed to who instills absolute fear in those that are around him. Most of you know that this unstable individual is second behind TSMonson for the top job. I was so glad to see TSM lose a little weight a few years ago and get into better shape......but if you'd like to see the end of the church sooner, hope that TSM keeps porkin' out on all those pies the little old widow ladies from is old wards keep bringing him.... There's more to come on BKP later kiddies.......
Now kiddies, if you all say your prayers before bedtime, the BKP boogieman won't get you, I promise.... and yes it's ok if you hide his picture in the garage tonight....
| || Story #7 - The Little Chapel That Boyd K. Packer Built |
Thursday, Feb 2, 2006, at 07:45 AM
Original Author(s): Former Church Insider
Topic: BOYD K. PACKER -Link To MC Article-
| ↑ |
| Being a member of the faith, a building contractor and in a favored status with one or more of “The 12” can mean a steady stream of generous income in fairytale land of Utah Mormonism. Unfortunately, lurking in the dark and hidden forests of this never never land, are a few ogres, trolls, and other beasts that can turn the best of these sacred god given financial blessings into a downright hellish curse.
One such contractor learned his lesson back about 20 years or so ago. Having persuaded the church building committee that he would be the best choice for building a new chapel in what was at that point in time a rather upscale and secluded area of the southeast part of the Salt Lake Valley……. he quickly learned of his mistake…….
A short drive from the exclusive Willow Creek Country Club and golf course in Sandy Utah, Little Cottonwood Creek flows through a low lying neighborhood east of Highland Drive and just north of Creek Road. The creek has at times been known to turn into a raging river and has a tendency some years to overflow its banks during the snowmelt runoff in the spring…. But as with other buildings in this affluent area, permission was given to allow building of a chapel in a known flood plain. It was about this time that the unfortunate builder learned that this particular chapel was to be different than any of the others he’d ever built.
Special zoning waivers had been given, one allowing access to a secluded exclusive drive (Forest Creek Lane) by way of the church property, behind the chapel. Another waiver, allowing about a dozen residential mailboxes to be placed on Church property at the entrance to this drive was granted for the occupants of this seeming private drive. Signs at the entrance to the drive warn anyone wanting to venture there, that it is a dead end drive with no trespassing allowed and include a plethora of “neighborhood watch” signs posted in several places along the winding narrow lane.
As the building of the chapel began, the contractor was surprised to learn that there was a daily visitor who was about to make his life and job a living hell. On his way home from work everyday, the esteemed and spiritually gifted and driven BKP would be stopping by to weigh in with his comments on the building of this edifice, as he happened to be one of the very private occupants of the little “private” lane behind the chapel.
Criticisms of the construction job were endured by the builder on a daily basis, upgrades were demanded, and other concessions were granted all at the behest of BKP. Any inflection that the contractor subtly gave to BKP in question or challenge was met with rebuke and reminders of who he was talking to.
Drive through the parking lot of the chapel and it becomes evident that there are some unusual decorative features to the buildings decadent exterior. Decorative street lights, eves, window coverings, columns, and steeple all exceed normal standards set for LDS chapels. The inside is full of similar upgrades….. As the building’s construction proceeded, the contractor became aware that many of the upgrades requested by the daily visitor were not included in the plans or the buildings budget.
Watching his tidy profit on the building slowly eroding away, the contractor began complaining to the higher level mucky mucks at COB, who could arrange to kick in a few extra tithing dollars to make him whole. Problem was… BKP already knew the building’s budget and let word out that no more was to be spent on this building than any other…. It was then that the contractor learned the hard truth of “being honest in your business dealings” – that it doesn’t always apply to those who make up the questions… those of us close to these projects kind of felt bad for the contractor, but it was evident that he’d drawn the wrong hand in the dealing of the cards and this time his luck had run out, there was no one who dared to try and tame the beast while he was devouring his prey.
Don’t worry, the contractor kept his testimony (at least for the purpose of his business interests) and was awarded many more church building contracts in the future. So remember….. As the scriptures say: Don’t build your house on sand… but if you do, be sure to watch out for those who might huff and puff and blow your profits away…..
| In May of 1993, Elder Boyd K. Packer, a senior apostle in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, delivered a speech to the All-church Coordinating Council, a group church employees and administrators responsible for “correlation,” a church term for the coordination of curriculum used in the numerous teaching programs of the Mormon church. Packer’s message was directed at a small and elite group of church-employees, but reached a much larger audience over the following decade through constant publication and discussion on the Internet. Today, the text can found on at least twenty websites discussing Mormon intellectual issues. Observers of intellectual and social controversy within the church consider it a major statement of church policy on those matters.
In substance, Packer uses his platform to discuss the nature of hierarchy in Mormonism. He quotes another apostle, Harold B. Lee, as saying, “"You must decide now which way you face. Either you represent the teachers and students and champion their causes or you represent the Brethren who appointed you.” In other words, in an organization that purports to be led by continuing revelation from God, direction is from the top down exclusively. Packer goes on to identify “three areas where members of the Church, influenced by social and political unrest, are being caught up and led away… the gay-lesbian movement, the feminist movement (both of which are relatively new), and the ever-present challenge from the so-called scholars or intellectuals.”
In the decades preceding Packer’s speech, the Mormon Church had indeed been embroiled in controversies involving these groups. In the 1960’s, biographer Fawn McKay Brodie was excommunicated for her controversial work on church founder Joseph Smith, No Man Knows my History, and University of Utah philosophy professor Sterling McMurrin was disfellowshipped for his skeptical writings on Mormonism. In the 1970’s the church abolished its historical department and fired Leonard J. Arrington, the highly respected professional historian at its head. The church was also instrumental in defeating the Equal Rights Amendment to the United States Constitution, which would have codified gender equality as a basic right. In 1981, Packer engaged BYU historian D. Michael Quinn in a spirited public debate about the role of Mormon historians. Also. Independent groups such as the Mormon history Association, Affirmation (a group for gay Mormons) and the Mormon Women’s Forum, and publications that fostered debate and dissent on Mormon issues such as Sunstone and Dialogue: A journal of Mormon Thought made serious inroads into the institutional Church’s control over its own discourse during the 1970’s and 80’s.
Since 1993, the church has continued to combat these perceived threats. In September of that year, Quinn and five other prominent intellectuals and dissidents, most of them in the employ of Brigham Young University, were excommunicated. In the 1990’s, the church supported successful ballot initiatives in California, Alaska, and Hawaii that limited Gay Rights. In 2004, the church endorsed a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in Utah and disfellowshiped former church employee Grant Palmer for his critical book An Insider’s View of Mormon Origins, forbidding him to speak publicly as a condition for continued membership in the faith.
This twelve-year-old speech is not unique. Packer and other church authorities continually stress obedience to the church hierarchy and state their opposition to certain issues and social movements in their public speech. The importance of this particular speech lies in its frankness. Packer makes real the defining conflict of the modern Mormon Church by naming its enemies and outlining the method by which they should be opposed. This paper will use the ideas of Kenneth Burke to examine the structure of Packer’s talk, and to understand the philosophy and ideology in operation behind it.
Packer’s talk is addressed to those responsible for the “correlation” of LDS programs and curriculum. What he terms the “reduction and simplification in programs” may seem innocuous, but it has been one of the largest forces of change in the religious organization over the last four decades. The historian Jan Shipps proposes that correlation process has transformed the Mormon Church from a localized, tribal organization to a centralized, corporate organization, and making possible its massive expansion into parts of the world other than the intermountain west of the United States.
Packer begins his talk with a series of anecdotes about his experiences with the correlation department over a long career as a church-employed administrator. In addition to the aforementioned encounter with Lee where the hierarchy of the church was made clear, he relates several instances where his speech and writing was corrected by his superiors, colleagues, and learned associates at BYU. He repeatedly stresses the importance of “facing the right way,” and admonishes his audience to do so. He makes some obscurely prophetic statements regarding the future importance of correlation.
Packer then moves on to the more widely discussed portion of his talk, where he lists the three “dangers” facing the church. He reads excerpts of letters from church members representing each of the three threatening groups. He is somewhat derisive in his description of the writers, referring to the gay Mormon as “possibly a gay rights activist,” and another as a “self-described intellectual.” All three offer experience and council to the apostles of the church, who, as Packer notes, are also the “Correlation Committee.” Packer also notes that the “rank and file” feels neglected while the leadership concentrated on the problems of the “exceptions.” He states categorically that if dissatisfied members make advocates of church leaders, “the channels of revelation are reversed.” (Not a good thing in Mormon cosmology) After some additional illustration of his points, he offers authoritative solutions to his letter-writers.
"That young man with gender disorientation needs to know that gender was not assigned at mortal birth, that we were sons and daughters of God in the premortal state. The woman pleading for help needs to see the eternal nature of things and to know that her trials -- however hard to bear -- in the eternal scheme of things may be compared to a very, very bad experience in the second semester of the first grade. She will find no enduring peace in the feminist movement. There she will have no hope. If she knows the plan of redemption, she can be filled with hope. The one who supposes that he "understands the mind-set of both groups" needs to understand that the doctrines of the gospel are revealed through the Spirit to prophets, not through the intellect to scholars."
He continues with the theme of “facing the right way” and stresses that the entire hierarchy must all face the same way, giving direction from above. Otherwise, he says, “we lose our bearings and leave that segment of the line to which we are assigned unprotected.”
From a Burkean perspective, the pentadic ratio of act to scene seems to apply best to this speech. Packer’s act is to define and make real the adversaries of the Mormon Church. That act created a scene, which could be described as “a growing church threatened by ‘evaporation of values and standards’ and threatened by internal dissent.” In this scene, the only line of defense is a unified and unbending hierarchical leadership.
A dramatic critical perspective is appropriate to this speech and to Mormonism in general. From its foundation the church has always seen itself as the perfect human organization, the Kingdom of God on earth. As such, it competes with all other human organizations and must supplant all other churches, governments and organizations to perfect the earth and prepare for the second coming of Christ. Early Mormons believed that their supremacy was eminent, which is part of the reason they became so unpopular in the Midwest and were forced to move to Utah. Nearly two hundred years after its founding, the church’s lack of dominance must be distressing to many believers, including its faithful leadership. True, Mormons no longer face violent mobs, an antagonistic Federal government, or a hostile desert landscape, so they might be considered victorious in those past conflicts. The church has enjoyed more wealth, power, and public acceptance in the last five decades than ever before in its history, but the Kingdom still has not come to pass. Instead, the church faces a society that is increasingly fragmented and pluralistic, where Mormonism’s universalizing message is increasingly difficult to apply to the variety of human experience. Packer’s act through this speech, then, is to create a scapegoat, and enemy within, to explain the failure of the church to reach the top of the pile and bring about the Millenium.
Packer’s scapegoat is part of the scene he creates in the minds of his initial audience (not the audience who read this talk online for the shocking thrill of hearing him compare an abused woman’s experience to “a very, very bad experience in the second semester of the first grade.”) The church represents itself as a lay organization with no paid ministry. Packer is speaking to a group of invisible professionals who, though not labeled ministers, write the Sunday School lessons, edit the magazines, and provide daily religion classes to the children of the church. He creates identification by with them by telling of the struggles he faced in his career as a professional churchman. He also makes an implicit appeal to the ambitious among them by speaking as an apostle who was once a faithful underling. He creates a scene where the church’s problems and enemies come from its members below, and the solutions come from the authority above. He uses, as is the wont of the church, military terminology such as “protecting the line” and “abandoning a position” to cement in the minds of his officer class the nature of the battle they are fighting.
What, then, is the ideology from which Packer is operating in this speech? How can he legitimize the personal difficulty many of the members of the church he leads are having in applying its teachings, and make an unresponsive hierarchy seem natural, and in their best interest? What are his personal and religious motives?
Packer does not seem cynical in this speech. He does not seem motivated purely by money or power. He seems to believe that the unified and inflexible front of correlation is the best thing for the Mormon organization, even if it is painful for some individuals. He believes that Mormonism is inherently good, and has invested his career and personal life in perpetuating it. It is difficult to know the quantity and nature of inspiration he feels he receives as an apostolic witness of Jesus Christ, but his statements indicate his feeling the directions that come “down the line” come from God.
The stated purpose of Mormonism is to “bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” This idea goes a long way toward the legitimizing of any church policy that seems absurd or offensive on its surface, including the one under discussion here. It is a superstructure to the base of members who are expected to support the organization and its leadership, monetarily and philosophically, even when that leadership does not support the best interests of the members in their lifetime. By holding out the promise of eternal salvation, the church consolidates its hegemony (this writer fully understands that other religious organizations exercise power in a similar way) Anything that reduces the effectiveness of the church in growing, spreading its message, and fulfilling its perceived purpose is against the interest of church members, even if that thing is the happiness of those members. Whatever rewards his high position in the hierarchy give him, Packer believes he is fulfilling God’s will.
If the purpose of Boyd K. Packer’s talk to the All-Church Coordinating Council was to control the discourse in Mormonism by correlating the leadership as well as the message, then this analysis is evidence of its ineffectiveness. With its frankness, its acknowledgement of a professional elite in the church, and its adversarial tone, it was surely not meant for general consumption. Certainly many faithful members of the “rank and file” still look exclusively to approved church sources for information on Mormonism, but growing numbers look elsewhere. And they are finding things the Mormon leadership would rather they not know. Though the church keeps its rates of conversion and activity strictly confidential, anecdotal evidence suggests a correlation of stable or shrinking membership to areas with greater access to information technology. A Google search can offer insight into controversies that Packer and others in church leadership are loath to explain.
Change within Mormonism has always been a painful process, as evidenced by long controversies over Polygamy and the denial of the priesthood to blacks. If Packer’s rhetoric is to be seen as effective at all, maybe it will hold the leadership of the church together until the inevitable day of reckoning with the “gay-lesbian movement, the feminist movement, and the so-called intellectuals.”
| || July 2001 Ensign - Packer Berates An Organist In Front Of An Entire Stake Conference, And Bateman Praises Him For It |
Thursday, Apr 20, 2006, at 01:10 AM
Original Author(s): Majun
Topic: BOYD K. PACKER -Link To MC Article-
| ↑ |
| A good Christian leader knows when to beat up The One as a way of teaching a lesson to The Ninety-Nine. The July 2001 Ensign has an article by Merrill Bateman, taken from a talk he gave at BYU in 1998. The following two paragraphs were telling: |
Many years ago, while living in the East, I attended a stake conference that left an indelible impression with regard to the sacred role played by music in a Church setting. Elder Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was the visiting authority. Fifteen minutes before the general session began, Elder Packer took his place on the stand along with the stake presidency. Many in the congregation had traveled 75 to 100 miles to attend and were engaged in conversation with friends from other wards and branches. Some were seated, while others were visiting with friends as they entered the chapel. The organist had chosen various Bach selections for the prelude and was absorbed in presenting a Bach concert. As the music crescendoed it forced the members visiting with each other to raise their voices. The louder the din, the more determined the organist, and the volume of voices and music rose higher and higher.Can't you just feel the love? I can't decide whose behavior was more appalling: Packer, for mortifying the poor organist in front of the entire stake conference, or Bateman for making sure the story ended up being shared with the entire church. Bateman also trains his power of discernment on the poor organist and takes us on a tour inside his or her head. Notice that he doesn't just know what the organist did, he presumes to know the organist's motives and intentions. That's right, folks, Bateman just knew that the organist "was absorbed in presenting a Bach concert" and "the more determined the organist."
Five minutes before the session was to begin, Elder Packer suddenly stood up and approached the podium. He asked the organist to stop. He asked the congregation to cease speaking and find their seats. He spoke clearly and firmly to the congregation, reminding them of their need to be reverent and prepare for the general session. He then turned toward the organ and told the organist that he had a special responsibility to bring the Spirit into the building and prepare the members for the meeting. Elder Packer continued, “This can be accomplished best by playing hymns.” He then suggested that hymns be a central part of the prelude for subsequent conferences in that stake.
Being a general authority is quite the racket. Men like Packer and Bateman can heap this kind of abuse on the members, and the members can't say a thing about it without being accused of "evil speaking of the Lord's anointed."
We can only hope that the Ensign article at least made some people think twice about accepting an assignment to play the organ anywhere near Boyd Packer.
Thus spake Mujun.
| The August 2006 Ensign has some classic articles - a hilariously dramatic one on the evils of pornography, a completely predictable list of 10 steps for "financial freedom" (with step 1 being pay your tithing FIRST - groan), and a pedantic diatribe on callings entitled "In the Service of the Lord".
In the article about callings, the writer describes how a bishop could not get anyone to serve as the ward Primary president (NO…really???) Apparently, he asked 9 different sisters and each one wisely declined. The writer went on to relate that when this problem was raised in a LDS leadership training meeting, President Boyd K. Packer had something to say about it. According to the article, President Packer told this bishop that he knew precisely why none of the sisters had agreed to serve: "You asked them - you didn't call them".
President Packer went on to explain that if the bishop had extended the call properly it would not have taken 9 attempts to get someone to accept the call. The article goes on to state, "In the secular world there are no direct parallels to the issue of a calling. One who holds priesthood keys does not ask, assign, or recruit people to serve. He calls them and the calling comes from the Lord".
So, let me get this straight. It is not acceptable to treat members in an adult manner with respect and courtesy by requesting their consideration of a "calling" which may require significant time and effort to fulfill. It is not appropriate to discuss potential assignments in an egalitarian manner with individuals who may have obligations, life circumstances, or simply preferences of which the bishop is not aware. No, in the Mormon Church, the bishop issues decrees and commands - straight from God no less. These are to be obeyed without question, without consideration for self or family, without regard to potential consequences. This is absurd.
The problem with this whole calling thing is the insertion of "the LORD". The guy who is your bishop - who incidentally was merely your dentist or your insurance broker the day BEFORE he became your bishop - now has the direct line to GOD. Everything he says, every cockamamie idea he has, every assignment he decides to give is "inspired" - whispered in his ear by none other than GOD almighty. Do people actually believe this nonsense??? God has time to decide who cleans the ward meeting house toilets? God is such a micromanager that he has to weigh in on who changes poopy diapers in the nursery? Men serving as Bishops actually believe that they are relaying the wishes of GOD whenever they extend a calling? This isn't just silly, it is dangerous thinking.
This is the kind of thing that just makes me shake my head in wonder.
| || Revisiting Boyd K. Packer's "The Mantle Is Far, Far Greater Than The Intellect" |
Thursday, Sep 7, 2006, at 07:20 AM
Original Author(s): Doctor Scratch
Topic: BOYD K. PACKER -Link To MC Article-
| ↑ |
| "The Mantle is Far, Far Greater Than the Intellect" was delivered at the 5th Annual Church Educational System Religious Educators' Symposium, on August 22nd in 1981. Prior to this, Mormon History had been enjoying what some have called its "Camelot Era" under the guidance of historians like Leonard Arrington. Some of the Brethren, however, did not like this free-wheeling examination of church history, and Elder Packer was among them.
Very early on, the talk says this:
|It is an easy thing for a man with extensive academic training to measure the Church using the principles he has been taught in his professional training as his standard. In my mind it ought to be the other way around. A member of the Church ought always, particularly if he is pursuing extensive academic studies, to judge the professions of man against the revealed word of the Lord.
Already, we are being set up by Packer to place the church ahead of all other things: to do whatever the church tells us to do, and implicitly to ignore what academic disciplines might have to tell us. Next he goes on to describe a scenario in which he advises a "personable, clean-cut, very intelligent young Latter-day Saint" on how to successfully defend his dissertation. Really, the passage points to something Packer alludes to throughout the talk: that there is a power struggle going on between the Brethren, and the academy---a struggle which receives further attention in Packer's "Talk to the All-Church Coordinating Council" in the early 1990s. The anecdote wraps up with Packer dismissing the acadmeic point of view via the title of the talk itself: "The Mantle is Far, Far Greater Than the Intellect."
What follows is a very telling passage:
|I must not be too critical of those professors [who evaluated the above-mentioned student's dissertation]. They do not know of the things of the Spirit. One can understand their position. It is another thing, however, when we consider members of the Church, particularly those who hold the priesthood and have made covenants in the temple. Many do not do as my associate did; rather, they capitulate, cross over the line, and forsake the things of the Spirit. Thereafter they judge the Church, the doctrine, and the leadership by the standards of their academic profession.
This is significant, because it establishes a hierarchy of knowledge and judgment. Elder Packer is arguing that the Brethren--and by extension, correlated church publications---trump everything else. According to Packer, the work of a professional historian must be seen as pale in comparison to, say, Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young.
For Ben and others, the next passage, in my view, obliterates the apologetic claim that Packer's remarks weren't intended for the ears of historians:
|This problem has affected some of those who have taught and have written about the history of the Church. These professors say of themselves that religious faith has little influence on Mormon scholars. They say this because, obviously, they are not simply Latter-day Saints but are also intellectuals trained, for the most part, in secular institutions. They would that some historians who are Latter-day Saints write history as they were taught in graduate school, rather than as Mormons.
Once more, Packer is asserting that history as it is presented in church-sanctioned materials is to be paid greater creedence and attention than material written by historians. Presumably, one would have to include a text such as Rough Stone Rolling in the latter category. The next portion of the talk segues into the "Four Cautions," which are as follows:
1. There is no such thing as an accurate, objective history of the Church without consideration of the spiritual powers that attend this work
I like that he says this, but it doesn't explain why such specifics as the seer stone in the hat get left out of the discussion. Does he think that mention of the seer stone would somehow detract from the "spiritual powers" that attended the coming forth of the BofM? A bit further down, another nail in the coffin of the apologetic argument that Packer wasn't admonishing historians:
|Those of us who are extensively engaged in researching the wisdom of man, including those who write and those who teach Church history, are not immune from these dangers. I have walked that road of scholarly research and study and know something of the dangers. If anything, we are more vulnerable than those in some of the other disciplines. Church history can be so interesting and so inspiring as to be a very powerful tool indeed for building faith. If not properly written or properly taught, it may be a faith destroyer.
Notice that history is the only discipline he mentions in this passage, despite the fact that his own PhD is in education. He also acknowledges here the reason why the history gets 'whitewashed': because "it may be a faith destroyer." Further, this raises a number of problems for those (such as juliann and others on the FAIRboards) who 'blame the victim', since there is an implicit expectation in Elder Packer's comments vis-a-vis history being "properly taught." Where, as I asked in a previous thread, can one go for 'meat'? What does it mean to "properly teach" church history? Based on the available, correlated texts, it evidently means whitewashing.
Here's yet another instance in which Elder Packer seems to be addressing his remarks to historians:
|Those who have the Spirit can recognize very quickly whether something is missing in a written Church history this in spite of the fact that the author may be a highly trained historian and the reader is not. And, I might add, we have been getting a great deal of experience in this regard in the past few year.
The 2nd (and most damning, imo) Caution: There is a temptation for the writer or the teacher Of Church history to want to tell everything, whether it is worthy or faith promoting or not.
In other words, don't tell everything. Hide some of the "less than faith-promoting" material. Apologists will probably want to argue that the talk is aimed at church educators. The problem with this is that Packer has already mentioned the idea of church history being "properly taught," without really saying how one is supposed to accomplish it, other than "use of the Spirit." Notice how often he mentions "history" in the following passage:
|Some things that are true are not very useful.
Historians seem to take great pride in publishing something new, particularly if it illustrates a weakness or mistake of a prominent historical figure. For some reason, historians and novelists seem to savor such things. If it related to a living person it would come under the heading of gossip. History can be as misleading as gossip and much more difficult--often impossible--to verify.
He then goes on to discuss his view that historians who publish controversial items deserve to be punished, and to have their faults broadcast in the manner of the "Great List" described by Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone in his talk, "A Self-Inflicted Purging." In fact, this "caution" seems aimed at striking real fear into the hearts of all Mormon historians:
|One who chooses to follow the tenets of his profession, regardless of how they may injure the Church or destroy the faith of those not ready for "advanced history," is himself in spiritual jeopardy. If that one is a member of the Church, he has broken his covenants and will be accountable. After all of the tomorrows of mortality have been finished, he will not stand where be might have stood.
The key portion of this excerpt is in bold. How is there any way to interpret this other than: "Whitewash the history or face eternal damnation"? Elder Packer has already established that accurate history can be "faith destroying," and that full, secular history often can't pass muster in the academic realm, so what's a historian to do?
3rd Caution: In an effort to be objective impartial, and scholarly a writer or a teacher may unwittingly be giving equal time to the adversary.
Here Packer takes yet another jab at historians:
|Some of our scholars establish for themselves a posture of neutrality. They call it "sympathetic detachment." Historians are particularly wont to do that. If they make a complimentary statement about the Church, they seem to have to counter it with something that is uncomplimentary.
Compare this with this prior comment:
|In the Church we are not neutral. We are one-sided. There is a war going on and we are engaged in it. It is the war between good and evil, and we are belligerents defending the good. We are therefore obliged to give preference to and protect all that is represented in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and we have made covenants to do it.
Thus Packer is rejecting neutrality, impartial observation, or any impulses towards such things. This seems, once more, to be an exhortation for whitewashing: "Downplay the negatives, or you're going to get burned."
Later, he includes this silly analogy, where he compares historians and teachers to attorneys:
|Suppose that a well-managed business corporation is threatened by takeover from another corporation. Suppose that the corporation bent on the takeover is determined to drain off all its assets and then dissolve this company. You can rest assured that the threatened company would hire legal counsel to protect itself.
Can you imagine that attorney, under contract to protect the company having fixed in his mind what he must not really take sides, that he must be impartial?
Suppose that when the records of the company he has been employed to protect are opened for him to prepare his brief he collects evidence and passes some of it to the attorneys of the enemy company. His own firm may then be in great jeopardy because of his disloyal conduct.
Do you not recognize a breach of ethics, or integrity, or morality?
I think you can see the point I am making. Those of you who are employed by the Church have a special responsibility to build faith not destroy it. If you do not do that, but in fact accommodate the enemy, who is the destroyer of faith you become in that sense a traitor to the cause you have made covenants to protect.
It's worth noting that, at this point, he has conflated historians with teachers. Everyone must do the Brethren's bidding, and any allegiance to things such as truth or honest history has to be jettisoned in favor of the "war going on."
This is interesting, too, as it seems almost like a slip-up (and weird, in an ESP way, since the talk was delivered during the early portion of Mark Hoffman's career):
|Rest assured, also, that you will get little truth, and less benefit, from those who steal documents or those who deal in stolen goods. There have always been, and we have among us today, those who seek entrance to restricted libraries and files to secretly copy material and steal it away in hopes of finding some detail that has not as yet been published--this in order that they may tell it for money or profit in some way from its publication or inflate an ego by being first to publish it.
Am I wrong, or is Packer actually admitting that "material" and "libraries" are secret and/or off-limits? The church doesn't hide its history? Oh, really? It's all out in the open, for free and easy access? Huh.
A bit further down, Elder Packer describes a meeting with some folks from Harvard, who wanted him to participate in a project of theirs. He refused, due to their use of the word "however": i.e., "'We are all active and faithful members of the Church: however, . . . .'", going on to insist that he would have joined up if only they'd said "therefore" instead of "however." Once more, we see that "The Mantle is Far, Far Greater Than the Intellect" is a form of 'marching orders.' Everything must happen according to the rubric of the Church.
The final caution concerns the idea that so long as something is already in print, so long as it is available from another source, there is nothing out of order in using it in writing or speaking, or teaching.
Is this not an order for whitewashing? Let's allow Elder Packer to elaborate:
|I have on occasion been disappointed when I have read statements that tend to belittle or degrade the Church or past leaders of the Church in writings of those who are supposed to be worthy members of the Church. When I have commented on my disappointment to see that in print, the answer has been. "It was printed before, and it's available, and therefore I saw no reason not to publish it again."
You do not do well to see that it is disseminated. It may be read by those not mature enough for "advanced history," and a testimony in seedling stage may be crushed.
Later on, Packer finally gives us a list:
|There are qualifications to teach or to write the history of this church. If one is lacking in any one of these qualifications, he cannot properly teach the history of the Church. He can recite facts and give a point of view, but he cannot properly teach the history of the Church.
I will state these qualifications in the form of questions so that you can assess your own qualifications.
Do you believe that God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ personally appeared to the boy prophet, Joseph Smith. Jr., in the year 1820?
Do you have personal witness that the Father and the Son appeared in all their glory and stood above that young man and instructed him according to the testimony that he gave to the world in his published history?
Do you know that the Prophet Joseph Smith's testimony is true because you have received a spiritual witness of its truth?
Do you believe that the church that was restored through him is in the Lord's words, "the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased" (Dandamp;C 1:30)? Do you know by the Holy Ghost that this is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints restored by heavenly messengers in this modern era; that the Church constitutes the kingdom of God on earth, not just an institution fabricated by human agency?
Do you believe that the successors to the Prophet Joseph Smith were and are prophets, seers, and revelators; that revelation from heaven directs the decisions, policies, and pronouncements that come from the headquarters of the Church? Have you come to the settled conviction, by the Spirit, that these prophets truly represent the Lord?
It's interesting how many of the questions mention historical dates and events. Hmmm. Intriguing. Also intriguing is Elder Packer's backtracking in this passage:
|The Brethren then and now are men, very ordinary men, who have come for the most part from very humble beginnings. We need your help! We desperately need it. We cannot research and organize the history of the Church. We do not have the time to do it. And we do not have the training that you possess.
He wants historians to do their jobs, and yet their training is "inadequate"? Well, which is it? Should they do what they've been taught, or should they answer to the dictates of the Brethren?
The bottomline is that this talk is rarely---if ever---wrenched out of any context that the apologists would like us to believe exist[s/ed]. As the above citations show, Elder Packer clearly intended for his remarks to be heard by historians---notably D. Michael Quinn. Further, the talk quite obviously urges for a whitewashed, "faith-promoting" version of history, and frankly acknowledges that the full truth will likely send a lot of Mormons packing. So, there you have it: the church, as represented by Pres. Packer, really is urging a whitewash of history, and is discouraging certain members from knowing certain things. That apologists would try to claim otherwise is hard to understand.
| Ok I did not hear or see but a few talks given during conference and just that little bit gave me a headache. It's amazing how different conference sounds as an apostate versus true believing member of the church. Since Sunday there has a been a lot of banter on the boards and in Outer Blogness about David Bednar's talk and since I didn't hear it on Sunday I read it yesterday, and I don't get what the big deal is?
The one point Bednar makes is that when he was a Stake President and he went out with Bishops they were visiting "Less Actives" and not "Apostates". There is a distinct difference in my mind because there is a portion of people who go inactive who still do believe in the chruch and maybe if they are fellowshipped they will come back, and to me this is the group Bednar was discussing. So I don't find it surprising that a large number of these people may have been "offended" and that is what kept them away for a while.
I know a lady who is in her early 40's and has had some health issues in the last couple of years and it has caused her to put on weight. No big deal right? Well a 20 something sister asked her if she was pregnant again? Now the 40 something is offended, thinks she is too fat for church, and she stops coming. The bishop's wife and the relief society presidency start fellowshipping her and make her feel important, in fact so important she gets "called" as the RS Secretary. When this happened she felt so much better about herself it was an unbelievable transformation. So I have seen what Bednar talked about happen too.
Now if he mentioned "inactive non-believers" which I am one then it would be a different story, but from what I can gather he was talking about what I described above. The talk that got me going was the one that directly proceeded Bednar's and that was by everyone's favorite, Boyd K. Packer. He pokes fun at the old joke of Mormons having horns (other than in their pants) and goes on to play into the stereotype of anything that opposes the church is a lie and then has the gall to say the LDS Church is better than some of the "Christian" foes. Of course this comes from the guy who has discouraged church historians from writing anything that would put the church in a bad light at the risk of their soul.
"There has been no end to opposition. There are misinterpretations and misrepresentations of us and of our history, some of it mean-spirited and certainly contrary to the teachings of Jesus Christ and His gospel. Sometimes clergy, even ministerial organizations, oppose us. They do what we would never do. We do not attack or criticize or oppose others as they do us." Boyd K. Packer, October 2006 Semi-Annual General Conference Address
This little statement is a whole lot more insulting to me as an apostate than anything Bednar stated in his address. This is wholly aimed at supporting the notion all anti-mormon stuff is bad and we are better than them. Then to say we do not attack or criticize is just dead wrong.
Sending missionaries out two-by-two to knock on our doors and to teach about the "One True Church", no that doesn't attack every other religious tradition out there. Saying that only the mormons have the whole truth as revealed by G-d is a slap in the face, but don't worry other religions have some truth. Then to put that claim in your scriptures and then to say you are better than other religions for not attacking them, this is hyprocrisy on the highest level.
What does the LDS Church expect as they go out to convert the world other religions are going to sit by and watch their ranks be diminished? No way they are going to protect their "turf" and educate people on what the mormons claim. Note to Boyd, if your church will continue to send people to my house and my neighbor's than I as an apostate will inform my neighbors of your true history and doctrines. I will give my neighbors the meat which you withold from investigators so that way they can truly make an informed decision on whether or not to join your church.
Now I am offended.
| Masturbation is a terrible sin.
This precious doctrine didn't just come from one church apostle speaking from the pulpit in a priesthood session of conference. No, this doctrine comes from the pamphlet the Lord's true church has published and distributed to hundreds of thousands (maybe millions) of boys.
The Lord has made anti-masturbation teaching one of his most important. How often does the Mormon Church publish and distribute a talk given by a living apostle to half of the church? And they've been doing it now for 20 years, so it must be vital knowledge for "young men only."
Here's what the church explains to unsuspecting boys:
"A young man should learn to rule his body. Like his temper, he should keep it always under complete control."
"This is a very sacred power. The Lord has commanded that you use it only with one to whom you are legally and lawfully wedded. He has decreed serious penalties indeed for the misuse of it."
"Do not tamper with your body. If you have already, cease to do it --now. Put it away and overcome it. The signal of worthy manhood is self-control."
"This power of creation affects your life several years before you should express if fully. You must always guard the power with many wisdom. You must wait until the time of your marriage to use it."
"During that waiting, what do you do with theses desires? My boy, you are to control them. You are forbidden to use them now in order that you may use them with worthiness and virtue and fullness of joy at the proper time in life."
"This little factory moves quietly into operation as a normal and expected pattern of growth and begins to produce the lifegiving substance. It will do so perhaps as long as you live. It works very slowly. That is the way it should be. For the most part, unless you tamper with it, you will hardly be aware that it is working at all."
"As you move closer to manhood, this little factory will sometimes produce an oversupply of this substance. The Lord has provided a way for that to be released. It will happen without any help or without any resistance from you."
"There is; however, something you should not do. Sometimes a young man does not understand. Perhaps he is encouraged by unwise or unworthy companions to tamper with that factory. He might fondle himself and open that release valve. This you shouldn't do, for if you do that, the little factory will speed up. You will then be tempted again and again to release it. You can quickly be subjected to a habit, one that is not worthy, one that will leave you feeling depressed and feeling guilty. Resist that temptation. Do not be guilty of tampering or playing with this sacred power of creation. Keep it in reserve for the time when it can be righteously employed."
"The power to prevent such habits or to break them rests in your mind, not in your body. Don't let that physical part of you take charge. Stay in control. Condition your body to do the will of your mid. To do this you must keep your mind on worthy thoughts."
"If you can control you thoughts, you can overcome habits, even degrading personal habits. If you can learn to master them, you will have a happy life."
"This power is ordained for the begetting of life and as a binding tie in the marriage covenant. It is not to be misused. It is not to be use prematurely. It is to be known between husband and wife and in no other way. If you misuse it, you will be sorry."
"Even those who have been drawn into wicked practices and are bound by almost unyielding habits can escape. If one of you seems trapped in that, escape. Go to your father or bishop, please. Your parents, your bishop, the servants of the Lord, the angels of heaven and the Lord himself will help redeem your from it. Young Latter-day Saint men, do not tamper with these powers, neither with yourself alone nor with one of your own kind."
- Church-wide pamphlet "For Young Men Only" 1976-2006
I think it's a crime that Mormon boys are taught this crap instead of what medical doctors and scientific research say about masturbation.
But if someone has a testimony that the church is true, how can they reject this prophetic counsel?
Here is one LDS doctor's take on all of this:
| The self-important seer, Boyd Packer, turned up for the week-end meetings that comprised the Staines, England, Stake Conference.
At one of the meetings, he ordered the Staines office of the Majesterium to release every local and stake leader who was not present.
He felt slighted that some sheeple herders were missing from the ranks of those who had come to pay homage to him. And thus he ordered them fired, sacked, thrown out of the admin club and otherwise humiliated.
Poor Boyd has a serious problem with his arrogance.
God bless the sorry, sad-assed seer.
| From the Trib, all Boyd KKK Packer has to do is open his mouth and out it comes:
"You are a son of God," Packer told the all-male priesthood session Saturday evening. "Your gender was determined in the pre-mortal existence. You were born male. You must treasure and protect the masculine part of your nature. You must have respectful, protective regard for all women and girls."
Don't masturbate. Don't masturbate anyone else. Don't let anyone else masturbate you.
Packer advised young men not to "abuse" themselves, allow others to touch their body "in a way that would be unworthy," or touch others in any "unworthy way."
Nobody is Gay because Packer says so.
| Next week is the Oquirrh Mountain Temple dedication, so there will be no church services (I'm devastated). In keeping with this solemn event, today's sacrament meeting theme was temples and work for the dead. On the cover of the program was the following quote from Boyd Packer, from the April 1993 general conference:
"May we each dedicate ourselves anew to the service of the Lord.
"Say the word temple. Say it quietly and reverently. Say it over and over again. Temple. Temple. Temple. Add the word holy. Holy Temple. Say it as though it were capitalized, no matter where it appears in the sentence.
"Temple. One other word is equal in importance to a Latter-day Saint. Home. Put the words holy temple and home together, and you have described the house of the Lord!
"May God grant that we may be worthy to enter there and receive the fulness of the blessings of His priesthood."
I can't decide whether this is just condescending, as if Packer were teaching a nursery lesson, or if it's strangely cultish, as if these words have some sort of talismanic power gained in their repetition.
But ultimately, I had this vision of Packer zipping up his sweater and saying, "Good morning, boys and girls! Can you say holy temple? I knew you could!"
Somehow I missed this back in 1993, when I was still a believer, but this really strikes me as both odd and ludicrous.
Holy Temple Home.
Nope, didn't work. :)
| || Packer To Quinn : "I Have A Hard Time With Historians, Because Historians Idolize The Truth." |
Tuesday, Sep 15, 2009, at 07:38 AM
Original Author(s): Dave The Atheist
Topic: BOYD K. PACKER -Link To MC Article-
| ↑ |
| When I was admitted to the faculty of Brigham Young University, I had the same kind of interview that all prospective faculty members have, and that is that a General Authority of the LDS Church meets with the prospective faculty member. ... The person who interviewed me was apostle Boyd K. Packer. We were together about 45 minutes, and almost all of that was a lecture. He began by asking me what position I was going to be hired in or was being considered for, and I said it was as a professor in the history department. The very next words out of his mouth were -- and I'm not exaggerating; these were seared into my memory -- Elder Packer said, "I have a hard time with historians, because historians idolize the truth." I almost sunk into my chair. I mean, that statement just bowled me over.
Then he went on to say, quoting him as accurately as I can ...: "The truth is not uplifting. The truth destroys. And historians should tell only that part of the truth that is uplifting, and if it's religious history, that's faith-promoting." And he said, "Historians don't like doing that, and that's why I have a hard time with historians." And the conversation just went from there. He occasionally would give me the opportunity to respond to what he was saying, and I would talk about putting things in context, and that one could deal with a controversy or a sensitive area, or even a negative experience in the past, but put it into context. I said that it's a question of do you talk about this in a sentence, a paragraph, a page, or do you just have a footnote reference to it? And I said, "That's a decision that each individual historian will make, but," I said, "I cannot agree with the idea that I should conceal this evidence." And he just shook his head, and he said, "You're wrong," ... and he went back to what he had started with to begin with. ...
| || Boyd K. Packer Reportedly Behind the Discontinuance of Certain Lamanite-Focused LDS Church Programs |
Wednesday, Nov 4, 2009, at 07:26 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: BOYD K. PACKER -Link To MC Article-
| ↑ |
| From reliable Utah sources comes the following:
--Boyd K. Packer Was Reportedly Responsible for Killing the Lamanite Program at Brigham Young University--
As a result, while there was once a significant "coterie" of American Indians at BYU, that is no longer the case, as the university's "special Lamanite education program" has been discontinued, allegedly per the directive of Packer.
--Boyd K. Packer Was Reportedly Instrumental in the Mormon Move to Deep-Six Separate North American Missions to the Lamanites--
This program's cessation is said to have included discontinuing the separate mission for Native Americans that the Mormon Church had been operating in Oklahoma. Packer is reported to have been of the opinion that the Indians of Oklahoma are "Asiatic" in origin, not descendants "at all" of Lehi (otherwise referred to as "Lehites").
Coupled with the shutting down of the Oklahoma mission to North American Indians have been reports of historically poor response on the part of said Native populations to North American Indian-specific Mormon proselytizing efforts.
In the face of these disappointing results, the Mormon Church is said to have de-emphasized specialized recruitment of North American Indians (opting, instead, to make their conversion part of its general proselytizing program).
The story was relayed to me of a young Mormon Native American Indian who, in the wake of these LDS Church about-faces on the Lamanites, now felt that his personal, unique identity had been stripped from him, like a rug being pulled out from beneath his feet. He lamented that he no longer knew who he was, as the Mormon Church which had once so strongly emphasized his proud Lamanite heritage was now in essence denying it.
--Giving Up on North American Indians and Turning Southward--
In the wake of reportedly poor proselytizing results among non-"Lehite" North American Indians, the Mormon Church is said to have decided to target its recruitment efforts toward Indian populations residing in Central and South America, where missionizing results are described as being "booming."
With regard to retention rates among Indian converts in Central and South America, overall statistics were not mentioned; however, an example was provided involving members of what was described as a particularly primitive Brazilian tribe ("right out the Stone Age," as it was put), who were said to have been baptized into Mormonism but who could not be convinced to wear the LDS temple garment with any degree of dependability. It was reported to be "incredibly difficult" for them to adapt to Mormon temple garment-wearing practices in the hot jungle climate of their ancestral home, where these tribespeople had historically been accustomed to wearing nothing.
--Boyd K. Packer's Relationship with the Lamanites--
While former LDS president Spencer W. Kimball was well-known and appreciated among faithful Mormons as being this generation's so-called "prophet to the Lamanites," it appears that Packer has not sought the same appelation.
Perhaps a bigger question is, "Has he earned it?"
If what has been claimed is accurate, who knows if he would even want--much less deserve--such a reputation?
Perhaps that is best answered by the Great Spirit, not the Holy Ghost. :)
| || Boyd K. Packer Says: "The World Is Not Going To Come To An End." |
Monday, Jul 26, 2010, at 07:49 AM
Original Author(s): Elder Berry
Topic: BOYD K. PACKER -Link To MC Article-
| ↑ |
It is a marvelous time to be alive. The world is not going to come to an end. You are going to have time to stand, as I stand now, talking about your children and your grandchildren and your great-grandchildren.
But from the last General Conference, he isn't standing anymore so it might be.
"Some things that are true are not very useful."
-Boyd K. Packer
"It seems to me a fundamental dishonesty and a fundamental treachery to intellectual integrity to hold a belief because you think it's useful and not because you think it's true."
I just liked the opposite views of these two men, and thought I'd share it.
| Sometimes there are nights where I wake drenched in sweat, heart pounding, horrified by the dreams that had seconds before been playing out in my mind. These are the nights where I relive my days in high school. These are the nights where I relive the shame, and the embarrassment, I felt over not speaking out–over not standing up for another when they most desperately needed it.
Too many times to count I witnessed those who were brave enough to have come out in high school, or those who simply didn’t seem to fit the mold of their heteronormative gender expectations, be mocked, bullied, and outcast. Oh how badly I wanted to speak up! And oh the shame I felt for staying silent out of cowardice and fear of my big gay secret being found out. I stayed silent. I didn’t stand up to the bullies.
I am silent no longer.
And it is this determination to speak out and stand up to the bullies that drives me to address the talk given by LDS apostle Boyd K. Packer given at general conference this weekend. In his talk Packer made statements that “unnatural” same sex attractions can, and should, be overcome. He spoke of those who support marriage equality through their votes at the ballot box being akin to those who would vote against the existence of gravity.
I have no interest in arguing the absurdity of such things with the leaders of the LDS church. These are smart, accomplished, and for the most part well educated men who know better. No, I do not speak out and respond to argue their beliefs because surely they have the right to believe whatever they please, however disturbing and absurd they may be.
No, I speak out because I know that somewhere in some LDS family room or chapel pew, there sits a little boy or little girl who was just like me. A little one who desires nothing more than to be “worthy” and to have the approval of their church and of their family. I know that somewhere there is a child who, just like a younger me, quivers in fear of eternal damnation and fear of disappointing the family and the church culture they have been raised in because they are gay.
It is for these little ones that I refuse to stay silent.
The message delivered from the LDS pulpit continues to be a message of false hope, of misery, and of death for our LGBT children. LGBT youth are FOUR TIMES more likely to attempt suicide than their peers and they make up somewhere between twenty and forty percent of the homeless youth population–despite making up less than ten percent of the population of youth as a whole.
For twenty years I listened to the message of self loathing preached from LDS authorities. For twenty years I believed in their false hope that I could pray and fast and serve away my sexual orientation and God would then reward me with “righteous” heterosexual desires.
When the change never came, the blame became even more internalized, and I lost hope. But after a thankfully failed attempt to end the misery of this life, I finally found the true peace of my divine identity. I finally realized that all of those years I didn’t change because I didn’t need to. I was the way God intended me to be.
I began speaking out against the message of death that is killing our brothers, sisters, and friends. I began to work fight youth homelessness, youth suicide, and LGBT discrimination in housing and employment. I found new role models beyond the old men in the LDS hierarchy: like Reed Cowan who spends his time and efforts helping others in memory of his son, Dustin Lance Black who brought to life Harvey Milk’s message of hope and shared it with millions of LGBT persons who desperately need it, and hundreds and thousands of other activists fighting for change that is so desperately needed.
If this message should reach one of those precious souls who is somehow struggling and fighting that internal fight know this: there is hope. You are exactly the beautiful creature you were created and intended to be. There is love in this world beyond the message of death–find it.
And if this message becomes nothing more than a prayer in my heart, may the universe take it and share my love, and my hope, to those who in some way or another find themselves “in the thick of things”.
I stand confident of two things:
First, that the blood of the innocents drips from the hands of those who strangle the life and the hope out of them through their bully pulpit.
Second, that in the end I can stand upright and guilt free along side those who worked to make this world a better and safer place for everyone while others will hang their head in shame and weep for the hurt they inflicted on others in the name of self righteous piety.
“I know that you can't live on hope alone, but without it, life is not worth living.”
| I know a lot of people that follow my rantings expected a great big fat "Do anatomically impossible things to yourself Boyd K."
But in reality I can hardly be bothered. It would kind of be like saying to a dead carp at the botton of the pond, "drown you dirty sucker, drown." Packer is all but dead, propped up ala Weekend At Bernie's. Too weak to stand, too gone to form thoughts of any worth, he's just a moribund old man who has to be given some kind of a nod out of deference for the fact that he's outlived a few of his peers. He will soon be gone and the world will be free of yet another bigoted mormon.
One by one they will all pass away and as each one passes the world slowly becomes a better place.
My energy is better invested in the beautiful members of a corridor family who are trying with all of their might to keep a place in their hearts for their son who is gay. They love him and they want him but no one, no one, has told them how to keep him; how to talk to him, how to reach out to him, how to love him inspite of their beliefs. I have been so moved by this family that I can no longer preoccupy myself with the last dying gasps of a bigoted old man whose heart is rotten and done.
One of the most beautiful things I have ever seen in my life is this great big mormon family with all these kids all trying so hard to circle their wagons around their precious son and brother and make sure that he knows that they don't want to lose him. I sometimes wonder if he has any idea how lucky he is.
I sometimes wonder if he has any idea how lucky he is.
I have taken a different path now. By the natural processes of life the old will die and I'm no longer concerned with them. What I see is this big mormon family that is not willing for even a moment to let go of their precious precious son just because he's gay. They are what's new, they are what's real, they are where my time is best invested.
I'm no hero. I'm an activist who has to keep modulating his approach in order to stay viable and relevant. I would really rather put this whole mormon thing to rest and be done with it, finally, but these boys are fragile and someone has to look out for them. I remember how much it hurt. I can't stand the thoughts of someone hurting that much...
| As I thought might happen, the text version of Elder Packer’s controversial talk from conference was changed from the spoken version. There are two (in my view) very important changes made to the text at the most controversial passage of the talk. I want to discuss what the changes mean, whether you think they went too far or not far enough, and any other thoughts you might have about the changes.
Here are the two versions of the talk:
The version spoken in conference and transcribed by a random John at Mormon Mentality:
We teach the standard of moral conduct that will protect us from Satan’s many substitutes and counterfeits for marriage. We must understand that any persuasion to enter into any relationship that is not in harmony with the principles of the gospel must be wrong. From The Book of Mormon we learn that wickedness never was happiness. Some suppose that they were pre-set, and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn tendencies toward the impure and unnatural. Not so. Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone? Remember, he is our Father.
The text version on LDS.org today:
Paul promised, “God will not suffer you to be tempted above what ye are able, but will, with the temptation, also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (paraphrased I Cor 10:13)
You can if you will, break the habits, and conquer the addiction, and come away from that which is not worthy of any member of the Church. As Alma cautioned, we must watch and pray continually. Isaiah warned of them that call evil good and good evil. That put darkness for light and light for darkness. That put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.
We teach a standard of moral conduct that will protect us from Satan’s many substitutes or counterfeits for marriage. We must understand that any persuasion to enter into any relationship that is not in harmony with the principles of the gospel must be wrong. From the Book of Mormon we learn that “wickedness never was happiness.”
I haven’t compared the other parts of the talk yet, so there may be more changes, but this is the most controversial passage.
Some suppose that they were preset and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn temptations toward the impure and unnatural. Not so! Remember, God is our Heavenly Father.
Paul promised that “God . . . will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”14 You can, if you will, break the habits and conquer an addiction and come away from that which is not worthy of any member of the Church. As Alma cautioned, we must “watch and pray continually.”
Isaiah warned, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”
What do the changes mean? To me, the change from the word “tendencies” to the word “temptations” is highly significant. It reflects the fact that the Church is not comfortable with saying that some “tendencies” are not “preset.” This is an important change to the original version that ought to be celebrated.
Second, the rhetorical question “Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone?” was simply deleted. This is also important, since that question is highly suspect as a rhetorical device. It gives rise to all kinds of further questions which are not relevant to the subject of the talk, and not easily answerable.
Overall, I’m grateful for the changes, as I see them reaffirming the distinction the Church has drawn between attraction and behavior. It is not sinful to have sexual attractions, only to have sexual relationships outside of marriage. One could even read the changes as bringing the talk closer to being completely about pornography and taking the issue of homosexuality completely out of it.
How do you read these changes?
| || Understanding The Psychology Of Packer's Hateful Remarks Re Gays |
Monday, Oct 11, 2010, at 08:14 AM
Original Author(s): Thedocumentor
Topic: BOYD K. PACKER -Link To MC Article-
| ↑ |
| Here is an educatred guess about the psychology of Boyd Packer's infamous remarks recently about gays. My POV is that of a never-Morg who's got a background in the behavioral sciences and who reads a lot in that field.
I suspect that Packer might be one of those people who have difficulty dealing with ambiguity and uncertainty. There are lots of such folks, and intolerance of ambiguity or uncertainty is definitely not an aberrant or abnormal condition, and ttbomk is not strongly associated with education or any other demographic characteristic. In fact, it's quite common.
If you know what to listen for, tt's easy to hear this quality. For example, listen carefully to the ravings of fundy "pastors" on "Kristian radio". You will hear a constant stream of either/or statements--"if it isn't X, then it must be Y"--with no admission of uncertainty or ignorance of "god's will". Similarly, political extremists and demagogues do it (probably because such dismissal of uncertainty may appeal to followers of demagogues.) At one point, some years ago, there was even a standard psychological instrument (paper-and-pencil test) for measuring ambiguity.
Moreover, Catholic theology, for example, recognizes the sin of ambiguity intolerance. In Catholicism, it's called Manicheanism. (I hate to appear to be praising the Catholic church, which obviously has its own set of problems. And I am certainly not a Catholic.)
Not all religions show such ambiguity intolerance. It's similarly easy to hear, among the more educated and mature and confident members of almost any mainstream denom, statements admitting that on this or that puzzling theological question, "we just don't know."
Mormon "theology" is a ridiculous bunch of conflicting assertions, even more ridiculous than, say, Christian or Catholic theology, with of course no external evidencle supporting them. Boyd is obviously someone who's swallowed Morg theology whole. Folks like that believe with all their heart (or more accurately, all their gut) that , god does only good things; thus, to say that god created gay people that way (as, for example, the Catholic church all but admits) is ridiculous. Boyd clearly is unable to say "it's unclear, we just don't know." To make such an admission is to open yourself up to all sorts of doubt and discussion of things; once you allow the uneducated masses (i.e., Mormons, in the eyes of the leadership) to start thinking in that way, you lose control ofthem.
I'm aware of Boyd's history of making ridiculous statements, and I suspect that a look back at his more absurd statements with this idea in mind would show quite a bit of ambiguity intolerance.
I hope he becomes President of the church. He's a very authoritarian guy, so will be a big embarrassment to the church, and the nature of organizational behavior means that as top dog no one will dare criticize him for his remarks; thus, they will become increasingly nutty, and none of the folks on the level just below will be so foolish as to point out a problem with anything he says. When folks like Packer become top dog in any organization, the folks at the next level down usually recognize how dangerous it can be to dissent or disagree from what the top guy says.
| || What I Find Particularly Offensive About Packer's Talk Is That Children Had To Hear It |
Tuesday, Oct 12, 2010, at 07:53 AM
Original Author(s): Athiestandhappy
Topic: BOYD K. PACKER -Link To MC Article-
| ↑ |
| Usually I only have a few close friends, but sometimes look around FB wondering if I want to add any old friends, and to find out what they are doing, and compare our lives to see if I am still an alien. I found a young man who was a boy on our school bus route, whose parents were on my paper route, who is now a gay activist. Who knew? In HS one student that everyone knew of was out, but I would never have known about him, because he was in grade school. He seems to have turned out well, even though he grew up with some ridicule or bullying for other reasons. His parents are very nice people, but what if he had been LD$? I thought, what if the little boy I knew had heard this talk?
This sentence really upset me:
“For those who truly desire it, there is a way back. Repentance is like unto a detergent. Even ground-in stains of sin will come out.”
Previous to this quote he told the story of voting on the gender of a kitten, and between the two there were no overt references to pornography, but directly afterwards he did mention it. After all the inferences, and allusions in this talk, I believe this quote can be taken both ways, but most definitely as a reference to homosexuality. Especially because it follows the kitten story, and statements about “voting to change laws that would legalize immorality” , and the kitten story follows the “inborn tendencies” statement. In his mind, gawd made everyone perfect, and anything contrary is sin, and our choice, like voting on our gender - it will not change it. The story can also work for any black and white thinking analogy, but who can ignore the fact that the story is about gender? Gender and orientation are the same to him, while to me it seems there is an entire spectrum for orientation in society.
As it applies to pornography, I understand the strong, vivid metaphor, but for a child or teenager watching conference, who already may feel ostracized, criticized, inferior, imperfect, or sinful for being fundamentally who they are, this is a vile statement. I cannot imagine these children feeling that what they feel is part of them, and who they are, is seen as a ground in stain that must be purged. To me this is powerful language that could haunt someone forever.
I can only mildly relate, because LD$ Inc. did not accept me for who I am. I received a lot of bullying in my life, because I have a rare personality type, and health issues, so I am different in a culture that wants conformity. TSCC made me feel my introversion was not accepted, did not appreciate my analysis, insight or intellect, and only appreciated one role for women as baby factories, made discriminatory statements, and denied health issues that I have had for decades - the struggle with them defines every day of my life, has ruined my education, etc., and to have them minimize or outright deny it exists, even with doctor’s letters, is extremely cruel, and hurtful to me. These things are not my choice; they are who I am. I think many members have felt a very small part of what gay, black, and female members have felt, and could empathize if they really thought about it. Former members can better understand.
I only know what it is like to have them crush my individuality, deny my feelings or right to them, and rewrite the history of my painful life to suit themselves.
This is as far as I can relate, but I am really upset for everyone, but especially for the children.
Whenever they say the gospel is like a stone rolling forth, I say, sure, and they are crushing people along the way. TSCC is a destructive force.
"Latter-day Saints are also taught to love one another and to frankly forgive offenses. Many members have been offended by some aspect of the Church and have fallen into inactivity."
Correct! It was some aspect of the church. (some of the following could be grouped off into subcategories and are redundant but I am just in rapid fire mode here)
"'That attitude is somewhat like a man being hit by a club,' he said. 'Offended, he takes up a club and beats himself over the head all the days of his life. How foolish! How sad! That kind of revenge is self-inflicting. If you have been offended, forgive, forget it and leave it alone.'"
I am offended.
The aspect of the church that speaks of Unconditional Love based solely on conditions.
The aspect of the church that causes infinite self doubt and depression for you never know what your 'all you can do' actually is.
The aspect of the church that destroys marital intimacy by throwing out a million rules so that you and your partner are each other's personal watchdog on rule keeping, incessantly carping about what you both need to be doing better, as opposed to being open to one another and growing together for fear of what the other will think and how they will weaponize the rules on you that you aren't perfectly keeping. (long run on sentence..sorry.)
The aspect of the church that forces you to destroy your uniqueness and authenticity and "pray, pay, and obey" your way into a vanilla and root-beer cookie cutter mold that nobody with a pulse can maintain.
The aspect of the church that projects the 'perfect' image that is impossible to attain so you drive yourself mad striving to reach something you will never be able to.
The aspect of the church that makes your spouse look down on you for not being in a 'high / chic' church status, "He must be doing something wrong...he isn't a (fill in hierarchy position of choice blank)..."
The aspect of the church that makes each spouse fill the role of Jesus Christ to each other/ (Satan? Depending on how you look at the 'war in heaven) by forcing through anger, guilt, weaponization of sex, or passive aggressive comments the need to follow the every word and rule that comes from the prophets mouth...or suffer the consequences. (FYI, you'll NEVER measure up...Good luck.)
The aspect of the church that cannot, at all costs, look at itself in the mirror, the church that has changed itself, revised itself, or just blatantly ignored itself in hopes that no one reads it or discovers it. Then plays the victim and claims it's own truth is 'anti'.
The aspect of the church that does all it can to maintain tax free exemption at all costs, yet cross the line into political action committee. It gets it's cake and eats it to...why can't I?
The aspect of the church that does it's best to force people, whether you are a member or not, to change their sexual behaviors over approximately 8 biblical verses or feel 'Godly' sorrow/wrath by being told you are burning in hell or just 'damned to a telestial sphere' because you are happy with your lifestyle.
The aspect of the church founded by alpha males and now morphed into beyond beta male status...then getting upset with the members when they follow through with the beta male teachings and don't have the courage to get married young.
The aspect of the church that told members to do group activities on dates for it is "safer" just to then getting mad when they complied and spinning to the complete 180 degree opposite and telling them to "PAIR OFF!".
The aspect of the church that speaks of 'secret combinations' yet being the least transparent to the public in terms of 'sacred combinations'.
The aspect of the church that hides information about it's 'restorer' out of embarrassment and contradictions.
The aspect of the church that knows women held the priesthood in the original founding with Joseph Smith, as well as blacks, but then morphed and changed into a patriarchal and racist institution and tries to hide or conveniently ignore it.
The aspect of the church that builds 4 billion dollar malls, has employees work it's TV station on Sundays, serves alcohol in various venues, and just is rife with hypocrisy.
| A few years ago, in a conference talk more known for "why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone?" Boyd K. Packer also said:
"Fifteen years ago, with the world in turmoil, the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles issued “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” the fifth proclamation in the history of the Church. It is a guide that members of the Church would do well to read and to follow."
When this talk was given, I remember thinking "What are the other proclamations?"
The Encyclopedia of Mormonism answered this question most of the way, naming the four previous proclamations. The link also contains the full text of two of them (the 1st, given in 1841, and the 4th, given in 1980). However, there were only excerpts from the 2nd, given in 1845, and 3rd, given in 1865, proclamations, and I was curious to see the full text. Finally, I tracked them down in the volume set Messages of the First Presidency.
The 2nd one is long and calls upon the leaders of the world to support the Saints, warning them of the second coming (which people then living were to have lived to see), declaring the American Indians to be of the house of Israel, and so forth. The 3rd one is basically a rebuke of Orson Pratt for crazy talk.
But here they all are online, surely?
No they are not ... significant deletions have been made from the 1845 one at least, as one can see by comparing the version here:
This charming bit is missing:
And now, O ye kings, rulers, and people of the Gentiles: hear ye the word of the Lord; for this commandment is for you. You are not only required to repent and obey the gospel in its fulness, and thus become members or citizens of the kingdom of God, but you are also hereby commanded, in the name of Jesus Christ, to put your silver and your gold, your ships and steam-vessels, your railroad trains and your horses, chariots, camels, mules, and litters, into active use, for the fulfillment of these purposes. For be it known unto you, that the only salvation which remains for the Gentiles, is for them to be identified in the same covenant, and to worship at the same altar with Israel. In short, they must come to the same standard. For, there shall be one Lord, and his name one, and He shall be king over all the earth.
This was from a talk given at the October 2010 Gen'l Conference. It has become a bit famous because BKP, during the actual talk, described the Proclamation as a "revelation," which was later edited out of the published version in the Ensign. Here is what BKP said from the pulpit (bold added for emphasis):
Fifteen years ago, with the world in turmoil, the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles issued “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” the fifth proclamation in the history of the Church. It qualifies according to the definition as a revelation and would do well that members of the church to read and follow it.
Now, here is the written version:
Fifteen years ago, with the world in turmoil, the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles issued “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” the fifth proclamation in the history of the Church. It is a guide that members of the Church would do well to read and to follow.
Of course, the talk is also famous for other parts being edited out that dealt with homosexuality.
| DW had never heard of the little factory talk, so i showed it to her. i know we've all liked to make fun of it, but i just wanted to point out a few more things I noticed.
1) "First, I want you to know this. I you are struggling with this temptation and perhaps you have not quite been able to resist, the Lord still loves you. It is not anything so wicked nor is it a transgression so great that the Lord would reject you because of it, but it can quickly lead to that kind of transgression." So, Packer is saying that there are sins serious enough that cause the Lord to stop loving you. Interesting.
2) It's been proven in many studies, that people develop virulent intense emotions against something when they share that trait or fear they have it. And thus you see that many of the worlds most vigorous anti homosexuals are secretly homosexual themself. I dont need to recall the number of people who have been caught in such a situation, its pretty easy to look up. It's clear that Packer is dealing with this, and thus his absolute fixation with homosexuality. However, I never realized how true that was, until I read a slip of the tongue that got by all his censors. Read this paragraph:
"Now a warning! I am hesitant to even mention it, for it is not pleasant. It must be labeled as major transgression. But I will speak plainly. There are some circumstances in which young men may be tempted to handle one another, to have contact with one another physically in unusual ways. Latter-day Saint young men are not to do this.
Sometimes this begins in a moment of idle foolishness, when boys are just playing around. But it is not foolishness. It is remarkably dangerous. Such practices, however tempting, are perversion. "
He tips his hand when he mentions how very tempting it is to fondle another boys genitals! As a heterosexual man, i've never found it however tempting at all. it just doesnt cross my mind. but apparently to elder packer, it is very tempting indeed, he just avoids it because it is perversion. very telling freudian slip in my opinion.
3) this talk really sucks.
| Some excerpts from his article published in the 1964 Relief Society Magazine:
"A growing number of Indian boys and girls are accepting calls to serve on full-time missions. At the time of this writing there are more than thirty Indian missionaries laboring in the two Indian missions. An added number are serving in other missions throughout the world. The Muddy River Stake with a membership of fifty-five, has three missionaries in the field.
" If one were to visit the Pomo Indian Branch in the Santa Rosa Stake, the Omaha-Winnebago Branch in Nebraska, or the Cattaraugus Branch in New York, he would find capable Indian members serving as Relief Society presidents, Sunday School superintendents and branch leaders.
......"more than six thousand Indian boys and girls are attending special Seminary classes which are being conducted across the Nation from New York and North Carolina to California and Oregon.
....."but the work is only beginning. There is a great deal yet to be done, and all of us share in the responsibility. Brigham Young charged the membership of the Church in his day to press forward with the work of redeeming Indian Israel.
....."The work in behalf of our Lamanite brothers and sisters must go forward. They have waited long years for their restoration to the blessings of the gospel. The Lord has placed a direct responsibility upon the members of the Church to see that the great work of redemption does not falter. Every Latter-day Saint should be a friend and a champion of the Indian people. We must be certain that blessings are not withheld because of indifference or intolerance on our part. Our patient labor in behalf of Lehi's seed can help them to reclaim their inheritance in this land."
(From "For the Blessing of the Lamanites", Elder Boyd K Packer
| || Remember The Last Time (1977) That Apostle Boyd K. Packer Was Accused Of Legal Misconduct? Nothing Happened |
Friday, Feb 7, 2014, at 11:52 AM
Original Author(s): Anotherclosetatheist
Topic: BOYD K. PACKER -Link To MC Article-
| ↑ |
| In 1972, Idaho voted on the Equal Rights Amendment, whose wording was this:
The democratically elected officials of the State of Idaho voted to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment based on their personal morals and values and reasoning.
- Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
- Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
- Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.
On January 8 1977, Boyd K. Packer rolled into town, vomited an anti-ERA speech all over a small group. In the second link provided, he states that he carried the message from the First Presidency.
On February 8 1977, the elected officials of Idaho retracted their vote to ratify the ERA.
Because of this action and coordinated actions by partnered religious franchises, the ERA was defeated.
The below link is his speech, retained on LDS.org. It was given in the name of "THEY'RE TRYIN' TUH TAKE YER FREEDUMS!"
Mingled with scripture.
Packer was accused by local authorities that he had engaged in political lobbying without registering as a lobbyist.
He said that he never mentioned the legislation that was on the table to be voted on (5 years prior). Let me remind you of some of the body of his speech.
Yes, he absolutely spoke on behalf as an OFFICER OF THE CHURCH ABOUT OFFICIAL CHURCH POLITICAL POSITION, AND SPOKE IN PUBLIC TO PERSUADE PEOPLE ABOUT THE LEGISLATION.
- The invitation to me, AN OFFICER OF THE CHURCH, TO SPEAK IN THIS PUBLIC MEETING. came, I suppose, because THE CHURCH HAS TAKEN A POSITION WITH REFERENCE TO THE EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT.
- We cannot eliminate, through any pattern of legislation or regulation, the differences between men and women.
- Before any careful diagnosis of what causes this sickening problem, some, no doubt, will try to solve it through sweeping legislation.
- We [meaning all Mormons] claim the right as citizens to have opinions on these matters and to express them, and to stand in opposition to legislation that threatens the home and the family.
- Or to enact judiciously and wisely any needed legislation to correct particular circumstances.
But he didn't even have to appear in court because it was "moral" not "political."
Ben Ysursa, the Idaho chief deputy secretary of State, also Mormon, helped him avoid trial.
I admire Tom Philips' ambition and willingness to put himself out there for criticism. He's more brave than I am.
I say there is a 80% chance that nothing will come of it.
I generously give a 20% success rate because of a couple things:
The religion that Heber J. Grant started in the 1920's is now under a 21st-century criminal accusation.
- Joseph Smith was arrested for raising a religious militia and causing a raucous
- The church that Smith started was dissolved in 1887 on account of the religious practice of polygamy
Leaders of the church have been convicted of religiously-driven crimes before, and it is possible, though not probable, that it could happen again.
Many Christian religious banded together under one banner for the purpose of pushing a political agenda.
If you feel that you don't believe in Mormonism, but still believe in Jesus, you might want to take the next step.
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