I always enjoy Elder Packer's "talks*," not only because he's almost a homie--he got his start as a seminary** teacher at my my high school's nearest rival, Box Elder High in Brigham City, UT--but also because he's God's point man on social issues. He sits down with the Lord, and his son, Jesus Christ, regularly, and they shoot the breeze about things like ladies rights, bad touching, and the importance of lying. Then, at the next Church conference, Elder Packer tells us what God had to say.
Apparently, God went on a rant about homosexualism the last time they got together, because that was the subject of Elder Packer's conference talk last weekend. You can watch or read it at Pam's place, but essentially he said: homosexualism is a choice; it can be cured; and it's a wickedness that shouldn't be legal.
Inasmuch as the blogs are all abuzz with Elder Packer's talk, I thought it might be interesting to go back and provide a few quotes of things he said in other talks. It'll help you get a full measure of one of the Church's most powerful Apostles--he's next in line to become the Prophet if he outlives the current one.
Elder Packer on Miscegenation:
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.Elder Packer on Women:
I am for protecting the rights of a woman to be a woman, a feminine, female woman; a wife and a mother.
--Thoughts on the Equal Rights Amendment
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.Elder Packer on The Study of History:
--Speech to All-Church Coordinating Council
I have a hard time with historians, because historians idolize the truth. 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. Historians don't like doing that, and that's why I have a hard time with historians.
--to historian D. Michael Quinn (who was later excommunicated for writing heretical history)
Some things that are true are not very useful.* Mormon sermons are called "talks."
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.
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.
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.
--at the 5th Annual Church Educational System Religious Educators' Symposium
** All Mormon teens are expected to attend seminary classes. They are held during school hours in Utah and before school everywhere else.
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