President Boyd K. Packer served as an apostle for the LDS church for longer than 60 percent of the population has been alive. What a bold and passionate teacher he was. As the saddening news of his passing makes headlines across the globe, I choose to emphasize what he taught us and how we can be better because of his life and service.
1. The absolute importance of moral cleanliness
As a young man in the church I still remember being taught that lesson about staying morally clean. Boyd K. Packer’s pamphlet To Young Men Only taught about keeping thoughts clean, waiting to use the power to create until marriage and to learn self control. In his last talk given in General Conference he said:
“The only legitimate, authorized expression of the powers of procreation is between husband and wife, a man and a woman, who have been legally and lawfully married.”
2. To watch out for Spiritual Crocodiles
I absolutely love how President Packer teaches so plainly through his experiences that even a child could understand and learn. He especially focused on the youth and how Satan works so hard on them. Crocodiles aren’t so easily seen but they’re surely in the muddy waters than scatter Africa just like Satan isn’t so obviously noticed if we aren’t being watchful.
3. The Holy Temple is our pillar of safety
He loved the temple so much that he wrote a pamphlet on it called Preparing to enter The Holy Temple. Many Temple Preparation classes use its teachings to plainly tell of what to expect in the temple. His emphasis on the youth and young people of the church is ever apparent in what he chose to teach. In one of his talks he rejoices, “I envision a sealing room and an altar with a young couple kneeling there. This sacred temple ordinance is much more than a wedding, for this marriage can be sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise.”
4. Jesus Christ is the source for our hope
Throughout his 45 years as apostle President Packer testified of Christ countless times. He traveled the world declaring that Jesus Christ is the son of God, he spoke plainly proclaiming that Jesus is our Savior and the only way we can return to Heavenly Father.
5. The Atonement of Jesus Christ can make us clean
Only through Jesus Christ can we repent and our sins washed away. He said “Those who will repent and forsake sin will find that His merciful arm is outstretched still. Those who listen to and heed His words and the words of His chosen servants will find peace and understanding even in the midst of great heartache and sorrow.”
6. Doing Missionary Work is how we feed His sheep
In Packer’s “Feed my Sheep” he teaches that there are people spiritually starving and we are the ones responsible to feed them. He taught of the power of a few to make a change, “The few in Kirtland are now millions of ordinary Latter-day Saints across the world. They speak a multitude of languages but unite in faith and understanding through the language of the Spirit.”
7. Stand up for what you believe in
Marriage between a Man and a Woman is ordained of God. He spoke statements that were unpopular and people even criticized him for. He spoke out against sin that’s becoming more and more accepted. He spoke out against same-sex marriage. He stood up for family and morality.
8. The Plan is truly Happy
The Plan of Happiness was his last talk at General Conferenced before he passed. I don’t think this was an accident. He knew his time was short and he wanted all of us to know that he had a sure knowledge that this life is a stepping stone into the eternities with our families. Speaking his last words in conference he happily said of his wife, “Toward the end of our mortal days together, I am grateful for each moment I am with her side by side and for the promise the Lord has given that there will be no end.”
President Boyd K. Packer was not a perfect man, but I have no doubt that he was called of God to teach us and be an example of Christ like attributes, of morality, of love and families, and of Jesus Christ as our Savior.