Funeral Services for Elder Packer Announced

The Church has announced the funeral services for Elder Boyd K. Packer. The services will be held in the Tabernacle on Temple Square on Friday, July 10, 2015, at 11:00 a.m. MDT. The funeral will be open to the public ages 8 and older. No word on if this will be streamed online, but we will let you know when we find out that information.

The Church has also released a short video and life sketch with some of the highlights of Elder Packer’s life.

Zane Grey and Mormonism today

I recall as a kid, enjoying reading the Sackett series of western books by Louis L’Amour.. Joining the Church at 16, I turned much of my reading attention to LDS and ancient literature. Still, I retained a love for good western literature.

Over the years, I’d wanted to read “Riders of the Purple Sage” by Zane Grey (1912), curious at his take on Mormonism a century ago.  After all these years, I finally read it this past week, and wished to comment on it.

The story takes place in 1871 in southern Utah. A woman, Jane, has inherited her father’s wealthy ranch. She is LDS, loves her bishop, and is being pressed to marry one of the elders.  Meanwhile, rustlers are stealing large herds of cattle, including Jane’s herd.

We quickly see interesting twists in the book. Mormons are pretty much either evil or pressured to comply by the Mormon leadership, who are not above doing evil things They drive off Jane’s herds, work in conjunction with the rustlers, steal her prize horses, kidnap her adopted daughter, etc.

Meanwhile, the two leading Gentile men, Venter and Lassiter are justified in killing others. Jane falls for Lassiter, while Venter falls in love with a young woman that ran with the rustlers.  All four seem to be redeemed by their rejection of rustler and Mormon, alike.

The bishop and elder end up being powerful beings that have sweet smiles, but black hearts. It appears all Mormon leaders are of the same ilk, deserving to be gunned down by Lassiter.

It was a very interesting read. A good book, a great Western. That said, it made Mormonism seem like the Mountain Meadows Massacre was a daily occurrence.  For Jane to first mentally, and then physically run from Mormonism and the Church leaders is a key breakthrough Grey wishes for us to cheer for in his heroine.

A century later, the Church is very different than the 1870s Mormonism that Grey envisions. Yet there are still those who see the LDS as a dangerous group, lorded over by dangerous men.
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A Lenten Personal Progress – Days 39 – 46

value-faithThis is the final week of this lenten personal progress journey.

In the United States today we are celebrating Independence Day, the day when we declared to Britain that we were free, no longer under subjugation to her rule. This was a step that had been considered at length by educated and wealthy individuals, who knew that they risked the loss of all and death for this declaration of freedom.

As we embrace the gospel of Christ, there may be those who would claim we have no such power, to free ourselves from the habits and rule of those around us who don’t agree with Jesus Christ and those things He asks us to do.

To go directly to a particular day, click on one of the following links:
Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7 | Day 8 | Day 9 | Day 10 |
Day 11 | Day 12 | Day 13 | Day 14 | Day 15 | Day 16 | Day 17 |
Day 18 | Day 19 | Day 20 | Day 21 | Day 22 | Day 23 | Day 24 |
Day 25 | Day 26 | Day 27 | Day 28 | Day 29 | Day 30 | Day 31 |
Day 32 | Day 33 | Day 34 | Day 35 | Day 36 | Day 37 | Day 38 |
Day 39 | Day 40 | Day 41 | Day 42 | Day 43 | Day 44 | Day 45 | Day 46 | Go to Top
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President Boyd K. Packer Passes Away at 90

The Church announced today that President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles passed away peacefully in his home.

I will sorely miss President Packer’s bold witness of Jesus Christ, and of the divinely inspired nature of the family.

I have heard it said, that we should especially pay attention to the prophetic witness of Apostles and Prophets at three points in their ministry. 1) At the start of their ministry. 2) When something is repeatedly frequently throughout their ministry. 3) At the end of their ministry. Thus, it is fitting that in his final general conference talk, President Packer hearkened back to what has been a repeated theme of his ministry. Indeed, President Packer has at least four times over the pulpit used these exact same or substantially similar words. I believe that these words will stand as a fitting tribute to a man who dedicated his life to serving Christ, his church, and the divine institution of the family:

“Over the years I have frequently taught an important principle: the end of all activity in the Church is to see that a man and a woman with their children are happy at home, sealed together for time and for all eternity.”

I will also always remember President Packer’s profound testimony of the savior which he bore frequently, but perhaps never with greater power than this past conference.

I bear witness that Jesus is the Christ and the Son of the living God. He stands at the head of the Church. Through His Atonement and the power of the priesthood, families which are begun in mortality can be together through the eternities. The Atonement, which can reclaim each one of us, bears no scars. That means that no matter what we have done or where we have been or how something happened, if we truly repent, He has promised that He would atone. And when He atoned, that settled that. There are so many of us who are thrashing around, as it were, with feelings of guilt, not knowing quite how to escape. You escape by accepting the Atonement of Christ, and all that was heartache can turn to beauty and love and eternity.

I am so grateful for the blessings of the Lord Jesus Christ, for the power of procreation, for the power of redemption, for the Atonement—the Atonement which can wash clean every stain no matter how difficult or how long or how many times repeated. The Atonement can put you free again to move forward, cleanly and worthily, to pursue that path that you have chosen in life.

I bear witness that God lives, that Jesus is the Christ, that the Atonement is not a general thing that is for the whole Church. The Atonement is individual, and if you have something that is bothering you—sometimes so long ago you can hardly remember it—put the Atonement to work. It will clean it up, and you, as does He, will remember your sins no more. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Dealing With Hurt

Jesus Christ (German steel engraving) detail
The account below is a composite of the stories of two individuals, male & female, disfellowshipped & excommunicated, currently under discipline & long reconciled to the Church. They are known to the M* editors, but at least one has requested their name be withheld.

The authors hope that their response to the hurt they endured during their respective times of distance from the body of the Church might inform those who feel estranged from the Church over the matter of same gender marriage. Continue reading