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.

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About Joyce Anderson

Joyce is a mother, wife, sister, school teacher, Bulgarian speaker, conservative, lover of good music, social media junky and a two time culinary arts Grand Champion bread baker. She and the family reside in a remote mountain community where great discoveries have been made. When not changing the world, she enjoys the occasional bowl of chips and salsa. She can be found at: http://pinterest.com/TheAtomicMom

16 thoughts on “Funeral Services for Elder Packer Announced

  1. By posting the video, it seems that the Church has not obeyed Elder Packer’s wishes. He was very specific and direct about how he wanted his funeral conducted. I hope they give him respect by honoring his instructions during the actual funeral. As he said:

    “Bishops should not yield the arrangement of meetings to members. They should not yield the arrangement for funerals or missionary farewells to families. It is not the proper order of things for members or families to expect to decide who will speak and for how long. Suggestions are in order, of course, but the bishop should not turn the meeting over to them. We are worried about the drift that is occurring in our meetings.

    Funerals could and should be the most spiritually impressive. They are becoming informal family reunions in front of ward members. Often the Spirit is repulsed by humorous experiences or jokes when the time could be devoted to teaching the things of the Spirit, even the sacred things.

    When the family insists that several family members speak in a funeral, we hear about the deceased instead of about the Atonement, the Resurrection, and the comforting promises revealed in the scriptures. Now it’s all right’s all right to have a family member speak at a funeral, but if they do, their remarks should be in keeping with the spirit of the meeting.

    I have told my Brethren in that day when my funeral is held, if any of them who speak talk about me, I will raise up and correct them. The gospel is to be preached. I know of no meeting where the congregation is in a better state of readiness to receive revelation and inspiration from a speaker than they are at a funeral. This privilege is being taken away from us because we don’t understand the order of things–the unwritten order of things–that relates to the administration of the Church and the reception of the Spirit.”

  2. A video is not a funeral. It is voluntary to look at and is not imposed upon anyone. I fail to see how this 5 minute (or less) video that spends significant time discussing the role of an apostle detracts from The Gospel message. It also shares a strong message of the importance of the family unit.

    However, if proverbial mountains must be built, one may as well start here. There will always be those that seek to undermine the ministry of Elder Packer in any way that they can.

  3. I would love to see Elder Packer rise up at his funeral if it got too personal for his tastes. That would be awesome.

  4. Sean, I’m not sure what your point in your comment was other than to be argumentative and confrontational. You have been warned, go other places to troll and pick fights.

    I’m sure Pres. Packer’s funeral will be right I line with current church policy and procedure. This video is not a funeral, rather a look into his life. He was a beloved apostle of the Lord with many talents. We should know what those are.

  5. Sean,

    You seem to be confusing his funeral wishes with how to guide bloggers or other remembrances that people choose to post. These are two separate things. Elder Packer’s statement above was clearly regarding his funeral. So I am not sure why you would think that anyone had misinterpreted your meaning when you wrote, “By posting the video, it seems that the Church has not obeyed Elder Packer’s wishes.” The video is not the funeral. It was a concise media release that discusses the role of an Apostle and the importance of family.

    Again, it seems like you are taking an antagonistic role and trying to conflate two separate events.

    If you were trying to simply remind us of Elder Packer’s counsel regarding funerals (which is entirely appropriate), then you may have been better served by posting something along the lines of:

    ‘I appreciate the Church releasing a short video to help those that may not be familiar with Elder Packer to get to know a little more about him and his calling as an Apostle. As we approach his actual funeral, it may be worthwhile to remember the counsel that he gave regarding his own funeral.’

    Or something along those lines. However, posting that the Church was not obeying his wishes regarding his funeral preemptively does appear argumentative, with no grand misinterpretation required.

  6. Sean,

    I agree with Mike’s comment of 11:27. This is not church, it is a blog. We will post what we want here, as we are free to do. The Church does not “guide” bloggers in what to say or publish.

    You stated in your second comment, “…if I may point out that Elder Packer was trying to change “current church policy and procedure” when he gave his talk.” That’s not how policy is changed in our church. Policy changes go thru the council system, one man does not act on his own to change things. As Elder Packer was a member of the Quorum of the 12,*if* they were considering some sort of policy change for funerals, it would have gone thru his quorum before it would have been announced over the pulpit. So no, he was not trying to change policy, but rather teach correct principles, as was his job as an Apostle.

    As Mike said, that video tribute was not a funeral, but a tribute. There is nothing wrong with it. I’m glad the Church publishes these types of videos. I think we forget the men who serve as the general authorities have lives and talents outside of speaking in Conference. I learned about Elder Packer via this video, and again, I’m thankful it was produced and published. You should also be aware that anything that comes from the Mormon Newsroom has been vetted and approved by the First Presidency and/or Quorum of the 12. So if it’s on their site, they’re ok with it.

    We’re not here to pick fights with people, but we will ask people to moderate their tone if necessary. Our blog, our rules, if we feel comments are being argumentative, or rude, we will choose not to publish them. Thanks for stopping by.

    Joyce Anderson
    Millennial Star Editor.

  7. I agree that it would be amazing for Elder Packer to rise up and correct anyone who dared share personal anecdotes at the funeral. A citation regarding source for Elder Packer’s comments about his funeral would be appreciated.

    I was reflecting the other day on a funeral for a young woman who had been shot by her boyfriend, the boyfriend having intended suicide and spent the night talking with the young lady. In the end, she ended up dead and he remained alive. I think it might have been an accident. A decision was made to open up the pulpit for comments from the young woman’s friends and family. One of the young men, overcome with the senseless nature of the young woman’s death, stopped talking. As his eyes filled with tears, he said the only word that he felt was appropriate, which was one of those four letter words that starts and ends with the same letters as the compound word “fire truck.”

    For many of those who attended that funeral, it may have been the only time they ever entered an LDS Church. I’m sure they heard words discussing the gospel and hope for resurrection and salvation. But if that had been all they’d heard, I think it would not have served as a catharsis for the huge tragedy this young woman’s death represented in their lives.

    That same pulpit is one from which Ezra Taft Benson gave his first sermon (as Church President) regarding reading the Book of Mormon, a pulpit behind which Dallin Oaks sat one memorable Sunday when the Sacrament bread wasn’t there (and we all waited until the bread was present before starting the meeting), a pulpit from which Elder David B. Haight testified of the great spiritual outpouring that occurred when the revelation was received regarding opening priesthood to all worthy men, and the pulpit from which Elder Packer had spoken, leading a stake conference which had no announced theme and at which speakers were called to the stand from the audience without any prior notice.

    My experience from recent funerals throughout the Church (e.g., not just from the particular pulpit for my current congregation) is that the program is arranged by the family and must be approved by the bishop. Typically the program consists of accounts of the life of the deceased, a discourse discussing the great hope we have of resurrection and salvation, as well as musical numbers that reflect the favorite songs or hymns of the deceased.

    I would argue that stripping Mormon funerals of any discussion of the deceased as a matter of policy would be inappropriate. And I’m happy to converse with Elder Packer on that topic at any time in the future as we may be able to converse on the topic.

  8. From Handbook 2: Section 18.6, which can be found online at LDS.org

    “18.6 Funerals and Other Services at a Time of Death:

    Church leaders and members seek to make the services associated with a person’s death a dignified, solemn, and spiritual experience for all who participate. These services are generally held under the direction of the bishop.

    Services for people who die vary greatly around the world according to religion, culture, tradition, and legal requirements. Even services for Church members vary in different areas of the world. This section sets forth general principles that leaders should follow in funerals or other services for deceased members, regardless of tradition or culture. It also provides guidelines for determining which local traditions associated with death and mourning are appropriate to participate in and which are not.”

    From Section 18.6.4, “Funerals provide an important opportunity to teach the gospel and testify of the plan of salvation. They also provide an opportunity to pay tribute to the deceased. However, such tributes should not dominate a funeral service. Having large numbers of people share tributes or memories can make a funeral too long and may be inappropriate for a Church service. If family members want an extended time to share such memories, they may consider doing so in a special family gathering, separate from the funeral service.”

    I have full faith that Elder Packer’s family, bishop, in addition to Pres. Monson, and the Quorum of the 12 will plan a lovely and dignified funeral service for Pres. Packer, which will allow the family the opportunity to show their love for their Husband-Father-Grandfather, share a bit of his life with the rest of us, and teach the gospel at the same time.

  9. I’m sure that, as a great teacher, Elder Packer would recognize the value life anecdotes can have in serving as parables of gospel truths. I expect his loved ones will strive to ensure that any anecdotes they might tell of Elder Packer’s life serve the purpose of teaching us more perfectly about the gospel and the Savior to whom Elder Packer dedicated his life.

  10. I agree with Joyce Anderson (July 6, 10:12 AM) that the purpose of Sean’s comment seems to be to needlessly stir up contention.

    I don’t think the Millennial Star should give space to such comments.

    Others have replied well to the substance of the comment. There are issues here worthy of discussion, but they should not be the subject of contention.

  11. Ironically, I have left instructions that I do not want a funeral, but a simple graveside service emphasizing the Plan of Salvation with no eulogy. And if the participants aren’t headed back to their cars within fifteen minutes, it took too long.

    Of course, I have every expectation that my wishes will be ignored. And perhaps rightly so.

  12. I suggested to my wife today that if I do not die suddenly but have some warning and time to plan, I should script my funeral. She assured me that she would ignore my script.

  13. Yep, Kent and Leo … because you will be dead, and I expect that you will not be pulling a “Fruma Sarah” on your family either.

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