Friday, October 8, 2010

The Worth of a Word - A Timely FYI

Love ya Elder Packer
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has changed the text of Boyd K. Packer’s sermon on morality, homosexuality and same-sex marriage. Packer’s sermon claimed that homosexuality was not born of inbred “tendencies.”  In the Church’s online text version of Packer’s talk, the word “tendencies” was changed to “temptations.”

During his original talk, Elder Packer spoke of homosexual tendencies saying, "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.”

Another change to Packer’s talk includes the omission of the entire sentence, “Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone?”

Also on Thursday night, the Church released a statement about the protest, saying:
“Of course, the Church recognizes the right of groups to voice their opinion in the public square. However, those familiar with the Church’s doctrine on the importance of marriage and family know it is based on principles of respect and love for all of God’s children. We have continually emphasized that there is no room in this discussion for hatred or mistreatment of anyone.”

UPDATE: Late Friday evening, Scott Trotter, LDS Church spokesman, released the following statement regarding the edits made in Elder Packer's talk:  “The Monday following every General Conference, each speaker has the opportunity to make any edits necessary to clarify differences between what was written and what was delivered or to clarify the speaker’sintent. President Packer has simply clarified his intent. As we have said repeatedly, the Church’s position on marriage and family is clear and consistent. It is based on respect and love for all of God’schildren.”

Though is is not uncommon for a talk to have edits between the time spoken and the time available in print, I think this is may cautiously be considered progress.  Elder Packer has taken some of the harshness out.  He talk mentioned that moral standards do not change, and they didn't.  But his wording did.  He could have easily let it be - I don't see him as one to cave in to public opinion.  The changes were made because it was the right thing to do.

Elder Packer has always been known as the champion of the working man, and this edit seems true to form.   

News 4 Utah Connection


  1. It could just be par for the course - regarding the edits. It happens all the time before it goes to print. I want to think it is a good sign. So thats what I am going to think, too.

  2. I am curious to understand your perspective on this. What exactly makes the new wording better than the old wording?

  3. Without arguing the merits of the change in wording, I think the most important thing to know is why Elder Packer changed them. I'd like to think he had a change of heart and felt badly for having said what he said. But, after growing up watching and listening to him, I suspect he did it reluctantly after pressure was applied. I think the Church may be mellowing on the subject, but I'm confident Elder Packer is not. He is an intolerant old dinosaur with a long track record of spitefulness to those who do not share his view of the world. Go back and read his words. They are full of condemnation for anyone who dares challenge his fixed determination of how the world is.

  4. I suppose I should not have been all excited, nor should I have purchased that rainbow velour exercise suit I saw on-line. I just so want things to get better and I will take any little sign. It’s true, editing happens all the time. But even eliminating one small phrase that could have been offensive might bring about more and more kindness out of everyone. Call me a sap and it won’t be the worst I have been called. I guess I choose to see the silver lining.

  5. I say, keep hoping, and wear the rainbow velour exercise suit if you want. lol :)

  6. Thanks for the Post. I think it's a good sign and a bad sign. I think Elder Packer made changes because he was in fear of public criticism, but the good is that the church is ever much more aware and considering it's members, especially those who sustain the brethren, and want to serve valiantly and the church wants to help us feel love and acceptance, and hopefully be able to combat sin and error more efficiently. Gay mannerisms and gay temptation are not the same, thus I have to believe that the intent of the talk is much more understanding and compassionate with the edits.

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  8. Should that really be "inbred tendencies?" I remember it being "inborn tendencies"....
    One way or another, I liked the content of the talk, whatever the wording.
    I'd like to share my story with you as well, should you be interested....

  9. Jeff in Colorado (jeffwcos at yahoo)October 18, 2010 at 9:48 AM


    I really appreciate all of your recent posts on the subject of Packer's talk. And, while I admire your good attitude, I'm struggling to have one myself.

    The problem I have with Packer's talk is that it tells me that maybe what the apostles speak from the pulpit actually is NOT the word of God. Based on the audio files in different languages, his talk was written prior to conference as he SPOKE it and then submitted to translators. What he said was actually what he meant and it represents his view that was already known from his "To the One" talk (which became an official church pamphlet for a long time).

    Given his history, I don't believe that he edited the talk. I believe it was forced on him. His words, even the edited ones, stand in stark contrast to the most recent statements from the Brethren on this subject (see Holland's "For God So Loveth His Children).

    Not only does Packer's message further confuse the church's position on the matter of homosexuality but it also leaves me floundering... trying to figure out WHAT from Gen Conf can actually be taken as scripture.

    Like "Jenny", this latest conference has left me deeply troubled and feeling very separated from the church.

    As for Packer outliving President Monson and becoming the next prophet... I don't know what Packer's version of the church might look like but I can say that there's a good chance that it doesn't have a place for me.

  10. When I commented before I would go by 54 yr old female/member, but it's just me karen.

    I had mentioned it before, but it bears repeating again here. There is not a member of the church on this planet that is perfect. . . . including the General Authorities. They never claim to be, and are not made perfect when they accept their callings. They also do not undergo personality changes when they are ordained. They all have areas where they feel they can improve. Now granted they most likely have mastered things in this life that I may never master, but they too, are still "working on it". Elder Packer has always been a strong personality, and that hasn't changed. Should it? Maybe, but that is not for me to worry about. I have enough about me to focus on. But the fact the some of the wording was changed in his talk was a very positive thing I think. Whether it was Elder Packer who decided to make the change because it came across different than intended, or because he realized that maybe he let himself speak instead of letting the Lord speak through him, or because the First Presidency asked him to reconsider it. . . . it was changed because the Lord wanted it changed. I think THAT is the important part.