8 doctrinal teachings and life lessons shared at President Packer’s funeral

President Boyd K. Packer's casket is wheeled out of the LDS Conference Center following the funeral service.

President Boyd K. Packer’s casket is wheeled out of the Tabernacle at Temple Square following the funeral service.

The funeral service for LDS apostle Boyd K. Packer, president of the Quorum of the Twelve, was held at the Tabernacle on Temple Square on Friday morning.

Packer passed away July 3 in his home of causes incident to age. Read more about his life here.

“Boyd Kenneth Packer knew the Lord, and the Lord knew him,” said President Thomas S. Monson, president of the LDS Church, in the funeral service.

In a BYU devotional address, President Packer said he didn’t want his funeral service to be about him, but instead to re-emphasize the doctrines of the Church.

“In that day,” Packer said, “if any of (the Brethren) who speak talk about me, I will raise up and correct them. The gospel is to be preached.”

President Packer’s son, Allan Packer, told The Salt Lake Tribune earlier this week that he was unsure if he would stick to his father’s wishes. However, while stories were told about President Packer’s life during the funeral, those stories shed light on LDS doctrine.

Here are a few pieces of doctrine shared during President Packer’s funeral services.

1. Lose your life

President Packer’s son, Allan Packer, spoke primarily to President Packer’s family. Allan Packer noted that President Packer was best know as grandpa.

“He decided to give the Lord that what the Lord would never ask for nor take,” Allan Packer said.” Grandpa willing gave his agency to the Lord. He committed to whatever the Lord would ask him to do.”

Elder Dallin H. Oaks, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, also said President Packer was “entirely submissive to the will of the Lord,” and taught the Quorum of the Twelve to “qualify as apostles.”

2. Spiritual and temporal bodies

“As grandpa has taught, the spirit and the body are like a hand and a glove,” said Allan Packer, who is also a member of the LDS Church’s Seventy. “Just as a hand fits inside a glove, our spirit fits inside of our physical body. It gives us life when we are born. When we wiggle our fingers, our glove will move. When the spirit’s inside of our body, the body can move. When a person dies, it is like taking the hand out of the glove. Without the hand in the glove, it is still. When a person dies, the body becomes still, but the spirit remains alive.”

3. Life after death

President Packer’s son shared part of President Packer’s “Unfinished Composition,” a poem President Packer shared in his April 2013 general conference address:
I know that He will come anew
With power and in glory.
I know I will see Him once again
At the end of my life’s story.
I’ll kneel before His wounded feet;
I’ll feel His Spirit glow.
My whispering, quivering voice will say,
“My Lord, my God, I know.”

Allan Packer added, “If we live worthy, we will see our loved ones again.”

4. Study and teach

All of the speakers at President Packer’s funeral spoke of his role as a teacher. President Packer encouraged a deep study of scriptures. Elder Oaks pointed out Elder Packer was primarily concerned with families, covenants and the priesthood.

“The ordinances and covenants of the priesthood were always on his mind and he earnestly felt like they needed to be explained to all of God’s children so they might have faith and seek the pathway toward eternal life,” Elder Oaks said.

Donna Packer (center) watches as President Packer's casket is lifted into  the hearse.

Donna Packer (center) watches as President Packer’s casket is lifted into the hearse.

5. Listen to your wife

“He always reminded the brethren to pay attention to what your wife says,” said Elder M. Russell Ballard about President Packer’s instructions to the Twelve. “When she says, you’re tired. You’re tired. When she says, you’re ill. You’re ill.”

Once again pointing out President Packer’s dedicated service to his calling and relationship with his wife, Elder Ballard thanked President Packer’s wife Donna.

“It was you, Donna, who encourage our quorum president not to call us before 5 o’clock in the morning to talk about what was on his mind,” Elder Ballard said.

6. Patiently waiting for revelation

Elder Oaks talked about times the Quorum of the Twelve would counsel together and be stuck on a piece of doctrine or important decision they would need to make. President Packer would counsel, “Let the pending items pend.”

“He was content to wait upon further counsel and inspiration from the Lord,” Elder Oaks said.

7. Follow the prophet

“He always taught entire loyalty to the leadership and decisions to the president of the church,” Elder Oaks said. “President Monson, he taught us to love you and follow you.”

8. Know the doctrine

President Packer was dedicated to knowing doctrine and had a strong testimony that knowing doctrine gave a person power.

“He taught that the study of doctrine would improve behavior quicker than the study of behavior,” Elder Oaks said.

Watch the funeral services below for more teachings and life lessons.

Rebecca Lane

While her first language is sarcasm, Rebecca dabbles in English and Russian to achieve her lifelong dream of being a journalist. A BYU sports fan, reading enthusiast and wannabe world traveler, Rebecca is a Colorado transplant that is convinced Colorado's mountains are much larger than the many Utah County peaks. Rebecca manages UtahValley360.com for Bennett Communications. Follow her on Twitter @rebeccalane.


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