Favorite son Boyd K. Packer honored during Brigham City seminary centennial
“President Smith promised the citizens of Brigham City that anything they did to help and bless the Indian people would be answered with blessings upon their heads,” Elder Packer recounted. “I think that’s exemplary of the traditions and practices that are part of this community.”
In his talk, President Packer echoed that appreciation for his hometown.
“As I came into Brigham City tonight, I thought, well, this is a perfect place and will remain that way so long and insofar as we as Latter-day Saints live the gospel,” he said. “The town hasn’t changed; there are just more of you here, just as good as they were then and not as good as you are going to be, because we have a ministry to perform. And here ‘in the shadow of the everlasting hills,’ as they saying goes, there’s no better place to live and to raise a family.”
At the beginning of the meeting President Aaron Shepherd of the Brigham City Utah South Stake invited the congregation to view a historic photo projected on a screen of “the first-ever seminary Book of Mormon class taught in 1953, and you can see on the left President Packer as the instructor.”
President Shepherd explained, “In those days history credit was given for seminary courses in Old and New Testament. However no credit would be given for a course on the Book of Mormon. President Packer organized the curriculum and conducted the first-ever Book of Mormon course as a released-time, early morning seminary class.”
The idea of Book of Mormon seminary courses and released-time classes spread and today they are widespread in the church’s seminary system.