Some truths are 'most worth knowing,' Pres. Boyd K. Packer tells students

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  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 11, 2011 11:45 a.m.

    Vanka, we'll try this again.

    My point is not- "well, obviously you got something wrong with prayer" or anything even similar.

    I agree, I worded it horribly. Here is another attempt-

    Many doctrines I have found I have not understood from my own capacity to reason, but only through God's revealing it. God not only authorized my knowing it, as I am ready to understand it. But God also is a better teacher than I can reason for myself. This doesn't necessarily mean you aren't ready, good enough, or anything like it. From my perspective (believing, I mean) I'd say "who knows why you haven't got an answer yet, maybe you have and deny it, maybe you just haven't". I don't really know. So please understand, I am making no judgement about you or even your experiences.

    I am only saying- just keep asking God with an open heart. Why? Not to push you to my belief, or even to claim 'you just aren't praying right'. But this:

    IF some things are only understood through revelation, not through our own capacity to reason... THEN prayer, despite previously being unanswered, would still be the doctrinally correct approach.

    That clarify?

  • Weber State Graduate Clearfield, UT
    Nov. 11, 2011 9:10 a.m.

    Unfortunately, it appears the following comment does not meet the terms necessary to get by the moderators. I'll try again by making it clear that I certainly mean no disrespect to any one person or's a general standard that should apply to everyone, including myself.

    Truthful messages, however most worth knowing, cannot compensate for the concealment of untruths. Those who fail to acknowledge untruths cannot presume to claim a monopoly on absolute truth...those truths "most worth knowing."

  • Vanka Provo, UT
    Nov. 11, 2011 6:33 a.m.


    Thank you for your response.

    I must confess, I am a bit unclear as to your point.

    You seem to be saying perhaps I am not praying in the proper way. I have prayed in every way possible for over 20 years. No answer.

    You wrote: "You won't find [answers] in books, even in the Book of Mormon, in anything."

    "Because I was ready for it, to learn it, and receptive."

    So you are saying I am just "not ready"? After 20 years of searching? Please explain what TRUE "ready" means?

    "but I'm not trying to say 'you need to pray' or 'you're not praying, so obviously you're wrong.'"

    Actually, that sounds exactly like what you are saying.

    "My main point here is that citing books as conflicting is illogical where most members who've prayed see no conflict in different statements. Not because of blindness to reason, but understanding more clearly, only through prayer."

    Then please, as one who presumably understands "more clearly", explain the conflicting issues I raised. For instance, why criticize Catholics for performing infant baptisms, but then baptize sinless 8 year olds "for the remission of sins"?

    Your comment is confusing.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 10, 2011 9:02 p.m.


    You said, "But Mormon doctrine is all over the map on this"

    I think this is where your problems finding reasonable answers may be originating. You won't find them in books, even in the Book of Mormon, in anything. Revelation comes through inspiration. Reading a specific line in the Book of Mormon may mean nothing to me one day, then the next day it means everything. Why? Not because of the book. The book didn't change. Because I was ready for it, to learn it, and receptive.

    We pray for our answers. I know you've said you have with no results before- but I'm not trying to say 'you need to pray' or 'you're not praying, so obviously you're wrong.' Because I really don't know what you do in your life.

    All I do know, is that you won't find your answers just by looking for official statements, books, and so on. I've only ever been successful through prayer, not study alone.

    My main point here is that citing books as conflicting is illogical where most members who've prayed see no conflict in different statements. Not because of blindness to reason, but understanding more clearly, only through prayer.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Nov. 9, 2011 9:05 p.m.

    If it is a describable truth then it can be proven, if it can not be proven then it is not a truth. All the people who go around claiming they know things that can not be know, or proven, are just fooling themselves or taking advantage of other's innocence. Too many people live off of making others think they know what others can't know or prove

  • Vanka Provo, UT
    Nov. 9, 2011 7:09 a.m.

    Montana Mormon,

    I appreciate your kind response. Hymns and Talmage fail to answer the issue.

    That Jesus "died for me" may pluck the heart strings (and be misinterpreted as "the Spirit"), but it is meaningless unless his death somehow dealt with the alleged "sins" of individual humans.

    But Mormon doctrine is all over the map on this:

    LDS doctrines teach against the idea of "original sin" (2nd AoF), as well as teaching that children cannot sin (nor be tempted) until they reach the age of accountability (age 8; see Moro. 8:1021; D&C 29:4647 and D&C 68:2527). Yet you baptize them at age 8 "for the remission of sins".

    You teach that humans are not punished for Adam's transgression, but insist that mankind is in a "lost and fallen state" (Alma 12:22). Being "lost and fallen" is not punishment?

    Yet the Lord supposedly said: "Inasmuch as thy children are conceived in sin, even so when they begin to grow up, sin conceiveth in their hearts, and they taste the bitter, that they may know to prize the good." (Moses 6:55) How is this different than "original sin"?

  • Montana Mormon Miles City, MT
    Nov. 8, 2011 6:37 p.m.


    I have been pondering your deep questions since I read them this morning. I don't presume to have the answers to your questions, especially in 200 words or less (or even more), but in a spirit of friendship, I would like to share a couple of things I have been pondering today regarding your questions.

    First off, I have been thinking about the words to one of our sacrament hymns that resonates deeply with me: "I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me. Confused at the grace that so fully He proffers me. I tremble to know that for me He was crucified, that for me, a sinner, He suffered, He bled, and died. Oh, it is wonderful that He should care for me enough to die for me. Oh it is wonderful, wonderful to me." That's from the heart.

    The other thought that I have had was to suggest you read--perhaps you have done so already--James Talmage's book "Jesus the Christ." In particular, chapter three discusses need of a savior.

    I respect you for the hard questions you ask because it shows that you think deeply about these things.

    All my best,

    Montana Mormon

  • Filo Doughboy Bakersfield, CA
    Nov. 8, 2011 3:45 p.m.

    Thank you, fellow Backo neighbor (OTCross). Well said: There cannot be many "truths" that contradict each other essentially. The Bible never states that Christ's transaction for our sins was partially made in the Garden. It doesn't state the LDS version either, that the "atonement" was accomplished in the Garden and finalized on the Cross. That is another 'truth', another gospel, no where found in the Holy Bible or the JST.

    I would ask Elder Packer how many truths there are, and which ones are of lesser importance. I ask friends to choose which side of the Biblical divide they are on. It's either what it claims it is as God's Truth, or it has been compromised. I am also on the side of Only the Cross for Christ's transaction as the most important truth. Adding works, ordinances, new visions and Biblical revisions nullifies your trust in the Bible as God's Word.

    "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God." You don't have to believe or understand it. But you cannot redefine it 1,910 years later and claim your revision as the truth. Only One Way, Truth and Life exists.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Nov. 8, 2011 2:38 p.m.

    Independent Liberal
    The grace is intrinsic in the fact that the mediator owes nothing to the debtor. He does what he does out of love, not obligation. As you say, in return he only asks that we accept and follow Him.

    There is no bureaucracy of mediators. Rather, they are judges (as in the time of Christ and immediately afterward) to look over his kingdom and administer the ordinances with authority. There is only one mediator.

    Do you owe a spiritual debt? I leave that to you and the Lord. Based on what you do know, have you never failed, never done wrong, never hurt anyone, never been anything less than perfect? I wish I could say anything remotely close.

    I do feel stronger. You can rest at ease. I searched the claims and had absolutely no desire for them to be true (quite the opposite). But here I am.

    I can only say that in my own experience and those whom I have taught, honest inquiry elicits an answer. I know that may not be your situation. It is simply what I have observed. Sorry if it has not worked out for you that way.

  • OnlytheCross Bakersfield, CA
    Nov. 8, 2011 1:30 p.m.

    Mick in Murray- your version of "truth" makes a mockery of what the Bible claims is Truth re: Where and How Jesus Christ paid for man's sins. God's Word cannot be twisted and reclaimed without His truth being subjective and compromised. Elder Packer made that clear with his unequivocal repudiation of pornography. But his agreeing with God on that one subject alone does not make all of his beliefs on what constitutes truth all-inclusive any more than Muslim and Jewish anti-porneo teachings would render the rest of their beliefs consensual with the New Testament, would it?

    According to the Bible, false teachers can espouse some truth mixed with their own apostate teachings. God outlines explicilty how to handle them.

    Your different version about the Garden of Gethsemane nullifies what Christ's eyewitnesses wrote about our Savior and died for ultimately. Satan challenged God's words in the Garden of Eden and deceived Eve. He misquoted the Word to Jesus following his 40-day fast. Every time Satan is mentioned in God's Word, He is portrayed as a deceiver and distorter of truth. Christ repeatedly told the crowds, "You have heard it said, but it is written...".

    Truth will reign.

  • Mizzica Orem, UT
    Nov. 8, 2011 12:55 p.m.

    Jeff: " For example, "no answer" does not mean "not true.""

    It also does not mean "true," yet you would expect anyone asking to remain in a state of "expecting truth" rather than a neutral state.

    Using the model set in Alma 32, after one plants, nurtures, and feeds the seed, it is then required to a wait within the season for the seed to germinate and grow to determine if it is good. If one were to plant a seed, water and fertilize, then wait, say, 20 years and nothing sprouted, it could be assumed that the test had failed and the seed was not good. In fact, a month would be more than sufficient. If the tester were to wait longer, watering and fertilizing, it would be difficult to know, when something sprouted, whether it was the seed, a volunteer, or a weed.

    There must be a limit, and a time when one says, "I've waited long enough. If God wants me to know this is true, he hasn't said. I'll look deeper and try other seeds to see if they produce results."

  • ClarkKent Bountiful, Utah
    Nov. 8, 2011 12:55 p.m.

    @Jeff, and the answers my faith provide me also provide the answers.

  • Robbie512 PROVO, UT
    Nov. 8, 2011 12:34 p.m.

    There are indeed some things in Mormon doctrine that dont make sense. Ive heard my own leaders admit this many times. However, none of that matters, if an omniscient, omnipotent and loving being confirms that they are true. The entire matter rests on this.

    Personally, however, I don't think that one can identify the source of such feelings with confidence. They could indeed come from God, that is certainly a possibility, but they could just as easily come from within myself (as do many other feelings). I dont think you can know for sure and, given the uncertainty, I see no problem with evaluating the doctrine on its own merits. That being said, it is interesting that this idea fits very well with church doctrine: this life is a test of faith, and a sure knowledge of God would defeat that purpose.

  • Jeff Temple City, CA
    Nov. 8, 2011 12:26 p.m.

    @ ClarkKent: You use a number of rhetorical devices that I think deserve comment. First, you ask, "Why would [God] create literally billions of people without affording all of them the opportunity during their mortal lifetime to know the right way back to him[?]"

    You treat this as a rhetorical question, but in order to be such, it must have an obvious answer, and there is no obvious answer. The answers my faith provide satisfy me.

    You continue, "If there is such a map..." You apparently mean to cast doubt on the existence of the "map," since you are not providing more premises for a syllogism.

    "He would give it to everyone." Your presumption here is vague. It cannot be the conclusion of a simple syllogism because you only have one premise; you provide no evidence that God behaves according to your expectations or that He hasn't made "it" available to everyone.

    "Just seems like a ridiculous notion to me." Granted.

    @ Brahmabull: You, too, ask a number of rhetorical questions for which is there is no simple, universal answer, or, for which you seem to be begging for a certain inference. For example, "no answer" does not mean "not true."

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Nov. 8, 2011 10:08 a.m.

    bluecoug89 - Thank you for the response, clearly you do believe in the church and that is great. However I disagree with you on something. It is not that god is leading people astray. Obviously many many people have read the book of mormon and didn't get a confirmation that it was true. If that is the case, why are they getting a different answer than you got? You may say they weren't sincere, or humble, or many other things. We don't know their heart. May I propose that we get the answer that we desire, those who believe with their mind that it is true get a "spiritual confirmation" that it is true and those who don't believe it don't get that witness. That is why the spirit is so unreliable. I have asked during prayer many times and it simply isn't there. Does that mean something is wrong with me, or just that it isn't true. Because I feel just as strongly that it ISN'T true as you do that it IS true. So truth is subjective, one persons truth isn't anothers. Why would god only allow 1/10 of 1 percent to have the truth??

  • ClarkKent Bountiful, Utah
    Nov. 8, 2011 9:35 a.m.

    I wonder about any religion that believes they need to have something special .. something above and beyond what any other church has ... in order to prove its truthfulness. Somehow I don't think that God works that way. Why would He create literally billions of people without affording all of them the opportunity during their mortal lifetime to know the right way back to him. If there is such a map, He would give it to everyone. Just seems like a ridiculous notion to me.

  • bluecoug89 Highland, UT
    Nov. 8, 2011 9:34 a.m.

    Look, I don't want to start an argument, I just wanted to let you all know what I believe. I respect everyone's opinions and if I came across differently, I apologize. You are right Brahmabull, just because I believe it's true doesn't make it true. What makes it true is its origins but I can't force that on anyone. People have to come to their own educated conclusions about the book. That's done by reading it and asking in prayer if it's true or not. If we believe in the same God and we believe in prayer, don't we believe that he'll answer us and guide us to what is correct? He wants us all to come unto him and have joy. Why would he lead us astray? I want to make an invitation to everyone. Read the Book of Mormon. Don't do it with a bias but approach it with the mentality to know if it's true or not. Then ask Heavenly Father, in sincere prayer, if it's true. He will answer you and he won't lie to you. Come to know for YOURSELF if it's true.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Nov. 8, 2011 8:37 a.m.

    bluecoug89 - that is great that you believe the Book of Mormon is true. But unfortunately that doesn't MAKE it true. The Book of Mormon has good teachings, but because some people believe it doesn't actually make it true. People of other religions swear they have the truth, they KNOW it is true, and still, it doesn't make it so.

  • bluecoug89 Highland, UT
    Nov. 8, 2011 8:30 a.m.

    Full-on double rainbow,

    Thank you for bringing that up. It's important to know how Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon. Oh no! He stuck his face in a hat with a seer stone inside? Now my church isn't true! You really think that because Joseph Smith stuck his face in a hat that is in opposition to my faith? Really? You obviously don't know us very well. Anyone who knows anything about the history of the church knows that he did that yet most of them seem to stick around. How is him sticking his face in a hat going to rock me to the core and make me question my faith? And you're wrong, there are many truths that aren't useful. The sky is blue, the ocean is salty, there are 7 continents, etc. How do those help me with my salvation? How about important ones like Jesus Christ suffered for our sins and died for us, Jesus Christ gave us a perfect example of how to live, we need to love one another, etc. I think there are some truths that "aren't very useful" in relation to others.

  • bluecoug89 Highland, UT
    Nov. 8, 2011 8:13 a.m.

    So many people in this world are trying to tell me how wrong my religion is. They tell me that the Book of Mormon isn't true because there isn't archaeological evidence. First of all, if you go to places like Guatemala and other places in southern mexico, the archaeologists know that there are still hundreds if not thousands of sites that they haven't even dug up yet. Second of all, people rely too much on their own understanding and not the Lord's. They say, "if I can't see it, it's not true". Have you seen Jesus Christ? Have you seen the Holy Ghost? If you haven't seen them, how do you know they are there? People will say, "the bible told me so." Not everyone believes in the bible. So you are basing your belief on a book that over half the world doesn't believe. I can tell you that many times in our lives, feeling is much more important than seeing. If we only look with our eyes and search with our eyes, we will be limited to what we can only see and find here on earth. I search with my heart and I have found truth.

  • Full-on double rainbow Bluffdale, UT
    Nov. 8, 2011 7:59 a.m.

    I have always assumed that "some truths aren't very useful" meant that if a truth comes in opposition to your faith then it isn't a useful truth. For example, it is not a useful truth how Joseph translated the BOM, just that it was done by the power of God. It doesn't matter that he put his face in a hat and used a seer stone he found at the bottom of a well, and that the golden plates often times weren't even used. I would respectfuly disagree, all faith based truth claims are important when evaluating the whole.

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    Nov. 8, 2011 7:46 a.m.

    What makes an apostate like Grant Palmers opiniions more valuble than a living apostles. Are there commandments some dissenters don't want to keep? The best source of truth is God himself. And since he is not the author of confusion or a respector of persons he won't say one thing to one person on how to worship and another to someone else. The best source of truth is the Lord through his servants themself.

  • ThinksIThink SEATTLE, WA
    Nov. 8, 2011 2:24 a.m.

    Wow, some amazing comments here. I think a real important distinction between the two camps is this: If you are told the answer, and then told to pray for confirmation, you' may get that confirmation. But if you just seek truth, without being told the answer you should arrive at, well, you'll come up with something else.

    For those who receive confirmation the book of mormon is true, they really aren't making a historical judgment (in my opinion). I think they look at the value system and it feels like a good thing - and it may well be for them. For those that seek to know whether the BOM is historically true, they will most likely arrive at a different conclusion.

    I think its reasonable for folks on both sides to talk about the conclusions they reached in their individual quests for truth. I try to respect both approaches.

  • Miss Piggie Salt Lake, UTah
    Nov. 8, 2011 12:21 a.m.


    "Christ didn't pay for the sins of mankind on the cross.:

    Wait a minute. If He, for some reason, were to have avoided death on the cross and died a natural death in His old age, would sins have been paid for?

    "It happened in the Garden of Gethsemane."

    What happened in the Garden? All we know from writings of the incident is that he agonized and sweat alot.

    "All I know is that it happened. The willingness to give his life on the cross was the sealing of his mission and life with his own blood."

    There, you have it. Giving up His life is the operative phrase.

  • very concerned Sandy, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 10:17 p.m.

    This life is for all the marbles. Our potential is far beyond playing harps on clouds. We have the potential for unending joy in the presence of our Father. The debt we owe is for our disobedience to the truths He reveals. The debt we owe is to justice, or perhaps to the people we have hurt. Or to their Heavenly Father. Or to all of the above?

    You say that justice is higher than God. I respectfully disagree. Would you have a God Who denied justice? Or would you have One Who did not apply mercy? Or would you not want a loving God who meets justice and also applies mercy?

    We are not perfect. We cannot make ourselves perfect. Not without the grace and mercy of God. He will extend that mercy if we do all we can to follow His Son and accept His Son's essential role in our eternal lives.

    So we leave off where we began. We have the potential for a great, unimaginable, and joyful future that we do not deserve on our own. I'm extremely greatful for a beautiful plan which provides that opportunity through such a perfect Mediator as Jesus Christ.

  • JNA Layton, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 9:46 p.m.

    I read these comments and how there are arguments going back and forth on what is truth, what isn't truth, religion bad, religion good blah blah blah. Bottom line, those who don't want religion don't want relgion, so quit pushing it on them and those who want religion and a testimony have the right to have that testimony without the anti relgion crowd trying to denegrate the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I am an active member of that church, I love the Church, I have a testimony of the truths of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. If after we all die it turns out to be wrong then so be it, I was wrong and if it turns out to be true then so be it. I won't knock the anti religious views of athiests but I expect the athiests and those who dislike the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to give me the same respect and I don't need to read the research of those who are bent on ruining the Church. What credibility to they have on being subjective in the matter.

    Nov. 7, 2011 8:23 p.m.

    Neanderthal | 10:20 a.m. Nov. 7, 2011

    Good question, maybe you're ready for the LDS Missionaries to visit.

  • bluecoug89 Highland, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 7:40 p.m.


    Hey, thanks for that tip. I've heard all sort of things about the church both inside and out. I've lived all over and even lived 2 years in Mexico (yes, it was a mission) and after hearing all different "ideas" that either are true or completely misinterpreted or made up (yes, some people do make up things about the church to make us look bad. Weird, huh?), I know, even more than I did yesterday, that this church is true. People say we are delusional but I can say, with all of my heart and soul and without even the slightest shadow of a doubt, that this is true. In fact, I just finished reading the BOM for the day and I know even more now that it is true. Isn't that crazy how it works?

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 7:06 p.m.

    Full-on double rainbow,

    If you look at Kantian ethics vs Virtue ethics I think you might understand this principle more clearly.

    Kantian ethics is very black and white. "A" is wrong, under EVERY circumstance. This isn't the way the LDS moral paradigm works. We don't believe in relativism as there are things have an absolute and rational explanation. However, there sometimes is a more 'ladder type approach' to our morals.

    The reason why I say there are things absolute is because we don't support what some call a 'grey area'. However, we do believe that despite something not necessarily being wrong... there is a better way.

    While it may not be wrong to seek justice for someone punching you, that doesn't mean you wouldn't be better for being forgiving, and so on.

    So while there are some truths that are more pertinent to our current events or current progress in eternity, there are certainly other truths which are entirely worth knowing and good- but less important.

    While I could discuss whether God is a polygamist, what color of hair He REALLY has... it could even have importance in some circumstance, but obviously the covered topics were more important.

  • Vanka Provo, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 6:55 p.m.

    the truth,

    I appreciate your response, but find it inadequate.

    In your explanation of the simple analogy, you presume that "sin" is patently understood and self-evident. It is not.

    You write: "due to the nature of the sin sometimes more than just repentance is nececessary for Justice to be satisfied."

    What exactly is the nature of sin? In what does "sin" consist?

    How does "sin" create a "debt" to God (or to "Justice")? Does it rob god of something? What is taken from God and how is God diminished by the taking? Is not God infinite and eternal? How can the infinite and eternal be diminished and need (demand) to be reimbursed?

    Who or what is this force in the universe called "Justice" of which you speak? How is it that this abstraction called "Justice" is more powerful than God and can make demands on God to force Him to comply? How much blood does Justice "require"?

    If God must comply with a force called "Justice", then believers would be wise to worship Justice and not God. Some of us atheists do that already. We believe in Justice and need no God in between.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 6:25 p.m.

    RE: Hutterite

    If a "truth" is a "subjective commodity",

    then, by definition, it is not truth.

    RE: Thinkman

    You have not given a single shred of evidence that the LDS church does not contain the fullness of truth.

    I believe the the LDS Church is the true Church of God and Christ on this earth.

    I have never been given any reason to doubt it,

    no matter how enticing and crafty and convincing the words of adversary are,

    no matter that imperfect people have done imperfect things,

    that does not change what is true.

    RE: Vanka

    YOu are overthinking a simple analogy,

    an analogy on how repentance and the atonement of Christ works.

    When you sin, a "debt" must paid to GOd to meet the demands of Justice.

    Christ, the imtermediary, will pay for that debt, if you repent and sin no more,

    however, due to the nature of the sin sometimes more than just repentance is nececessary for Justice to be satisfied,

    repentance plus those things are the things Christ asks of you.
    with that you avoid spiritual prison, figurative or literal, for that sin.

  • Stay the Course Salt Lake City, utah
    Nov. 7, 2011 6:09 p.m.

    The Vanka/Vanka
    I see you have started out with the name The VANKA look forward to reading the 8 or so comments you will make on this article

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 5:30 p.m.

    I can't say I am a decent human being on the Deseret News???

    I guess part of being 'civilized' according to this news paper...

    is anything EXCEPT what I say.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 4:50 p.m.

    The 'truth?'

    I am a decent human being.

  • Jeff Temple City, CA
    Nov. 7, 2011 4:24 p.m.

    @ thinkman and L. Kaiser: Your suggestions that Latter-day Saints investigate "other views" is not a bad suggestion per se. Part of what is annoying about it is the apparent assumption that, if anyone believes in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it can only be because they have not sufficiently investigated opposing viewpoints.

    I do know people who have left the Church because, somewhere along the way, they have discovered something in Church history or doctrine that they had never heard nor understood before, and their faith was shaken, but those people are rare in my experience. I know far more people who know the doctrines, history, and practices of the Church very thoroughly (myself among them) and maintain firm belief in the teachings and the practices of the Church.

    It is also annoying for other people to try to define our beliefs for us. This is often couched in language that belittles the belief or presents it in a disparaging way. You will find that most practicing, active Latter-day Saints have a pretty good understanding of the core of what they believe; we don't need outsiders or disaffected insiders to define it for us.

  • Mick Murray, Utah
    Nov. 7, 2011 4:23 p.m.

    L Kaiser-

    Not a good comparison at all. The problem with the Nauvoo Expositor is that they were sworn enemies of Joseph Smith and sought his life. They made blood oaths to kill him and bring down the church. (See William Law conspirators) A bit biased. Just like the ciagrette companies would be about the product they are selling.

    The LDS church is not selling a product. Join or don't join. You have free agency and choice. It won't stop the missionaries or President Packer from sharing the message.

    Once again, my comparison a bit better. I would not go to the Nazi's to find out about the Jews.

  • L Kaiser REDMOND, WA
    Nov. 7, 2011 3:31 p.m.


    Would you go to the cigarette companies to see how "safe" they were? Or would it make more sense to seek out independent research and resources? Im not trying to compare the LDS church to tobacco at all, merely pointing out that it can be a good idea as well to seek out other views.

  • AZRods Maricopa, AZ
    Nov. 7, 2011 3:18 p.m.

    Thanks Cats, your statement is only reaffirmed by follow up comments made.
    If a person is "happy" or content with their belief system and their life, why then would they have this unquenchable need to respond to every LDS article that appears.
    If you don't believe LDS doctrine, do you seriously believe that the bashing of our beliefs is going to show us how much kinder, Christlike and "happy" you really are, thus causing us to want to join you?

  • Bastiatarian TUCSON, AZ
    Nov. 7, 2011 3:05 p.m.

    >I don't believe in having to walk in lockstep with anybody. After all, Jesus didn't.

    Other than that whole obeying the commandments and emulating Jesus thing...

  • Mick Murray, Utah
    Nov. 7, 2011 2:52 p.m.


    I will not go to the Nauvoo Expositor to find out the truth about the mormons. Just like I will not go to the Nazi's to find our the truth about the Jews.

  • Mick Murray, Utah
    Nov. 7, 2011 2:43 p.m.


    Do you believe in pre-existance or that you were in any "form" before you were born. If not than it doesn't matter. If you do, how do you know you didn't obtain a "spiritual debt?"

    Christ didn't pay for the sins of mankind on the cross. It happened in the Garden of Gesthemane. And no I don't know the ins and outs of exactly what went on. All I know is that it happened. The willingness to give his life on the cross was the sealing of his mission and life with his own blood.

  • Cora Smith BOUNTIFUL, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 2:19 p.m.

    I find the truth in my heart and mind. I don't need a third party to translate anything. I take things with a grain of salt. If I hear something in church that I just can't wrap myself around, I dismiss it. I don't believe in having to walk in lockstep with anybody. After all, Jesus didn't.

  • Kami Bountiful, Utah
    Nov. 7, 2011 1:57 p.m.

    "There is no part of pornography that is innocent, he said. "To collect it, view it, or carry it around in any form is akin to keeping a rattlesnake in your backpack. It exposes you to the inevitable spiritual equivalent of the serpent's strike with its injection of deadly venom. One can easily understand, with the world being what it is, that you can almost innocently be exposed to it, to read it, or to view it without realizing the terrible consequences. If that describes you, I warn you to stop it. Stop it now."

    I agree with his words here, and I would add that it is almost impossible (perhaps it is impossible) to remove the visual images of pornography completely from your mind. There will be triggers the rest of your life that will open that file cabinet in your mind and bring up those images. Pornography can be debilitating to your spirit. You may be able to repent, but you may not be able to completely heal from its consequences during the rest of your mortal life.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Nov. 7, 2011 1:50 p.m.

    Cats - are you saying that there is a correlation between happiness and mormonism?? Maybe you are not aware, but that statement means that you think that 99.9 percent of the world is unhappy, because only 1/10 of 1 percent of the world is mormon. Wow, must mean that nearly all of the world is unhappy. Huh, that is an odd statement.

  • Mr. Bean Salt Lake, UTah
    Nov. 7, 2011 1:26 p.m.


    "We are God's creation."

    So, where is He? No one has ever seen Him, except maybe one or two people as recorded in history. And how correct is that history, anyway? No wonder there's so many 'truths' i.e., religions in the world today. If God is in charge, He sure doesn't seem at all interested. Perhaps the Deists have it right.

    "Christ is our brother."

    Why doesn't Christ have alotta brothers... and sisters? Why did God only have one Son, Christ? Just think, the earth could have been full of very powerful, Christ-like creatures instead of what we have now.

    "Lastly, mercy does not rob justice. It is a gift."

    Gift? It takes alotta work to realize the 'gift.'

  • ClarkKent Bountiful, Utah
    Nov. 7, 2011 1:11 p.m.

    @Cats, it is really too bad that you constantly see those who are not in line with your belief system as being unhappy. Is this the typical viewpoint of LDS, or just yours? I see your posts time and time again on these boards as allegedly feeling sorry for all of these people who you label as unhappy. Perhaps you may want to chose to see the world thru different lenses for awhile and accept that there are many very happy people in this world, whether or not they are LDS. And constantly judging others as unhappy as you frequently do says quite a bit about how you see the world.

  • Jeff Temple City, CA
    Nov. 7, 2011 1:07 p.m.

    I have the impulse to describe how funny many of these posts have struck me, but it would take too long.

    I have always enjoyed President Packer's talks. He is a great teacher and has an almost unlimited capacity of making complex ideas accessible to anyone. I love to hear him speak.

    I know that, because of both his clarity of expression and his willingness to speak out about difficult subjects, he has often been the subject of attacks. I came on this thread today expecting to find exactly what I found: a multitude of people seeking to discredit President Packer, his message, or the Church. It was the fulfillment of my expectation that made me laugh.

  • Bastiatarian TUCSON, AZ
    Nov. 7, 2011 12:35 p.m.

    >Some things that are true are not very useful.

    That's an obvious truth, and a very useful one itself.
    For example, I know that Kim Kardashian and her husband filed for divorce after a bit over two months of marriage. That's a truth that is not useful to me to any degree or for any purpose other than its use in this example. Fortunately, I spent no real time or effort discovering that truth about Ms. Kardashian and her husband, so I haven't really lost out on the deal too terribly much.

    On the other hand, knowing that people who mock, etc., the observation that not all truths were created equal are typically intellectually slothful and more often than not lacking in character is very useful, since I am committed to associating only with a better class of people, and that knowledge helps me avoid the gutter class.

  • ADN Weiser, ID
    Nov. 7, 2011 12:32 p.m.

    It sounds like a lot of people are trying to convince themselves of thier own truths. Just because we believe something strong enough doesn't make it a truth.

  • kiaoraguy Provo, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 12:13 p.m.

    wow, didn't know there so many people out there so much smarter than President Packer- he will be surprised that he is so wrong on things and I am sure he will come around to all of your 'enlightened' thinking

  • Thinkman Provo, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 12:06 p.m.

    When I searched the truth of the LDS church from sources positive towards the church, neutral to it and even negative towards it and then thought through all the claims from each of these sides, I came to the undeniable conclusion that the LDS church has no more authority or truth than any other religion or church, Christian or otherwise.

    I did take Moroni's challenge and even taught multitudes of people on my Mormon mission to do the same. I came to the conclusion that the Book of Mormon and the LDS church were what they claimed to be. I came to that conclusion because I wanted them to be true even after studying the gospel, teaching it and fasting and praying about and attending the temple faithfully for over 2 decades. However, after thinking it through, seriously studying the claims of the LDS church, I found it it wasn't in fact true.

    I've never been happier than I am today. Why? Because my happiness depends on me and no one else - not my membership or status in a church, not God, not my wife, not my children, not my friends. I am happy because I choose to be.

  • Franjeado Lambare, Paraguay
    Nov. 7, 2011 12:05 p.m.

    Dalefarr, the opportunity to repent is the gift, given by Christ; if we do not repent, we are alone to face justice by ourselves.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 11:52 a.m.

    I just always think it is so sad that all these unhappy people keep trying to solve their problems and justify their unfortunate choices by attacking those who teach truth. You don't have to be this unhappy, you know. You can repent and change. I promise you it will be worth it. You will find joy in your life and have a great burden lifted off your shoulders.

    President Packer's talk was AWSOME!

  • Thinkman Provo, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 11:13 a.m.

    I'm very happy for those whose testimonies are stronger.

    Have you researched why Joseph used a rock in a hat to translate the Book of Mormon. Did you find out that the Book of Abraham papyrus was actually funeral proceedings and not a history of Abraham, his life, and the Creation?

    In your search for the full truth, did you discover that the temple ordinances have changed multiple times from the time that Joseph Smith revealed them? In your search for the full truth did you also read the Nauvoo Expositor text and how it actually pleaded with love and respect to Joseph Smith to change his ways? Did you also know that Joseph Smith married other men's wives who were still married?

    I want all Mormons (I'm a Mormon) to search the full truth no matter how hard it may be to read and then think through your decision on how much you want the LDS Church to be part of your life. If the LDS Church is the center of your life and you have made it so after searching the full truth of it then I applaud you and wish you all happiness.

  • The Vanka Provo, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 10:53 a.m.

    This is a serious question. I am not "trolling" to make "anti-" comments. I really want to know.

    The article paraphrases Packer as saying: "All people live on spiritual credit."

    I don't.

    I never borrowed anything from god or Jesus, much less anything "spiritual".

    If a stranger (or two strangers in shirts and ties) come to your door telling you you owe a debt, are you just going to accept that? "Oh, OK, you guys look honest. How much do I owe you?"

    This is the crux of religion's thesis, upon which everything else depends: what is the nature of this so-called "spiritual debt" all humans are supposed to have incurred? And how, exactly, does/did Roman soldiers' killing Jesus somehow "pay" that debt? To whom was the debt owed? God the Father? How did killing His own Son "pay" that strange debt? What was the nature of God's loss such that Jesus' blood being spilt re-compensated God?

    Moreover, I understood LDS doctrine to deny the notion of "original sin", AND to base "sin" on knowledge: one cannot be guilty of sin if one never knew the "law". Since you can't know what I know: John8:46.

  • dalefarr South Jordan, Utah
    Nov. 7, 2011 10:52 a.m.

    I don't think our relationship with God or his son is a debtor/creditor relationship. We are God's creation. Christ is our brother. Lastly, mercy does not rob justice. It is a gift.

  • The Vanka Provo, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 10:40 a.m.

    I met Elder Packer once. Very interesting man. He sure is looking old. I haven't always agreed with what he preaches, but you can't fault him for mincing words. He tells it how he sees it.

    I agree with Neanderthal, but take it a bit further. IF I owed a "spiritual debt" (what does that even mean?), why would I need to go through a huge bureaucracy of mediators: local Bishop to get baptized and confirmed, Stake President for temple recommend, various layers of Church hierarchy up through the Quorum of the 12 Apostles and the First Presidency - I have to go through them to get the word of god in order to obey it so that I can be cleansed from sin. Only then do I get access to Jesus Christ, but that is done ONLY through yet another "mediator": the Holy Ghost.

    It seems a just and righteous god would have been able to create something much more efficient and effective than this MLM-like model.

    But I would have to be convinced that I owed a "spiritual debt" in the first place. What exactly is this "spiritual debt"? I don't believe in it. Why should I?

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 10:34 a.m.

    When you bring a religious perspective to it, 'truth' becomes an almost entirely subjective commodity. Anything can be truth, nothing can be truth, and the medium itself, to quote Marshall MacLuhan, becomes the message. There are truths worth knowing. Mine may be different than yours.

  • IndependentLiberal Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 10:28 a.m.

    It is interesting that BP Packer left out of his talk in dealing with Gods righteousness and Christs redemption, another of Christs nature which is Grace.

    Justice, getting what we deserve
    Mercy, not getting what we deserve
    Grace, getting what we dont deserve

    He totally leaves out grace. In his parable, he describes Christ as a debt consolidation mediator, when in fact when Jesus uttered on the cross, it is finished, he PAYED THE DEBT (sin) in full. He gave us what we didnt deserve, and asked only that we accept and follow Him. Another theological omission that helps create the divide.

  • Neanderthal Salt Lake, UTah
    Nov. 7, 2011 10:20 a.m.

    Wait a minute!

    Just why is a 'Mediator' a necessity? It didn't seem necessary for folks in the old Testament. They seemed to do OK without One. For example, Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden and apparently got retrieve. This being centuries before the 'Mediator' even showed up on the scene to explain the program or pay the debt.

    Why not just work out an agreement for repayment of the obligation direct with the 'Creditor?' And don't say it won't work. One has to obtain 'perfection' to enter the 'Creditor's' kingdom whether there's a 'Mediator' or not. That should be payment enough.

    Furthermore, since the debt is between man and the 'Creditor,' it would seem only fair that He'd show up more often to clear up concerns about debt payment options. Don't we read in the Old Testament where the 'Creditor' walked daily with His people? Plus, the world is full of so-called non Christians who don't even believe in the 'mediator' or the 'Creditor.' It would help to get some degree of face time for them.

    On the whole, there seems to be too much secrecy and arbitrariness about the whole affair. So, go figure.

  • Summer Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 10:13 a.m.


    Yes search the full truth and become educated. I did that and am currently doing that. Testimony stronger because of it. Sorry that my conclusion is not what you probably wanted.

  • Thinkman Provo, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 9:51 a.m.

    Truth never changes unless of course a truth isn't convenient to your view or doesn't help to advance your agenda.

    I've learned so many truths about religion that the one truth I've learned that is indisputable is that NO religion has a corner on all truth and ALL religions are founded on errors mixed with truths.

    Elder Packer recommends that we find the truths most worth knowing. Since Mormons are expected to spend a minimum of 3 hours a week at church and also give to the LDS church at least 10% of their income, I strongly recommend they know the FULL truth of the LDS church. I suggest that every Mormon research the truth of the LDS church from all sources both inside and outside of the church. Search truths about the LDS church that are positive, negative and neutral. I recommend that you watch "The Mormons" that PBS aired in 2007. You can find that on their website. It provided a balanced snapshot of the LDS Church. Other very useful, neutral websites are available that help you think through and find truths about the LDS Church.

    In your search for truth, THINK with your full mind.

  • open minded Lehi, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 9:22 a.m.

    I only hope that more LDS members follow the message of this story: it is the mediator/redeemer who will dole out justice not the people of this earth. It is our job to show mercy and allow Christ to judge what form of justice people receive. Too many people in Utah, especially Utah county, feel they must be the ones to make sure justice is dealt for any sinner or debtor. True believers in Christ understand that the afterlife is the place of judgment and our job on this earth is to live in a way where we work towards our own judgement. If we are so worried about making sure others have consequences we feel they should have instead of worrying about the consequences of our own actions, we will be judged for that.
    It is our job to try and live like Christ did- with unconditional love and mercy in our hearts every day. We must live in a way that only helps our fellow man. If love is in our hearts and we are striving toward perfect love, we are following Christ. If we are worried about giving justice to others- that is not love.

  • ipr Spanish Fork, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 8:58 a.m.

    I love this talk. President Packer has a way of stating things exactly the way they are.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Nov. 7, 2011 8:45 a.m.

    "all truth is worth knowing"... Unless it is truth against the teachings or credibility of the church... then it is not worth knowing.

  • zeba North Ogden, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 8:20 a.m.

    If "all truth is worth knowing", then I highly recommend reading Grant Palmer's book, "An Insider's View of Mormon Origins". This book was sold at Deseret Books and is very interesting. Read it, then you can decide which truths are "most worth knowing".

  • Full-on double rainbow Bluffdale, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 8:12 a.m.

    "Some truths are more useful..." Is that equivalent to Some things that are true are not very useful.?