Saturday, November 10, 2018

President Boyd K. Packer on family life and eternal compensation

President Boyd K. Packer (1924-2015) served as an Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve (a position that no longer exists) from 1961 to 1970, when he was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles.  He served as president of that Quorum from 1994 until his death on July 3, 2015 at age 90.
"When we speak of marriage and family life, there inevitably comes to mind, 'What about the exceptions?' Some are born with limitations and cannot beget children. Some innocents have their marriage wrecked because of the infidelity of their spouse. Others do not marry and live in single worthiness.
"For now I offer this comfort: God is our Father! All the love and generosity manifest in the ideal earthly father is magnified in Him who is our Father and our God beyond the capacity of the mortal mind to comprehend. His judgments are just; His mercy without limit; His power to compensate beyond any earthly comparison. 'If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable' (1 Corinthians 15:19)."
- Boyd K. Packer, "The Plan of Happiness," General Conference April 2015
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

We didn't know it at the time, of course, but President Packer's talk in the April 2015 conference would be his final public address; he passed away three months later. This segment represents part of the testimony that was his message throughout his lifetime of teachings: God is our Father, and He will love and sustain us through mortality.

Having spoken about marriage and families, President Packer acknowledged that one of the challenges of mortality is that not every individual has the ideal opportunities in this area. Not all will have happy marriages; not all will have the opportunity to raise children. But yet, when we know and trust God, we must also know and trust that "His power to compensate [is] beyond any earthly comparison."

If we can think of the most ideal example of fatherhood we know of in the earthly setting, President Packer's message is that God's role as our loving Heavenly Father is magnified beyond our comprehension.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2018)

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