Wednesday, December 8, 2021

President Boyd K. Packer on desires for righteousness

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.
"I will not consent to any influence from the adversary. I have come to know what power he has. I know all about that. But I also have come to know the power of truth and of righteousness and of good, and I want to be good. I'm not ashamed to say that—I want to be good. And I've found in my life that it has been critically important that this was established between me and the Lord so that I knew that He knew which way I committed my agency. I went before Him and in essence said, 'I'm not neutral, and You can do with me what You want. If You need my vote, it's there. I don't care what You do with me, and You don't have to take anything from me because I give it to you—everything, all I own, all I am.' And that makes the difference."
- Boyd K. Packer, "To Those Who Teach in Troubled Times", seminary and institute conference, Summer 1970; see 'That All May Be Edified' p. 272

I was barely a teenager when Elder Packer was called as an apostle in 1970; he spent decades of his life devoted to the service of the Lord. This address was given shortly after that call came, and helps to explain that lifetime of service. President Packer had already given his life to God's service. What a powerful lesson these words are, that the life that demonstrated their truthfulness.

We should all learn this message deeply and profoundly. We can never be neutral. We must give ourselves fully to God. This is the essence of pure discipleship—to devote everything to Him.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2021)
July 4, 2015

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