Fat Mo here and sorry for not posting what day I’m on in my WordPress posting history and the title definitely does not mean this is my twenty-second post, just that I’ve now been blogging and researching Boyd K. Packer (BKP) for twenty-two days simultaneously. Slight clarification.
I’ve been focusing on BKP’s last year speaking and publishing articles. I only have three examples: a General Conference talk and two Ensign Magazine articles. BKP’s talk and one of the articles are similar. Both examples discuss the Atonement and marriage. One of BKP’s statements at conference caught my eye:
“The end of all activity in the Church is to see that a man and a woman with their children are happy at home, sealed together for time and all eternity” (Packer. pg 26).
BKP says the church’s program’s purpose is establishing strong families under LDS parameters. The sermon gives a little biographical information about the Packers and then delves into the nitty-gritties of LDS courtship, marriage, children, exceptions to doctrine, trials & tribulations, sin & transgression, and the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the Atonement’s role in all marriages (LDS or not).
This is BKP’s last talk before he dies that summer.
It is a great talk. Better to read, then listen to, because BKP was quite old and ill and gave his talk from his seat. His voice is rough and course sounding and lacking a lot of the strength of his past addresses. I highly recommend reading it (here).
I’ve completed the physical examination and a tight reading of the text and I’m working over the data now and tomorrow, I’ll create the content index. Next, I am going to combine the three text samples and then look for parallels in the texts.
Boyd K. Packer. Ensign; May 2015 Conference Addresses. “The Plan of Happiness.” R. Val Johnson, ed. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, 2015
Fat Mo here late Friday night & I'm about to hit the hay. I got a lot done today. I finished indexing the first chapter of Teach Ye Diligently. & I read an Ensign article from April 2015 about the atonement & forgiveness. Boyd K. Packer's message is typically quite uplifting. This notion of his controversial nature requires a lot of attention. This notion is at the heart of audience analysis & Nephi's idea of the wicked taking to truth to be harsh judgement. Those who love the church will have no problems with what he is saying, but those who find themselves with the church, hate Packer because of his direct message. Within the general culture of Mormonism, regardless of membership, Packer is a bit of a lightning rod. Binary thinkers opposing the church took most of Packer's sermons personally & so an article about the atonement, would still raise their hackles.
Progress: I sorted a few more talks & articles for my master document. I updated the 'books' page on this blog. I worked on chapter one of Teach Ye Diligently. I read & analyzed an article from April 2015's Ensign.
Fat Mo here, and I'm still working on my Boyd K. Packer research. I'm writing this from 500 North Provo in front of the Mighty Baker where my son works as a pastry chef. I'm waiting to pick him up & take him up to the Restaurant Depot in Salt Lake. Tonight & for the next couple days, I want to go over a few insights in how BKP defines LDS concepts differently than what I'm accustomed to. These subtle differences are what I'm looking for. Thanks for being patient. Fat Mo.
Fat Mo here and I didn’t post yesterday. Things happen, but I did do some reading when I could. Yesterday was so busy, I never got a chance to see who won the final Tour de France stage race. I didn’t see who won or how Chris Froome did. I do have Google, so I know the results, but it’s not the same.
I thought of two questions yesterday:
Why does Boyd K. Packer (BKP) write in passive voice so often?
Is BKP the wheat thresher, winnower, or the watcher of the wheat field? Or, which role does he play most often?
I slept in this morning ’cause I can on Saturday mornings for a little bit and ’cause I watched Star Wars; Rogue One on Netflix way into the night. When I woke up, I read some more into The Things of the Soul (BKP, 1996) and while doing so, I thought of the second question set a bit more. While I have my suspicions of which role BKP plays for the LDS Church as a leader and speaker, I need to verify this role through more research.
Fat Mo here. I bought a book written by Boyd K. Packer, late President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, called The Things of the Soul. It cost me $2 at a local thrift store (Deseret Industries).
The book is about reading the Book of Mormon. I bought the book because 1) I didn’t already have it and I’m going to need it if I’m honest about this research, 2) it was way cheaper than going to Amazon, and 3) I wanted to try out a new way of examining Packer’s texts.
I read chapter one, looking for key words, citations, names, places, themes, an audience analysis, and a thesis. I was able to answer all of those. The audience analysis was easiest, because Packer stated what it was in the first sentence. Here are the seven key words: Book of Mormon, Readers, Lehi’s Posterity, Nephi, Jacob, Not-historical, and Scripture message. The interesting one is “readers”. Packer spends most of the first chapter addressing the reader directly with you. The scripture he cited used “ye”. It’s all pretty interesting. Tomorrow, I’m going to start a new page here outlining the pertinent information about the two books I’m going through now. I hope to eventually have all his books done in the same manner.
Progress: I also added several more talks to my master document and I set up a spread sheet to track my progress through my new book.
When I research, I try to do two things at once. Today, I continued to number the paragraphs in my .txt doc containing all of President Packer’s General Conference talks from 1970 to 1994. While doing that, I make a list of all the scriptures and other sources Packer quotes in his sermons. The most common scripture he quotes is D&C 1:30:
30. And also those to whom these commandments were given, might have power to lay the foundation of this church, and to bring it forth out of obscurity and out of darkness, the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased, speaking unto the church collectively and not individually–
He quotes this in four sermons (so far) and in his book, Teach Ye Diligently. The theme of “to lay the foundation of this church,” appears in most of his sermons, but I am not yet in a position to state that this scripture is his primary thesis. This is the reason I am indexing his sermons and eventually his books so I can confirm whether or not this is indeed Packer’s central theme, or if this is one of many.
I think this is pretty exciting.
I’m still not finished with all of Packer’s sermons from between 1970-1994, but I’m getting there.
Edit: This morning I wrote my ‘about’ page. Please check it out, I’d love to here from you.
Today is day one of this blog, but I’ve been researching President Boyd K. Packer, late president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, for the last six or so weeks. I kind of figured I better start posting about my progress as an actual work log & hopefully to also connect with other people interested in President Packer.
I wish I were a researcher ensconced in some library or academy someplace, but most of my work I’m doing from my grandkid’s playroom while their parents are both working. I also wish I had an advanced degree, but I don’t even have a bachelors degree (I’m starting college again this fall, however).
Wishes & regrets aside, I get a bunch done. Today, I read several chapters from Packer’s 1975 book Teach Ye Diligently. The chapters dealt with how Jesus taught & how to apply His methodology to church & seminary classrooms primarily with youth students rather than adults. I also worked on my current primary goal of indexing all of Packer’s general conference talks.
I do not have print copies of Packer’s talks & sermons, so I’m creating a series of .txt docs so I can at least have those. Once I have what I need (a complete keyword & word pattern index), I’ll start building a bibliography & then make sure I have the actual print editions of as many of those talks as I can find. Today, I edited ten talks, including all the attribution details & numbering all the paragraphs for easy access. I also copied all the scripture references into a google sheets doc so later put all of those texts into their own .txt docs later.
If you have any recommendations, let me know. I’d appreciate it if you commented & follows my blog.
Fat Mo here & this site is dedicated to my Boyd K. Packer research & eventual publication of his biography. Yes, he already has one. My approach will be to research & write an analysis of Packer’s public speeches & books & whatever else I can find & attribute to him.
Unfortunately for you, most of my posts are published from my iPhone, so everything I post will be short (I’m a one thumb hunt & pecker). Hopefully, I’ll be able to post daily updates about my progress & research activities.