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.
Fat Mo here. I’m at church and typing from the pews on my iPhone. Today was great & one of the best openings to sacrament meeting in a long time: we had a convert confirmation. Last night, a teenager who lives in our ward boundaries got baptized & today, she was confirmed & welcomed as a new member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The ‘spirit‘ of today’s meeting is happy & quite joyous. I haven’t been to a convert confirmation sacrement meeting in a long time–since I lived in Korea.
I love coming to church. I know others find church difficult. I often do, but I always find joy at church.
This, I think is one of the reasons President Packer was so assertive/aggressive in his defense of the purity of the church: he honestly wanted church to be happy for everyone & recognized certain aspects of contemporary society makes church painful, guilt-inducing, rage-inducing, opposition-inspiring, & occasionally awful for people living philosophies & lifestyles counter to the doctrine, ethos, & principles to LDS Gospel & the will of God as stated by modern LDS prophets.
In my research this morning, I came across President Packer’s application of 2 Timothy 3:1-7:
1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
I have been guilty of some these in my life, but rarely directed at members of the church, mostly directed at people at school, work, and/or on the internet who insist on the stupidities of whatever orthodoxy they cling to instead of looking beyond their checklist world to seek the ‘truth‘.
Progress: I’ve been adding speeches, sermons, & Ensign articles written by President Packer from 1971 to 1985 & extracting the reference material he uses. Even though I didn’t blog about it, I worked on this project on Friday & Saturday this week between activities with friends and family as well as this morning before church.
My master document is getting huge & it’s only on my hard drive. I’m planning on breaking it up by year & saving it to Google Docs & Dropbox. I don’t have a working CD/DVD burner anymore, but I’m going to need one. Once I’m ready to, I’m going to be printing everything, but that won’t be for some time.
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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.