Remembering President Boyd K. Packer (1924–2015)

    “Remembering President Boyd K. Packer (1924–2015)” New Era, August 2015, 28–29

    Remembering President Boyd K. Packer (1924–2015)

    Packer, Boyd K. Biography

    As a young man in Brigham City, Utah.

    Packer, Boyd K. Biography

    Serving as a bomber pilot in World War II (left).

    Packer, Boyd K. Biography

    On his wedding day with his wife, Donna, 1947.

    Packer, Boyd K. Biography

    With his wife, Donna, and the oldest 8 of their 10 children.

    Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. 1970

    After joining the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in April 1970 (top right).

    Monson, Thomas S. Biography

    Talking with President Thomas S. Monson at general conference, 1984.

    Packer, Boyd K. Biography

    Working on a painting, a favorite hobby along with making wood carvings of birds and other animals.

    Packer, Boyd K.

    When President Boyd K. Packer first had his picture in the newspaper because of an important position he had been given, one of his high school teachers was apparently pretty surprised and said, “That just proves that you can’t tell by looking at a frog how high he is going to jump!”

    “The image of that frog, sitting in the mud instead of jumping,” said President Packer, “illustrates how inadequate I have felt when facing the responsibilities that have come to me.”1

    But face them he did, and he has blessed millions of people in the process.

    For example, every time you look at a footnote in the scriptures, you’re witnessing the work of a committee that President Boyd K. Packer participated in with other members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Those references were created without the use of a search engine but rather with a large team, hours of hard work, a love of the scriptures, and a lifetime of study. The project included tens of thousands of footnotes, the Topical Guide, the Bible Dictionary, maps, and new chapter headings.

    Not only did President Packer have a love for the scriptures, but he also had a love for teaching them. He wanted to teach seminary and did so for years, later becoming supervisor over the Church’s seminaries and institutes.

    Teaching seminary strengthened his great love for the youth of the Church, and he spoke to them directly on numerous occasions. He taught boldly and with love—love for God, love for the people, and love for the doctrine. He was frequently called a master teacher.

    General Conference. 2008 October

    Speaking in one of more than four decades of general conferences as an Apostle.

    President Packer made it easy to understand the gospel through his analogies. If you’ve seen “Spiritual Crocodiles” ( or “The Mediator” (, you’ll know why.

    Despite all he has done, President Packer never considered himself better than anyone else. In fact, he said on multiple occasions that “as General Authorities of the Church, we are just the same as you are, and you are just the same as we are. … No member of the Church is esteemed by the Lord as more or less than any other.”2

    Yet President Packer did speak of the witness and testimony of the Savior he had as a special witness: “I have the witness that would qualify me for the calling I have. I’ve had it since I met the First Presidency those many years ago” when called as a General Authority.3

    In one of his final conference talks, he would again bear a powerful testimony of the Lord:

    “After all the years that I have lived and taught and served, … there is one great truth that I would share. That is my witness of the Savior Jesus Christ.

    “Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon recorded the following after a sacred experience:

    “‘And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!

    “‘For we saw him’ (D&C 76:22–23).

    “Their words are my words.

    I believe and I am sure that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that He lives. …

    “I bear my witness that the Savior lives. I know the Lord. I am His witness.”4