Thursday, November 5, 2015

"The Book" By Elder Allan F. Packer

Find this talk here.


  • Cute story, about the hatchet's sheath.
  • This idea that we have to pay attention to all gospel requirements is misleading. First, Christ's doctrine is simply to repent and be baptized; the Lord cursed those who declared more or less than that. Second, the Lord will teach us what we need to do to purify ourselves. We should come to know Him, and then follow His instructions. Our mortal minds are not, so far as we can tell, capable of multi-tasking decently, so we simply have to focus on one part of the gospel at a time.
  • "The Church helps but cannot do it for us." I couldn't agree more, not just with the part that says the Church can't do it for us, but the part that says the Church helps.
  • The gospel is certainly far more beautiful and expansive than man's mundane checklists for entering a foreign country.
  • Cool, we get a mention of equality of authority in the Church's quorums. Too bad it doesn't actually work that way in practice.
  • So speaking of these required ordinances, where does the second anointing fall in the list?
    • I wonder if the Church has changed the second anointing ordinance as much as they've changed the initiatory, sealing, and endowment ordinances. Or for that matter the baptism and sacrament ordinances.
  • I thought the ultimate end of the Church would be the same as the Lord's goal, to bring to pass man's immortality and eternal life. Apparently it's just focused on making happy homes. Surely a happy home wasn't the extent of the Lord's goal when He commanded Isaiah to run around naked for three years, or killed off all Ether's family and friends leaving him to get fed by ravens while living in a cave.
  • The Church's focus on family history is interesting, given Joseph Smith's teachings that largely contradict them.
  • I'm interested in how hard it apparently is for the Church to convince people to do family history. They're right that it isn't really that hard, at least for those of us in developed countries, yet even that little action is like pulling teeth, it would seem.
    • To be clear, I've done family history work, and taken to the temple names of family members I found and copied into the Family Search database. Temple work was more rewarding when I did that. I'm no longer convinced it's actually useful to the deceased for whom we try to officiate, but it had its rewards

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