Sunday, November 8, 2015

"The Plan of Happiness" By President Boyd K. Packer

Find this talk here.


  • I'm grateful for the occasional testimony from those a fair bit older than I that "longtime married love", as Pres. Packer put it, is a really nice thing.
  • I'm not convinced that sealing really should be equated to marriage. I've probably mentioned that in other posts. If sealing and marriage aren't the same thing, it goes a long way toward explaining Joseph Smith's "polygamy" coincident with his repeated denunciations of the idea, it explains Malachi's "turn the hearts" quotes more fully, and it explains how the early D&C statement that marriage should always be public (removed when section 132 was added by Brigham Young in -- I think -- the 1870s) can still be honored.
    • It would also allow the Church to get out of requiring marriage licenses from candidates for marriage. The marriage license is an improper intrusion of government into what should be a private contract, In most states it makes the state the actual, legal owner of children produced by the marriage, which is how the state has legal basis for compelling education, taking custody through child protective services, and probably other stuff. Moreover, that contract is indissoluble, so once the state owns you, there's nothing you can do about it, even with a divorce.
  • After reading Pres. Packer's "Little Factory" talk (https://www.lds.org/bc/content/shared/content/english/pdf/language-materials/33382_eng.pdf?lang=eng) I have a rough time listening to him discuss matters of intimacy, even in the relatively Puritan terms he uses here.
  • D&C 132 has enough internal inconsistencies that it's hard to trust it for much, but I think Pres. Packer's quote here is probably pretty close to correct. Too bad his quote of D&C 124, which is far more trustworthy, is taken completely out of context. It's speaking of baptism for the dead, not sealing.
  • "But unlike the case of our mortal bodies, when the repentance process is complete, no scars remain because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ." So Christ can't heal our physical body without scars?
  • It's certainly true that God's the Father and full of love, and that in His mercy, He'll repair wrongs and give just recompense. But it's too easy to use that fact to paper over the difficult bits in man's policies and behaviors, such as the Church's recent refusal to baptize children from same-sex couples.
  • It's too bad no one ever talks about what the Holy Spirit of Promise is. In the second anointing ordinance, I understand that the officiator claims to be the Holy Spirit of Promise, but that's obviously false given history and context. It can only be Christ confirming the promise (of sealing, or whatever) to someone in person.
    • We also tend to forget that D&C 132 (if you want to trust it) makes the blessings of sealing contingent on ratification by the Holy Spirit of Promise.
  • A testimony is supposed to be a statement of fact. Without recounting the evidence behind his testimony that Christ lives and is at the head of the Church, it's tough to take it seriously.

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