Boyd Packer, the leader of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died July 3. RNS photo courtesy LDS Church

Boyd Packer, head of Mormon Church top governing body, has died

Boyd Packer, the leader of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died July 3. RNS photo courtesy LDS Church

Boyd Packer, the leader of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died July 3. RNS photo courtesy LDS Church


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(Reuters) - Boyd Packer, head of the Mormon Church's highest governing body, died at his home in Salt Lake City on Friday, the church said on its website.

He was 90 and died of age-related causes, Elder Russell Ballard of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said in a statement.

Packer, who served as president of the church's Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, had been next in line to be church president, according to his obituary in the Salt Lake Tribune.

The Salt Lake City-based Mormon Church says its members number more than 15 million people around the world.

Packer was a frequent spokesman for his faith's conservative values.

In April, after Utah enacted its first nondiscrimination protections for gay and transgender residents, Packer spoke out to extol the eternal value of marriage between a man and a woman.

Faithful members of the LDS Church believe that "the only legitimate, authorized expression of the powers of procreation is between a husband and wife who have been legally and lawfully married," Packer said.

The Salt Lake Tribune said that Packer preached in 2010 that gays could resist the urge to act on their attractions and suggested they could change their sexual orientation.

For the church, Packer worked on new editions of its history and scriptures, the LDS statement said.

"President Packer always felt that if we could read the words of the Lord we would be far better off and much safer than speculating with our own ideas," Ballard said. "It was not unusual for him to say, 'Brethren, let me read to you.'"

Ballard called Packer a dedicated "apostle ... from the crown of his head to the soles of his feet."

Born in Brigham City, Utah, Packer served as a U.S. bomber pilot during World War II.

He is survived by his wife, Donna, and their 10 children.

Comments

  1. From the article: “Packer, who served as president of the church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, had been next in line to be church president…”

    Mormons are fond of saying that “the Lord” decides who the next prophet will be. It would appear that “the Lord” decided it shouldn’t be Mr. Packer.

  2. True. The Lord decided that the prophet should be Thomas S Monson for now. My guess (and this is only a guess based on the ages of people involved) is that Dallin Oaks will be the prophet after President Monson passes away.

  3. You mean, after “the Lord” decides to “remove” Mr. Monson, don’t you?

    And according to the D&C, that would involve Mr. Monson leading the church “astray” (see Excerpts from Three Addresses by President Wilford Woodruff Regarding the Manifesto, Doctrine and Covenants, Official Declaration 1).

    Within the context of OD1 it gets even stranger when one considers the fact that all the LDS prophets (except Monson) have been “removed,” and (as you note) we expect Monson’s “removal” any day, in order to make room for the “next prophet.”

  4. What a righteous and great leader he was for the believers in our religion.

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