President Boyd K. Packer: ‘The witness’

Credit: IRI
Credit: YouTube screenshot
Credit: YouTube screenshot
Credit: Deseret News

President Boyd K. Packer, president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, has served over five decades as a General Authority. In his Sunday afternoon talk, the veteran leader drew upon his vast experience, sharing those truths "which are the most worth knowing."

"After all the years that I have lived and taught and served, after the millions of miles I have traveled around the world, with all that I have experienced, there is one great truth that I would share. That is my witness of the Savior Jesus Christ."

President Packer spoke of the moment that he came to know the truthfulness of the gospel. It was World War II and he was stationed on the island of Ie Shima, just north of Okinawa, Japan. He struggled with doubt and uncertainty and, during one sleepless night, prayerfully asked God for answers.

"Almost mid-sentence it happened," he said. "I could not describe to you what happened if I were determined to do so. It is beyond my power of expression, but it is as clear today as it was that night more than 65 years ago …. I knew for myself. I knew for a certainty, for it had been given to me."

Anyone, he added, can receive such answer to their own prayer.

"Like most things of great worth, knowledge which is of eternal value comes only through personal prayer and pondering. These, joined with fasting and scripture study, will invite impressions and revelations and the whisperings of the Holy Spirit. This provides us with instruction from on high as we learn precept upon precept."

President Packer then testified of God the Father. "His use of the name 'Father' is a lesson for all as we come to understand what it is that matters most in this life."

He called parenthood "a sacred privilege" that, depending upon one's faithfulness, can be an eternal blessing.

"The ultimate end of all activity in the Church is that a man and his wife and their children can be happy at home."

Those who do not marry or those who cannot have children, he added, are not excluded from the eternal blessings they seek. "We do not always know how or when blessings will present themselves, but the promise of eternal increase will not be denied any faithful individual who makes and keeps sacred covenants."

President Packer also testified of the existence of the Holy Ghost.

"He is the third member of the Godhead. His mission is to testify of truth and righteousness. He manifests Himself in many ways, including feelings of peace and reassurance. He can also bring comfort, guidance and correction when needed. The companionship of the Holy Ghost is maintained throughout our lives by righteous living."

A witness of the Lord Jesus Christ is a supernal truth.

"Foremost and underpinning all that we do, anchored throughout the revelations, is the Lord's name, which is the authority by which we act in the Church," he said. "Every prayer offered, even by little children, ends in the name of Jesus Christ. Every blessing, every ordinance, every ordination, every official act is done in the name of Jesus Christ. It is His Church, and it is named for Him — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."

Every individual must come to his or her own personal testimony of Christ — and then share that testimony with family and others.

"Let us remember that there is an adversary who personally seeks to disrupt the work of the Lord," he warned. "We must choose who to follow. Our protection is as simple as deciding individually to follow the Savior, making certain that we faithfully remain on His side."

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