Packer: We Are Not in the Last Days

Elder Boyd K. Packer in the 181st General Conference of the LDS Church stated that The End in not just around the corner.  This prediction is good news for a variety of reasons.  However, it is also cause for concern.  This is the second time recently when I have found myself in agreement with Elder Packer.  Does this mean that hell is going to freeze over?

 

Elder Boyd K. Packer Says: "Not So"

 

The first time I agreed with Elder Packer was on the subject of apologetics.  We both agree that being overly defensive is not a good thing.  Now we agree that it is not “Apocalypse Now” . . . or even soon.

According the a Peggy Fletcher Stack story in the SLTrib (2 Oct 2011):

The end is not near, senior LDS apostle Boyd K. Packer said Saturday.

Today’s youth can look forward to “getting married, having a family, seeing your children and grandchildren, maybe even great-grandchildren,”

These days, you Mormons may have . . . anxiety about the future, Packer said, quoting them as saying, “The end of the world is going to come before I get to where I should be.”

To that, Packer declared, “Not so!”

While I’m concerned about what will happen to:

  • books about signs that we are in the Last Days,
  • books that claim to interpret the Book of Revelations,
  • the doomsayer business in general (think Glenn Beck here), and
  • the bomb shelter business

I will probably get over it.  The problem with the whole “end-of-days” cult is the negative attitude that many develop toward the Earth.

An interesting generic quote appeared in a letter to the editor of Dialogue.  It gives an excuse the letter write said Mormon’s frequently use for ignoring the condition of the Earth:  “Well it’s the Last Days.  The scriptures say thing will get bad at the end.  It’s just a fulfillment of prophecy.  There’s nothing I can do about it.”  But this type of logic doesn’t go along with the stewardship admonistions of Brigham Young.

According to George B. Handley, Professor of Humanities at BYU:

. . . if it is inconceivable to justify pollution of the body since it will die anyway, why do Mormons and other Christians give in to the faulty logic that the Earth’s prophesied death justifies our willing participation in killing it?  Perhaps we have simply become indifferent to the  spiritual life of non-human beings.  This is especially disappointing when we consider that LDS doctrine teaches that, if we are worthy, we can return to the Earth.

We Mormons need to get past our dark obsession with the Last Days.

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6 Responses to Packer: We Are Not in the Last Days

  1. Agreed. We need to look at the dark prophecies as risks to mitigate rather than inevitable fates. We should focus on realizing the positive prophecies of transfiguration, resurrection, renewal of this world, and the discovery and creation of worlds without end.

  2. susan says:

    Not So!

    Note that Boyd K. Packer has used this exact saying twice during the past year:

    1. “Some suppose that they were preset and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn tendencies toward the impure and unnatural. Not so! Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone? Remember, God is our Heavenly Father.” (October 2010 General Conference)

    2. The end is not near, senior LDS apostle Boyd K. Packer said Saturday.
    Today’s youth can look forward to “getting married, having a family, seeing your children and grandchildren, maybe even great-grandchildren.” These days, you Mormons may have . . . anxiety about the future, Packer said, quoting them as saying, “The end of the world is going to come before I get to where I should be.” To that, Packer declared, “Not so!” (October 2011 General Conference)

    3. Roger, hell has frozen over… Not so!

    • rogerdhansen says:

      Notice that I said I have agreed with him on two occasions lately, and I intentionally listed the two issues on which we agree.

      Susan, your first quote is very distressing. Not only in the way that it treats gays, but also in the way it treats the majority of those who have lived on Earth. When Elder Packer states: “Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone?” He raises a much bigger issue. Why would He condemn the vast majority of those who have lived and are living on the Earth to endure malnutrition, disease, war, pestulance, natural disasters, etc. The experience of most of humanity is hand-to-mouth. They have little time or opportunity to think about the Celestial Kingdom. Elder Packer’s rationalization needs to be examined as part of a broader picture. I understand that the issue I raise, is deeply philosophical, but if you are going to use it with the gay/lesbian community, you also need to look at everyone who is living a life that has few, if any, progressive options.

      In a somewhat related subject, why does the LDS Church obsess over the dead, when there are so many opportunities to help the living, both members and non-members? The LDS Church has done some to help those living in dire circumstances, but it needs to do a lot more.

  3. Suzette says:

    I am SO confused… All elder Packer said was, “Sometimes you might be tempted to think as I did from time to time in my youth: “The way things are going, the world’s going to be over with. The end of the world is going to come before I get to where I should be.” Not so! You can look forward to doing it right—getting married, having a family, seeing your children and grandchildren, maybe even great-grandchildren.” All of these blessings (i.e.getting married, having a family, seeing your children and grandchildren, maybe even great-grandchildren) can and will take place during the times of tribulation and after the Lord returns during his millennial reign. To me this does not sound at all like he is saying these are not the very last days…

    • rogerdhansen says:

      Suzette, Christians have been predicting that the Last Days are eminent for 2,000 years (since Christ was crucified). What good does it do to obsess over such issues? None. Let’s just live our lives the best we can. If it comes, it comes. If not, let’s make a better world for our children and grandchildren. I think we need to take Elder Packer at face value and not read too much into it.

  4. mdskewes says:

    Act like Christ is coming tomorrow , but plant cherry trees ,that’s what I think and that’s what ..which prophet also said !?

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