Question: Did President Boyd K. Packer, in a talk given in the Forest Bend Ward in Salt Lake City on 12 October 2008, say that a catastrophic event was looming in the immediate future?


Question: Did President Boyd K. Packer, in a talk given in the Forest Bend Ward in Salt Lake City on 12 October 2008, say that a catastrophic event was looming in the immediate future?

President Packer spoke that day, but any message that he wanted to give to the world would be given in General Conference, not in an individual ward

A common e-mail circulated by some members claims to be a transcript of remarks given by President Packer in the Forest Bend Ward in Salt Lake City, Utah, on 12 October 2008. Reportedly, Pres. Packer is quoted as saying that a catastrophic event was looming in the immediate future and that we must get used to making do with what we have or doing without. He is also quoted as saying the world was too dangerous for us to let our children play outside alone.

President Packer give did give a talk on the date cited. No approved transcript exists, and it is contrary to the counsel of the Church to circulate or rely on such unofficial accounts, which often distort or misunderstand (even if unintentionally) the intent of the speaker.

When prophets and apostles wish to communicate important information for the spiritual or temporal well-being of members, they will do so via official channels to the entire Church, not in small meetings from which we must rely on unverified accounts to receive their message.

A FairMormon member contacted Church Public Affairs, and received the following response (the words are the FAIR member's, not the Church's):

I was told that while President Packer did indeed speak at the meeting cited, no transcript was made and that the one circulating was done after the talk was given and should not be considered to be authoritative. The following statement was given to me on the matter:

The following First Presidency letter explains the Church’s position on these types of e-mails. The letter was issued on May 13, 2004 and to all Church units and LDS Church leaders. Its subject was:

Statements Attributed to Church Leaders From time to time statements are circulated among members which are inaccurately attributed to the leaders of the Church. Many such statements distort current Church teachings and are often based on rumors and innuendos. They are never transmitted officially, but by word of mouth, e-mail, or other informal means.

We encourage members of the Church to never teach or pass on such statements without verifying that they are from approved Church sources, such as official statements, communications, and publications. Any notes made when General Authorities, Area Authority Seventies, or other general Church officers speak at regional and stake conferences or other meetings should not be distributed without the consent of the speaker. Personal notes are for individual use only. [emphasis added by FAIR]

True spiritual growth is based on studying the scriptures, the teachings of the Brethren, and Church publications.

President Packer's secretary indicated further that President Packer's message for the world is in last week's [i.e., October 2008] General Conference. If members of the Church want to know what message he would have us hear, we need to listen to that talk, and throw this account of his talk away. President Packer's office cautioned that the talk given on 12 October represented President Packer's personal views, and should not be considered to be doctrine or a statement of the Church's views.

Notes