Mormon apostle Boyd K. Packer dies at 90

SALT LAKE CITY — Boyd K. Packer, president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died at his home Friday. He was 90 years old.

President Boyd K. Packer, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, speaks at the Sunday afternoon session of general conference, Salt Lake City, Utah, April 6, 2014 | Photo courtesy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, St. George News
President Boyd K. Packer, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, speaks at the Sunday afternoon session of general conference, Salt Lake City, Utah, April 6, 2014 | Photo courtesy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, St. George News

Packer died from “causes incident to age,” according to a press release from the church. The time of his death was approximately 2 p.m.

“He was truly an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ,” Elder M. Russell Ballard, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, said, as quoted in the press release. “From the crown of his head to the soles of his feet, he represented the Savior of the world.”

At the time of his death, Packer was serving as president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, a position he had held since 2008.

He previously served as acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve, serving in that capacity from June 1994 until he was set apart as president in February 2008. He was ordained an apostle on April 9, 1970, and served as a general authority for the church for more than 50 years, according to the press release.

“The lessons that he’s taught are long in the hearts of people and in their minds,” his son, Elder Allan Packer, a member of the church’s Quorum of the Seventy, said.

The Packer family, from left: Boyd, Allan, Kenneth, Donna and David, location not specified, circa  1952 | Photo courtesy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, St. George News
The Packer family, from left: Boyd, Allan, Kenneth, Donna and David, location not specified, circa 1952 | Photo courtesy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, St. George News

Among notable contributions during his church service, Packer served on a committee with other church leaders and scriptural scholars in 1979 and 1981 to produce new editions of LDS scriptures, adding study aids and formats to enhance scripture study for church members.

Packer said of the project:

With the passing of years, these scriptures will produce successive generations of faithful Christians who know the Lord Jesus Christ and are disposed to obey His will. These references from the four volumes of scripture constitute the most comprehensive compilation of scriptural information on the mission and teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ that has ever been assembled in the history of the world.

“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.’ And then he would turn to a very important scripture in the standard works and let us listen to what the Lord had to say. And we all learned at his feet.”

During the church’s April 2014 general conference, Packer said:

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 Boyd K. Packer, his wife Donna and their son Elder Allan F. Packer, of the Quorum of the Seventy, and his wife, Terri, participate in the cornerstone and dedication of the Brigham City Utah Temple, Brigham City, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, St. George News
President Boyd K. Packer, his wife Donna and their son Elder Allan F. Packer, of the Quorum of the Seventy, and his wife, Terri, participate in the cornerstone and dedication of the Brigham City Utah Temple, Brigham City, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, St. George News

Born Sept. 10, 1924, in Brigham City, Packer was a United States bomber pilot during World War II in the Pacific Theater, according to the press release. An educator by profession, his career included service as supervisor of seminaries and institutes of religion for the church and as a member of the administrative council of Brigham Young University.

Packer was recently preceded in death by L. Tom Perry, also a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who died of thyroid cancer in May. The vacancies left by both men will be filled by the church at a future date.

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2 Comments

  • Simone July 5, 2015 at 11:50 am

    Though I’m sure he and I disagreed on many things, his family is in my thoughts today.

    “Unable are the loved to die. For love is immortality”
    Emily Dickinson

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