President Boyd K. Packer: Guided by the Holy Spirit
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Every member can be guided by the Spirit of revelation and the gift of the Holy Ghost, declared President Boyd K. Packer, president of the Quorum of the Twelve, in his Saturday afternoon address.
"Regardless of opposition, or 'wars, rumors of wars, and earthquakes in divers places,' no power or influence can stop this work."
President Packer said the scriptures today consist of the Bible, the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, the Pearl of Great Price and the Doctrine and Covenants. "Because of the Book of Mormon, we are frequently called the Mormon Church, a title we do not resent, but it is really not accurate." In the Book of Mormon, the Lord revisited the Nephites, who asked to know what they should call the Church. The Lord instructed them to call the Church in His sacred name.
"Obedient to revelation, we call ourselves The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints rather than the Mormon Church. It is one thing for others to refer to the Church as the Mormon Church or to us as Mormons, it is quite another for us to do so," he said.
President Packer added that the First Presidency has stated that the use of the revealed name, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Doctrine and Covenants 115:4), is increasingly important to proclaim the name of the Savior throughout all the world. The First Presidency went on to ask that members refer to the Church by its full name whenever possible. When referring to Church members, it's suggested that "members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" be used. And as a shortened reference, "Latter-day Saints" is preferred.
"The world will refer to us as they will, but in our speech always remember that we belong to the Church of Jesus Christ,"
The Church leader noted that some claim Latter-day Saints are not Christians. "They either do not know us at all or they misunderstand."
In the Church, he added, every ordinance is done by the authority of and in the name of Jesus Christ. It is the same organization that was found in the primitive Church with apostles and prophets.
After the resurrected Christ ascended into heaven, His apostles were empowered with the authority given by the Savior and the gift of the Holy Ghost that were essential for establishing the Church. They were commanded to baptize and confer the gift of the Holy Ghost. In time, the apostles and the priesthood they carried were gone. The authority and power to administer had to be restored.
"In 1829, the priesthood was restored to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery by John the Baptist and the Apostles Peter, James and John," he said. "Now worthy male members of the Church are ordained to the priesthood. The authority and the attendant gift of the Holy Ghost, which is conferred upon all members of the Church after baptism, set us apart from other churches."
The work of the Church today is performed by ordinary men and women called and sustained to preside, to teach and to administer. It it by the power of revelation and the gift of the Holy Ghost that those called are guided to know the Lord's will.
Through Joseph Smith, the Lord revealed a code of health — the Word of Wisdom. All are taught to avoid tea, coffee, liquor, tobacco and varieties of drugs and addictive substances. "Those who obey this revelation are promised that they shall receive health, 'and shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures.'"
President Packer said the Lord has also revealed that the sacred powers to beget life must be protected and employed only between man and woman, husband and wife. "To misuse this power is exceeded in seriousness only by the shedding of innocent blood and denying the Holy Ghost." Repentance can erase the effect of such transgressions.
The great plan of happiness centers on family life. The husband is the head of the home and the wife the heart of the home, with marriage an equal partnership, he said.
Latter-day Saints are also taught to love one another and to frankly forgive offenses. Many members have been offended by some aspect of the Church and have fallen into inactivity.
"That attitude is somewhat like a man being hit by a club," he said. "Offended, he takes up a club and beats himself over the head all the days of his life. How foolish! How sad! That kind of revenge is self-inflicting. If you have been offended, forgive, forget it and leave it alone."