21 Years Later: Why Elder Packers Counsel Must Be Taken SEERiously


ELDER PACKERS FINAL PICTUREIn a talk given to the Church Coordinating Council in 1993, Elder Boyd K. Packer identified three areas that pose a serious threat to the spiritual welfare to the members of the church. He said, “The dangers I speak of come from the gay-lesbian movement, the feminist movement (both of which are relatively new), and the ever-present challenge from the so-called scholars or intellectuals.”

With the recent events of John Dehlin and Katie Kelly’s disciplinary counsel, I have spent a lot of time reflecting on Elder Packers words. I kept asking myself, “Of all the things he could warn us about, why did he choose these three things?” I believe Elder Packer was warning us about an ideology, a belief system that is incompatible with the gospel of Jesus Christ (not to mention American values). His warning has proven to be prophetic because each one of these issues (primarily feminism and gay marriage) is continually front and center in the media.

Because there is too much to discuss with these topics, I have divided this post into two parts. The first will cover the feminism movement and its war against gender identity and the perceived threat of the patriarchal system. The second part will continue many of the themes in this post since all of them virtually share the same values and goals.

Gender and the Patriarchal System

In order to understand feminism, one must understand that the cornerstone of this movement is the belief that men and women, by nature are the same, and the only reason that gender roles exist is because of “social constructs.” That is where their belief that boys like guns and girls like dolls originates, because they are taught to. This reasoning explains why men are masculine, and women tend to be feminine, not because God made us this way, but because we are socially programmed to think this way. Their stance is that since these roles are learned, they can be unlearned.

Feminists believe that the greatest perpetrator of these oppressive roles is the patriarchal system, where a man is the provider and protector, while the woman is the homemaker. Betty Friedan referred to the home as “a comfortable concentration camp.” “What better way to “re-educate” a generation than to do whatever is possible to destroy the traditional family?

Jessica Valenti, an outspoken feminist, identified this as one of their objectives in an op-ed she wrote for the Washington post; “Feminism is a social justice movement with values and goals that benefit women. It’s a structural analysis of a world that oppresses women, an ideology based on the notion that patriarchy exists and that it needs to end.” Robin Morgan, another leading feminist said, “We can’t destroy the inequities between men and women until we destroy marriage.”

In essence, it is the patriarchal system that they see as an obstacle to women’s liberation. Once you understand this, you can begin to see why they have such contempt for the likes of Sarah Palin and Conservative Christians, and why Betty Friedan would refer to home makers as “feeble-minded.”

One of the reasons that the feminist movement has been so active in the gay rights movement is that it undermines the “patriarchal system” and gender identities. What gay marriage is saying, in its essence, is that there are no gender distinctions, whether you have an actual mother and father, father and father or mother and mother, it doesn’t matter. Gay marriage only furthered the agenda of the feminists to remove any gender distinctions.

So important is the removal of gender distinctions to this movement that Susan Okin, an academic theorist, envisioned a time when “one’s sex would have no more relevance than one’s eye color or the length of one’s toes.” No assumptions would be made about “male and “female” roles. It would be a future in which men and women participated in more or less equal numbers in every sphere of life, from infant care to different kinds of paid work to high-level politics.”

If you think this is an example cherry picked from the fringe of this movement, here are but a few examples (I can provide many more);

  • The Vancouver public now allows student to choose gender-neutral pronouns such as, “Xe,” “Xem” and “Xyr.”
  • California is in the process of allowing gay men to list themselves as “mother” (how adorable) on their child’s birth certificate.
  • NPR ran a story last year, called “Young People Push Back against Gender Categories,” I quote from the report, “They refuse to be limited by notions like male and female. ‘I want you to call me Tractor and use pronouns like zee, zim and zer.” Tracker? You can’t make this stuff up.

What Does This Mean For Latter-day Saints?

The Proclamation on the Family makes it clear “Gender is an essential characteristic of individual pre-mortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.” With indisputable evidence, not to mention, common sense, one has to “will” themselves to believe otherwise. In essence, Feminism is a rebellion against nature, against what is true. That is why it can be accurately called an ideology, a religion.

One of the worst things about this ideology is how it contaminates ones thinking. It leads a person to perceive threats where none exists. It becomes easy, almost natural to think of oneself as a victim. This may be the reason Kate Kelly perception that the church is an “institution that is fundamentally unequal, oppressive,” and demonstrates classic symptoms of a “very aggressive serial abuser.” There will come a time when we will need to make a choice of which way we face, because it is impossible to adhere to values thatare in-congruent. For this very reason, Elder Packer warned us of their danger.

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32 replies »

  1. You have so badly defined and mischaracterized feminism, I hardly know where to start. First of all, you can’t quote what one random feminist says, and the universally apply it to all feminists. That is like saying one Mormon believes every man will have six wives in the celestial kingdom and so all Mormons must believe that.

    All I can speak for is myself and all of the feminists that I know personally (which, quite frankly, is hundreds). I don’t know *anyone* who believes that there is no biological difference between the sexes. That is preposterous. You have conflated sex and gender, and so have completely missed the boat. I also don’t know any feminists who believe that marriage should be dissolved–but it is worth noting that you don’t seem to know a thing about the science of parenting, and the fact that children are just as happy being raised by two loving same sex parents as they are any two people.

    The is no “war on gender identity”. There is a war on forcing people to fit into molds that they don’t fit into. I have three sons and they all love trains, and I’m fine with that. They also enjoy getting their toe nails painted–and this is because no one has ever told them they are not supposed to like it. GENDER IDENTIFICATION AND ROLES are generally a societally construct (NOT the biological sex). And if you don’t see that it, it is probably because you are a cisgendered straight white male living in a world built to serve cisgendered straight white males. In other words, your sight is totally overwhelmed by your privilege. They same goes for calling patriarchy a “perceived threat”. If you don’t see it as a threat, it is probably because it doesn’t threaten you (MALE. PRIVILEGE.). That does NOT mean that it is not a societal problem.

  2. Yeah Shaun, your views can only be the result of your cisgendered privilege or something. If you were anything but a white male you would bow down to obvious rightness that is Leah Marie and the like minded. She played the “male privilege card” (in caps!). Game over man.

    • Sex is your biological presentation as male or female (with some occasional in-between). Essentially: which chromosomes you have.
      Gender is how you yourself identify on the male-female spectrum. Sometimes this is in line with your sex, sometimes it is not. Gender is for the most part socially constructed, which is not always harmful, (we like to have a feeling of “belonging” somewhere) but certainly can be and is therefore an important concept to be aware of and think of in a critical way.
      Sexual orientation is who you do/do not like to have sex with. A good explanation of the differences between gender and sexual orientation is “Gender is who you go to bed AS, sexuality is who you go to bed WITH” (I know you didn’t ask me to define sexuality but it does affect other issues of gender and sex so it is important to recognize the distinct differences between the three)

  3. Yes! I’m having a hard time understanding Leah-Marie explain gender? Sex? Cisgendered? I’ve never heard of these terms before. It’s confusing.

    • cisgender is someone who identifies with the gender they were assigned at birth. For example, someone is born with male genitals and identifies as male, he is cisgendered. Transgender is someone who is born with any parts, but changes their gender later on in life. For example, I was born with female parts, but I identify as non binary. So, I’m transgender.

  4. I agree! Call me “simple minded” but I’ve always thought that if you were born with “something” between your legs, your a boy. If you have “nothing” between your legs, your a girl. Are we all in agreement?

  5. Yup! So far, so good. Do feminists beleive that someone can “choose” what gender they want to be even if they have different “parts”?

    • Yup! We certainly do believe that! You can’t change your biological sex and chromosomes, buy you can change your gender. Thats how I am as a non binary person.

  6. I agree. It’s awesome how the Brethren are never wrong. At work when I discuss Religion or Politics (the two things that should never be discussed at work or with strangers) I find it so easy to defend my position because I know we have a Prophet that receives Revelation from the Lord. I love to listen to other people’s opinion even if we differ, because it helps me understand where they are coming from. Stephen Covey said it best, “Seek to understand so you can be understood”. I’m not looking for agreement, just clarity. It’s important to feel safe with those we differ with. Some of my closest relationships at work are those I differ with. I just had a revelation, every single person is an intellectual. One girl might be a feminist? Monday is going to be a day of learning for me as I ask my friend if she is a feminist! Awesome, I’m excited!

  7. Whatever they say about their LDS affiliation, its bogus. They are collectively a black hole in my view. I’m so grateful I had the good sense to not let my gender and sexual selves be at war.

    Not at all to mock their superior human evolutionary advance but I simply don’t need the anxiety of not knowing who my gender self is beginning another weekend when I just don’t have the time to paint my toe nails.

  8. “Black Hole”! Perfect way to describe the women in this movement. Absolutley Perfect! My Sister got sucked into this movement and it took a toll on her spirit. She was angry all the time. Everything offended her. The best was when she DEMANDED that we embrace her new way of thinking and be TOLERANT, INCLUSIVE, and of course, ACCEPTING of her enlightened mind. At the same time, she wasn’t TOLLERANT, INCLUSIVE or ACCEPTING of mine or anybody who disagreed with her. She threatned my parents that she would leave the church if they wern’t ACCEPTING of her new belief system. My Father is a Patriarch. He and my Mother are pure in heart. They are so special. Dad can open the Windows of Heaven at a drop of a hat. Both of there testimonies of Jesus Christ are so sacred. Whenever my Sister would go on a rant about “Women’s equality, fairness, holding the Priesthood, blah, blah, blah”, he would always be kind and loving while listening to her angry tirades. She was always offended about somethin,. Demanded apologies about anything that she didnt agree with others. He would listen quietly and when she was done, he would reply, “I love you so much. It pains me to see you full of such hatred and anger. I dont want you to leave the Church, because if you do, I fear you wont be able to leave the Church alone”. My Mother would ask her, “what isn’t fair about the Church? Do you really want the Priesthood? Do you know what the Priesthood is? Are Mine and your Fathers relationship not equal”? She NEVER had a coherent answer. She sounded like Leah-Marie, angry, bitter, and of course never answered the questions, just acted like an “elitist”, and said, “your an idiot”! Or something like, “study up”! My Sister finally broke. She is a strong member of the Church with a solid testimony of Jesus Christ. She gives credit to my wonderful parents for there unyielding love, patience and long suffering. My Father is the Patriarch of our family, not just by name, but by deed. The writer of this article is right on the money when he said, ( not exact quote) “the feminist movement hates and resents the Patriarchal order of The Church” They feel threatned by it for some reason? Not sure why. Robinobishop said it best, “Black Hole”! A true Feminist knows there role in Heavenly Fathers plan and in doing so, they have love for themselves and self-respect. Leah-Marie’s feminism is nothing but a bunch of PHONY, SCARED
    and INSECURE women who refuse to listen to and obey the Lords Prophet on Earth. WE THANK THEE O GOD FOR A PROPHET!
    like my friend Robinobishop said, “there membership is bogus”!
    I AGREE!


  9. “On one occasion Karl G. Maeser was leading a party of young missionaries across the Alps. As they reached the summit, he looked back and saw a row of sticks thrust into the snow to mark the one safe path across the otherwise treacherous glacier.

    Halting the company of missionaries, he gestured toward the sticks and said: “Brethren, there stands the priesthood [of God]. They are just common sticks like the rest of us,… but the position they hold makes them what they are to us. If we step aside from the path they mark, we are lost.” (In Alma P. Burton, Karl G. Maeser, Mormon Educator [Salt Lake City, Deseret Book Co., 1953], p. 22.)”

  10. Received an email survey just now in response to my recent visit to Jiffy Lube to service my Pius. The final question on the survey asked me which “gender” I am. I paused for the first time in my life. This immediately made me feel uncomfortable. I checked myself out and answered “male” from only two choices. In the comment section, I contemplated scolding them for not asking me my sex.

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