Elder Packer’s Mantle Is Far, Far Greater Than the Intellect

Boyd K Packer gave a talk to religious educators at a symposium on the Doctrine and Covenants and Church history. The talk was given at Brigham Young University on August 22, 1981 and is titled The Mantle Is Far, Far Greater Than the Intellect. This is an infamous talk among scholars because Packer commands them to only teach correlated, faith-promoting history. Not “advanced history” because it is so dangerous, and that just because something is true doesn’t mean it is useful.

Packer stated that “some things that are true are not very useful” when urging church history teachers to only share the faith-promoting bits of church history. He condemns any historians or teachers with “spiritual jeopardy” if they teach, according to their professional duties, by sharing anything that may “injure the church or destroy the faith” or any who are not ready for this “advanced history”. He claims that being unbiased historians would give equal attention to the devil and therefore is not a righteous action, nor is it “safe”. He claims that as members, we have covenanted to be biased and share a one-sided narrative for the Lord. He equates this to being converted and that committed scholars should be proud to do this! Then he demeans anyone who leaves the church as a bitter apostate who has “an absence of light” and the “presence of darkness”. He warns listeners not to spread the diseased germs we can only understand as how he sees the complete history and truth!

This talk and mentality still influence and define the attitude of scholarship in the church today! We can see why they have whitewashed history and gaslight members to believe that they have never hidden anything. They only consider faith-promoting history to be true. They are not allowing themselves to even see them because they are so dangerous and “advanced” that the truth could spread like a disease and infect everyone! So they continue to keep it locked up and hushed.

Here are some gems from the talk:

There is a temptation for the writer or the teacher of Church history to want to tell everything, whether it is worthy or faith promoting or not.

Some things that are true are not very useful. - Elder Boyd K Packer
“There is a temptation for the writer or the teacher of Church history to want to tell everything, whether it is worthy or faith promoting or not. Some things that are true are not very useful.” – Elder Boyd K Packer

There is a temptation for the writer or the teacher of Church history to want to tell everything, whether it is worthy or faith promoting or not.

Some things that are true are not very useful.

The Mantle Is Far, Far Greater Than the Intellect, Elder Boyd K Packer. Address to religious educators at a symposium on the Doctrine and Covenants and Church history, Brigham Young University, 22 August 1981
https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/teaching-seminary-preservice-readings-religion-370-471-and-475/the-mantle-is-far-far-greater-than-the-intellect
"One who chooses to follow the tenets of his profession, regardless of how they may injure the Church or destroy the faith of those not ready for “advanced history,” is himself in spiritual jeopardy." - Elder Boyd K Packer
“One who chooses to follow the tenets of his profession, regardless of how they may injure the Church or destroy the faith of those not ready for “advanced history,” is himself in spiritual jeopardy.” – Elder Boyd K Packer

One who chooses to follow the tenets of his profession, regardless of how they may injure the Church or destroy the faith of those not ready for “advanced history,” is himself in spiritual jeopardy.

The Mantle Is Far, Far Greater Than the Intellect, Elder Boyd K Packer. Address to religious educators at a symposium on the Doctrine and Covenants and Church history, Brigham Young University, 22 August 1981
https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/teaching-seminary-preservice-readings-religion-370-471-and-475/the-mantle-is-far-far-greater-than-the-intellect
"In an effort to be objective, impartial, and scholarly, a writer or a teacher may unwittingly be giving equal time to the adversary...

The idea that we must be neutral and argue quite as much in favor of the adversary as we do in favor of righteousness is neither reasonable nor safe." - Elder Boyd K Packer
“In an effort to be objective, impartial, and scholarly, a writer or a teacher may unwittingly be giving equal time to the adversary… The idea that we must be neutral and argue quite as much in favor of the adversary as we do in favor of righteousness is neither reasonable nor safe.” – Elder Boyd K Packer

In an effort to be objective, impartial, and scholarly, a writer or a teacher may unwittingly be giving equal time to the adversary…

The idea that we must be neutral and argue quite as much in favor of the adversary as we do in favor of righteousness is neither reasonable nor safe.

The Mantle Is Far, Far Greater Than the Intellect, Elder Boyd K Packer. Address to religious educators at a symposium on the Doctrine and Covenants and Church history, Brigham Young University, 22 August 1981
https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/teaching-seminary-preservice-readings-religion-370-471-and-475/the-mantle-is-far-far-greater-than-the-intellect
"In the Church we are not neutral. We are one-sided. There is a war going on, and we are engaged in it. It is the war between good and evil, and we are belligerents defending the good. We are therefore obliged to give preference to and protect all that is represented in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and we have made covenants to do it." - Elder Boyd K Packer, Apostle
“In the Church we are not neutral. We are one-sided. There is a war going on, and we are engaged in it. It is the war between good and evil, and we are belligerents defending the good. We are therefore obliged to give preference to and protect all that is represented in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and we have made covenants to do it.” – Elder Boyd K Packer, Apostle

In the Church we are not neutral. We are one-sided. There is a war going on, and we are engaged in it. It is the war between good and evil, and we are belligerents defending the good. We are therefore obliged to give preference to and protect all that is represented in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and we have made covenants to do it.

The Mantle Is Far, Far Greater Than the Intellect, Elder Boyd K Packer. Address to religious educators at a symposium on the Doctrine and Covenants and Church history, Brigham Young University, 22 August 1981
https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/teaching-seminary-preservice-readings-religion-370-471-and-475/the-mantle-is-far-far-greater-than-the-intellect
"We should not be ashamed to be committed, to be converted, to be biased in favor of the Lord." - Elder Boyd K Packer, Apostle
“We should not be ashamed to be committed, to be converted, to be biased in favor of the Lord.” – Elder Boyd K Packer, Apostle

We should not be ashamed to be committed, to be converted, to be biased in favor of the Lord.

The Mantle Is Far, Far Greater Than the Intellect, Elder Boyd K Packer. Address to religious educators at a symposium on the Doctrine and Covenants and Church history, Brigham Young University, 22 August 1981
https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/teaching-seminary-preservice-readings-religion-370-471-and-475/the-mantle-is-far-far-greater-than-the-intellect
"When you see the bitter apostate, you do not see only an absence of light, you see also the presence of darkness. Do not spread disease germs!" - Elder Boyd K Packer
“When you see the bitter apostate, you do not see only an absence of light, you see also the presence of darkness. Do not spread disease germs!” – Elder Boyd K Packer

When you see the bitter apostate, you do not see only an absence of light, you see also the presence of darkness.

Do not spread disease germs!

The Mantle Is Far, Far Greater Than the Intellect, Elder Boyd K Packer. Address to religious educators at a symposium on the Doctrine and Covenants and Church history, Brigham Young University, 22 August 1981
https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/teaching-seminary-preservice-readings-religion-370-471-and-475/the-mantle-is-far-far-greater-than-the-intellect

Here was an educator, telling other educators to censor the institution’s history for the benefit of the institution.

While I can understand the desire to minimize those things that make you look bad, omitting them completely is dishonest.

Everything That is True is Useful, Censorship doesn’t help anyone find the truth, By Jeffrey Hughes
https://jeffrey-hughes.medium.com/everything-that-is-true-is-useful-9580929a8b6a

This is not how to teach scholarship.

This is how to run a propaganda machine.


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