Latter-day Saint Life

What President Packer Said About His Own Funeral


Today's funeral for President Boyd K. Packer focused more on doctrine than your average funeral--just the way President Packer would have wanted it. 

In a 1996 devotional, President Packer shared the following thoughts on how funerals (including his own) ought to be conducted:

Funerals could and should be the most spiritually impressive. They are becoming informal family reunions in front of ward members. Often the Spirit is repulsed by humorous experiences or jokes when the time could be devoted to teaching the things of the Spirit, even the sacred things.

When the family insists that several family members speak in a funeral, we hear about the deceased instead of about the Atonement, the Resurrection, and the comforting promises revealed in the scriptures. Now it’s all right to have a family member speak at a funeral, but if they do, their remarks should be in keeping with the spirit of the meeting.

I have told my Brethren in that day when my funeral is held, if any of them who speak talk about me, I will raise up and correct them. The gospel is to be preached. I know of no meeting where the congregation is in a better state of readiness to receive revelation and inspiration from a speaker than they are at a funeral. This privilege is being taken away from us because we don’t understand the order of things—the unwritten order of things—that relates to the administration of the Church and the reception of the Spirit.

(Emphasis added)

At the funeral, Elder Dallin H. Oaks shared an additional quote from President Packer on the nature of funerals: “Do not think it strange to find happiness and death standing together in the same verse of scripture. Mortal death is necessary to the Plan of Salvation.”

Elder Oaks mentioned that moments later, President Packer added: “Death can be untimely, even tragic, but not in this case. Where there is love, there is sadness at parting. When your hearts are heavy and your loneliness a burden, remember, oh remember the words of the Lord: 'Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly of heart, and you shall find rest unto your souls.'”

Watch the full funeral broadcast below:

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Video Companion
President Boyd K. Packer's Funeral Service

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