GCBC Week 8: “Guided by the Holy Spirit” by President Boyd K. Packer

Elder Packer’s talk was a talk about revelation, but what stood out the most to me about his message was the importance of letting our offenses go, of forgiving and moving on.  This week for General Conference Book Club, we’ll be studying his conference talk:

“Guided by the Holy Spirit” by President Boyd K. Packer

What about you? What stood out to you as you read?  What’s your take-away message from this talk?  Share your thoughts and conversation in the comment thread below.  If you’re new to GCBC, check out the club here.


13 thoughts on “GCBC Week 8: “Guided by the Holy Spirit” by President Boyd K. Packer

  1. Like most talks, this one had personal relevance for me. This talk was the single most important one for me to hear because of issues my husband and I are dealing with personally, regarding a close family member, who has severely wronged us. For a long time this personal issue has been a thorn to us and our spiritual progress. We let the hurt and anger fester until it spilled over into many many other areas of our life. I actually went into this particular season of General Conference with a prayer in my heart that I would hear something to help me make peace with it. This talk was the inspired answer to my prayer. “If you have been offended, forgive, forget it, and leave it alone.” I’ve heard this many MANY times, but this time, my heart was ready to truly receive the message. I will never truly know the heart and mind of this family member who has wronged us. I need to leave it in the Lord’s hands and “forgive, forget it, and leave it alone.” The story of the grieving father was what really put it in perspective for me. I have all the things in life that really matter, I have not suffered, except the loss of worldly possession. All that truly matters are that my eternal treasures (family and testimony) are and always will be, mine, so long as I follow God’s plan for me. I’m grateful that God was mindful of my needs and answered my prayer for personal peace.

  2. I’m new to your blog, and to the GCBC, but I love the idea. I taught the Teachings for Our Times class in RS until we moved in January. I grew to have a deep love and appreciation for these amazing words from our Father in Heaven that we are blessed to hear and read every 6 months. I have been looking for a way to remember to study them as I did when I was teaching them when I stumbled upon your blog. Thanks so much for hosting this! I love it.

    I, like Kambree, have been struggling with forgiving a family member who had seriously sinned against me, and hurt me deeply. I have been able to come to love this person without reservation, and forgive their trespass and leave it in God’s hands. However, I have not been able to shake the imprint their actions left on my heart, the doubts of self worth and the pain of wondering why. President Packer’s talk has led me in what I hope is the beginning of that path.

    When he spoke of hanging onto this pain as beating yourself over the head with a club it really struck home with me. How ridiculous would I be if I literally stood there with a club and hit myself over the head with it 5 or 10 or 100 times a day. And yet I do that figuratively all the time.

    I also love this quote “Everyone is tested. One might think it is unfair to be singled out and subjected to a particular temptation, but this is the purpose of mortal life-to be tested.”

    Wonderful talk, and such good things to remember and focus on.

    Thanks again for having the inspired idea of hosting this, and for following through on it. I hope to remember to come back often!

  3. I loved the counsel to “leave it alone”. We waste so much energy and emotion obsessing over things that happened in the past. Nothing good ever comes of it and the only person who suffers is us. I appreciated in Kambree’s comment how the story of the man’s wife who died helped her to see that she what she had suffered & lost wasn’t as tragic as she had made it out to be. I think this is probably true for most of the grudges we hold on to. Turning these things over to the Lord and letting go is such a blessing for us. (Though it’s easier said than done sometimes…)

  4. I learned several things from President Packer’s talk.

    One of them is that in receiving the Holy Ghost, I am empowered! I am empowered to keep my covenants; empowered to live the gospel; empowered to do God’s will.

    Another thing I learned is that as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ, I am an ordinary individual. I live an ordinary life with an ordinary family. However, it is in living the gospel that makes my ordinary-ness not seem ordinary to others.

    Finally, how would this be for the Church’s newest billboard or tag line: “If you are looking for a church that requires very little, THIS IS NOT THE ONE.” And in teeny, tiny print(you know, the one that appears at the bottom of all car commercials for about 1.25 seconds): “It’s not easy to be a Latter-day Saint, but in the long run it is the ONLY true course.”

    Boy, I know that to be true!

  5. Since I had forgotten what President Packer said, the title led me to believe it would be a talk on the Holy Ghost. As I started reading, it seemed to be covering a myriad of topics, so that surprised me. However, it reminded me of the following quote in the Joseph Smith “Teachings of the Presidents” manual (page 97):

    “In our interview with the President of the United States, he interrogated us wherein we differed in our religion from the other religions of the day. Brother Joseph said we differed in mode of baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. We considered that all other considerations were contained in the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

    I felt like President Packer was reminding us of the importance of living the gospel, and that takes listening to and following the promptings of the Holy Ghost. That’s how we gain happiness and peace, something sorely missing in today’s world.

    Like “My Heart Squared” I loved the line “If someone is looking for a church that requires very little, this is not the one.” Being a member of the true church isn’t easy. However, I can only imagine how difficult my life would be without it, and that makes living the gospel seem not hard at all. What a paradox!

    • Oh I love the connection you draw to that quote from Joseph Smith! It does seem to tie all the topics in the talk together!

  6. I remember when they released the statement in 2001 saying the church should be referred to by its full name and thinking it was not a big deal. I’ve almost felt silly saying the full name of the church instead of just “Mormon” before. I Thought Elder Packer gave a very nice simple reminder of why it is important to call ourselves members of the church of Jesus Christ. I also liked his simple answer to those who don’t believe we are Christians – everything in our church is done in the name of Jesus Christ and we have the same organization as did the primitive church.

    I have my own leave it alone type story, as we probably all do. I received some advice about some mathematics classes my freshman year that led me to taking too hard a class and though I tried hard in the class, I was in over my head. As a result, I lost my academic scholarship. I did not need the scholarship to pay for school, but my pride was injured and I stewed about it for a while. I talked with a mentor about it over a year later and he told me to “let it go”. I had a hard time with that counsel but I decided to follow it and worked to let go of my feelings of injustice and being wronged. Maybe it sounds like a silly story to some but it was hard to me to let it go but I did and felt so much better for it! It’s been years now and I look back at it and am so glad I let it go. The only person I was hurting was myself.

    I love when he says today the man would have been pressed to file malpractice as though money would solve anything. Such a prevalent idea in our world today and true. Money does not bring back loved ones or comfort us in our grief.

    Our lesson this past Sunday was on the talk “Never Leave Him” from the previous Conference which also addresses being offended or ashamed and the danger we are in with those words. I guess I needed to hear that message a bunch this week though I’m not exactly sure why.

  7. I appreciate your guidance with the Joseph Smith quote. I have to teach this lesson today and have really struggled to understand why this talk covers so many diverse topics. I believe I will have to let the Spirit guide the discussion and see where it leads us. There are so many different parts to this that may appeal to different individuals. Pray for me! Hopefully this will help someone.

    • Kerry, your thoughts are my thoughts exactly! I’m teaching this lesson tomorrow and it covers so much! I hope your lesson went well, and I am also grateful for the sentiments expressed here, it’s nice to have the thoughts of others on something you’re preparing for.

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