As always, my condolences to the family of a leader who devoted his life to the church, but Packer is the reason I began to distance myself from the LDS faith.
First off, I'm one of the "dangers" he spoke of in this now infamous talk.
Then there's all the talk about my "little factory."
For non-members, in the third paragraph of his official AP obituary, there's already mention of why he wasn't a favorite.
But it wasn't until his 2010 General Conference talk that pushed me into a deep depression of trying to be both gay and Mormon. I heard these words live with about 10 close friends huddled around a TV:
"Some suppose that they were pre-set and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn tendencies toward the impure and unnatural. Not so! Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone? Remember he is our father."Yes, the talk was edited for the print version, but the damage had already been done. These talks are reviewed and edited by many before they're given over the pulpit, and I never understood how the above paragraph got the final approval.
For many members so devoted to the gospel, the above words and talks just push them even harder to overcome masturbation and homosexual thoughts and actions. And this caused some to be pushed to an even deeper form of depression and self-hate, and yes, I hate to say it - but some were even pushed to suicide. Looking back, I'm glad I wasn't as strong and devoted as some of my peers. Five years after that talk, I don't know where I'd be if I didn't slowly let go from Mormonism.
I'm just glad Packer was able to see gay marriage legalized in all 50 states. He tried so hard to denounce homosexuality, I hope he was able to see at least a few people happy after last Friday's ruling.
I'll leave a Facebook comment left on a Mormon themed news site. It was left by another gay Mormon who put Packer's death in a blunt but appropriate light. (And also inspired me to write this blog post.)
"I wish I could say I was heartbroken; President Packer was a difficult man to love. But I wish him a peaceful rest and his family, solace.
May his angry and thorough misreadings of God's message of love travel with him to the grave."