We are paying tribute to President Boyd K. Packer, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who died Friday, July 3, from causes incident to age. During the 45 years he served as an apostle, President Packer visited and spoke at BYU many times.
He often talked about the importance of the university, his love for the students and faculty and he always gave advice in hopes of bettering those who attend BYU. Here are some excerpts from the speeches that he gave at BYU:
"Our first visit to this campus was 48 years ago this month. Donna and I were returning from our honeymoon. Seven years later I walked into the Maeser Building, then the administration building, to an office I was to occupy as chairman of a summer school for all seminary and institute personnel.
"Our instructor was Elder Harold B. Lee of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. He invited guest lecturers. President J. Reuben Clark Jr. came more than once; President Joseph Fielding Smith, Elders Spencer W. Kimball, Mark E. Peterson, Marion G. Romney, LeGrand Richards, Delbert L. Stapley, and Richard L. Evans, President Belle S. Spafford of the Relief Society (one of the greatest women of our time), and others came. For two hours a day, five days a week, for five weeks we were taught at the feet of the apostles. The influence of those days is still evident in our lives and in Church education.
"During the years I served on [the BYU Administrative Council], I came to appreciate President Wilkinson. He had a profound influence on the university, and the naming of a building, this building, for him is little enough by way of tribute to him.
"Many of you look after housing and food services or maintain the libraries, the museums, or the sports fields or keep the records, protect law and order and safety, service equipment, keep up the campus, publish materials, manage the finances, and a hundred other things. Without you this institution would come apart in a day. You are absolutely vital to the mission of Brigham Young University.
"All of you, together with the priesthood and auxiliary leaders from the community who devote themselves to these snow-white birds of ours, are an example, an ensign to the whole Church and to the world. The quality of your scholarship is unsurpassed, your service and dedication a miracle in itself. There is not now, nor has there ever been, anything that can compare with you. Much in the future of the restored Church depends on you. Your greater mission lies ahead."
--The Snow-White Birds, Annual University Conference, August 29, 1995
"If we succeed in keeping BYU in faith with the founders, we will do something very few others have done.
"There are two opposing convictions in the university environment. On the one hand, 'seeing is believing.' On the other, 'believing is seeing.' Both are true! Each in its place. The combining of the two individually or institutionally is the challenge of life. Neither influence will easily surrender to the other. They may function for a time under some sort of a truce, but the subtle discord is ever present.
"They mix the way oil and water mix-only with constant shaking or stirring. When the stirring stops, they separate again. It takes a catalytic process to blend them. This requires the introduction of a third ingredient, a catalyst, which itself remains unchanged in the blending process.
"Each of us must accommodate the mixture of reason and revelation in our lives. The gospel not only permits but requires it. An individual who concentrates on either side solely and alone will lose both balance and perspective. History confirms that the university environment always favors reason, and the workings of the Spirit are made to feel uncomfortable. I know of no examples to the contrary.
"The moral and spiritual capacity of the faculty and what they shall give, and the spiritual atmosphere in which students are to learn and what they receive, will not emerge spontaneously! They happen only if they are caused to happen and thereafter maintained with unwavering determination. We at BYU can be competent in both and also merit the respect of those charged with the accreditation of institutions of higher learning.
"To you of the administration and faculty, I repeat the counsel given to Dr. Karl G. Maeser by President Brigham Young when he sent him here to start this school: 'You ought not to teach even the alphabet or the multiplication tables without the Spirit of God. That is all. God bless you.'
"To you students, I quote a revelation to you from the Lord: 'As all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith' (D&C 88:118)."
--I Say Unto You, Be One, BYU Devotional, Februrary 12, 1991
"I love Brother Crabtree because he renews our faith in the rank and file of the Church. He generously funded a building, and that is deeply appreciated. But more than that, he is a symbol. He is the image of all of the other ordinary Latter-day Saints who love the Lord, accept his calls, pay their tithes, and live the gospel. Their tithes and offerings, too, are in the new building. Each of them is quite as worthy to have a building named after them as Brother Crabtree would be embarrassed by having one named after him.
"Brother Crabtree reminds us that while there are problems in the world, and one or two may cause great distress, there is that great body of stalwarts ever with us."
"There is something significant and powerful and safe for this Church in the hundreds of thousands of Roland and Dora Mae Crabtrees who make their living by the skill that is in their hands and by what they have in their minds. I say again that no building on this campus is more honored by the name it bears than the Roland Crabtree Technology Building."
--Roland and Dora Mae, BYU Devotional and Dedication of the Crabtree Building, October 29, 1985