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Boyd K. Packer: Stepping into the Darkness to Find the Light.


Boyd K. Packer recounts a pivotal moment in his life when he was advised to purchase a home in Salt Lake City after being called as an Assistant to the Council of the Twelve.

Notable Quotes

“…you must learn to walk to the edge of the light, and perhaps a few steps into the darkness, and you will find that the light will appear and move ahead of you.”

Harold B. Lee’s advice to Boyd K. Packer


Source: “The Holy Temple” (Boyd K. Packer, Salt Lake City, Utah : Bookcraft, 1980, pgs. 184-85)

Editor’s Note

This story is part of The Forgotten Talks series. As we search for the sources of the quotes we use in our newsletter and on our website, we often stumble across popular quotes that are difficult to locate the source of. When this is the case, we will spend the necessary time to uncover the source, if possible. We have discovered that many of these quotes are locked away in talks and books that haven’t been digitized or are behind a paywall. We make the effort to secure these pearls of great price and share them on our website under the public domain or Creative Commons license. If we are in any way violating any copyright laws, we ask that you notify us.

Boyd K. Packer’s Story

Some years ago, I learned a lesson that I shall never forget.

I had been called as an Assistant to the Council of the Twelve, and we were to move to Salt Lake City and find an adequate and permanent home. President Henry D. Moyle assigned someone to help us.

A home was located that was ideally suited to our needs. Elder Harold B. Lee came and looked it over very carefully and then counseled, “By all means, you are to proceed.”

But there was no way we could proceed. I had just completed the course work on a doctor’s degree and was writing the dissertation. With the support of my wife and our eight children, all of the resources we could gather over the years had been spent on education.

By borrowing on our insurance, gathering every resource, we could barely get into the house, without sufficient left to even make the first monthly payment.

Brother Lee insisted, “Go ahead. I know it is right.”

I was in deep turmoil because I had been counseled to do something I had never done before—to sign a contract without having the resources to meet the payments.

When Brother Lee sensed my feelings he sent me to President David O. McKay, who listened very carefully as I explained the circumstances. 

He said, You do this. It is the right thing.” But he extended no resources to make the doing of it possible.

When I reported to Brother Lee he said, “That confirms what I have told you.”

I was still not at peace, and then came the lesson. Elder Lee said, “Do you know what is wrong with you — you always want to see the end from the beginning.”

I replied quietly that I wanted to see at least a few steps ahead. He answered by quoting from the sixth verse of the twelfth chapter of Ether: ‘Wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.

And then he added, “My boy, you must learn to walk to the edge of the light, and perhaps a few steps into the darkness, and you will find that the light will appear and move ahead of you.”

And so it has — but only as we walked to the edge of the light.

And so it is with this work. We can build those thousands of temples and we can work for the redemption of our dead by the thousands and tens of thousands and millions.

We have not yet moved to the edge of the light, either as individuals or as a church. We have not used all the resources yet available to use.

I am confident that as we move to the edge of the light, like the cloud that led the Israelites, or like the star that led the wise men, the light will move ahead of us and we can do this work.” (The Holy Temple, pp. 184-86)

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