Historical Mormon Smackdown: Hardliner edition

So, last week we learned that, much as on the gridiron, it is the quarterback that has the influence, even though the running back does most of the work. But enough about that, on to this week’s event:

Historical Mormon Smackdown: Hardliner edition
Who is the more influential hard-line interpreter of current LDS orthodoxy: Elder Boyd K. Packer or Elder Bruce R. McConkie?

Elder Packer has written and given several influential talks regarding what is and what ain’t orthodoxy and firmly implying which side of the line the Lord would like you to be on.

Elder McConkie practically codified orthodoxy by writing Mormon Doctrine and has been known to take a firm position in a talk or two.

So, who is your pick? Who do you send in if you have a group of possible apostates in serious need of a spiritual beatdown (done with compassion, of course)? Vote below or to the right and comment on the proceedings.

6 Replies to “Historical Mormon Smackdown: Hardliner edition”

  1. BRM, hands down. Of course if BKP outlives Pres. Monson and becomes the President of the church I’ll demand a new vote… Posted by Geoff J

  2. I’m surprised at how lopsided this is…and that I voted for the loser! I guess if we’re talking about influence over time, McConkie is the “winner,” but really, his star has faded a LOT these days. Almost nobody who wants to be taken seriously cites Mormon Doctrine any more – they’ll refer to the Encyclopedia of Mormonism for solid doctrinal information. Posted by Ann

  3. Considering that Elders McConkie and Packer hold nearly identical doctrinal positions on just about everything, I find it difficult to distinguish between the two. I’d take either of them in a hearbeat though over the legions of LDS “scholars” out there, most of whom end up simply quoting dead apostles. Posted by Rob

  4. I’m not going to pick one over the other – but let me tell a story. At one point I was serving on a High Council. We had Elder McConkie visit as the GA – this was after his call to the Quorum. I had read MD, of course, and heard all the stories. Then the Stake Presidency, the Bishops and the HC were invited to meet with Bro. M after conference. So we all gathered in a too-small room.He started by saying he wanted to talk about Church Courts (which dates my story). I thought we’d best open some windows even though it was April in Maine (which is cold). Then he went on to teach us the most outstanding lesson of love and forgiveness I have heard (bar maybe Elder Scott). I kept thinking – who is this guy and what have you done with St. Bruce?). He beat into our heads that a Court is not the last step out, but the first step back in and if anyone left a Church Court without someone’s arm around them he would not like to be in those shoes.He also spoke of the virtues of repentance and how service can burn out evil. He spoke of a call from a Stake President who had a serving Bishop who was there to confess an affair with a RS president 10 years prior. St. Bruce – the man with no mercy – told the SP to go no further, he was sure that they had both burnt the sin out of themselves with service.My point? Yeah, St. Bruce’s writing (especially the early ones) were hard and pointed, and held up a high standard. Some said impossibly high. But I can testify that he was a man who knew human weakness, who knew how hard it was to strive and always come up short in our self-analysis, and who knew of – and applied – mercy. Posted by Tom

  5. The funny thing is, Presidents Kimball and Benson were much more rigidly hardliner than Elder McConkie, but no one picks on them because they were prophets. For some reason, since Elder McConkie was “only” an apostle, people think it’s ok to take potshots at him.

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