I really like Boyd K. Packer - even though I don't agree with some of what he has said over the years. I like the fact that he stands up and says exactly what he believes - and, frankly, the controversial stuff overshadows a HUGE amount of really cool, liberating stuff he also has said.
I think a lot of people who dislike him would be shocked (or, one of my favorite words, flabbergasted) at a lot of what Pres. Packer has said over the years. He is characterized as an ultra-conservative extremist by many people who disagree with him about things like sexuality, but he isn't overall. Yes, he's said some really conservative things, but he also has said some of the most liberal things I've heard in General Conference in my lifetime - and I mean that.
I like him as much as I do because he reminds me of myself in one way:
I don't have a single "conservative" or "liberal" view of everything, so my writing is hard to classify properly with labels. It drives some people nuts who read my comments online, since they want to pigeon-hole and label me in some way. I'm pretty sure there will be people in the future who read my personal blog and everything I've written throughout the Bloggernacle who will wonder if there were two or more authors of it all - not just due to the volume, but also since sometimes they literally sound like they are coming from different people.
I'll share a specific example that still makes me shake my head.
There was a person who had been an official "follower" of this blog for a couple of years. He left comments praising much of my writing - and then I wrote a post about the Priesthood ban that he took to be attacking of the former church leadership. It wasn't, but that's how he read it. He wrote quite a mean-spirited comment about that post on another blog where the author had chastised me for writing my post - and I called him on it. He went on to call me an apostate who obviously was devoid of humility and the Spirit and vowed to un-subscribe from my blog - which he did. For a long time I was a faithful, insightful member who helped him a lot with what I wrote; suddenly, with no change whatsoever in me, I became a hard-hearted, deceived, dangerous opponent.
I see a lot of that with Pres. Packer. Lots of people love him; lots of people hate him; very few people really look closely at everything he's said over the decades and see the complicated, rather balanced, "real" man. They jump on some things, ignore others and attack their constructed caricature - and I feel bad for him, having experienced it myself to a much lesser degree.
“I Take Up My Pen”: Florida Mission, 1962
2 hours ago