Lawyers on the Front Line

Apparently, there was a globally broadcast pow-wow of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society yesterday, during which Elder Boyd K. Packer spoke, condemning the wickedness of the world, quoting Robert Bork on the usual subjects, and calling upon LDS lawyers to work to stem or slow the tide of evil all around us–not just for the sake of the church, but also on behalf of “ordinary people who need your professional protection.” Surely at least one or two of the dozens (hundreds?) of LDS lawyers who visit, comment or blog here heard Elder Packer’s remarks. Any comments? The Deseret News article mentions a list of 21 specific vices which Elder Packer checked off one by one; I’d be interested to know what they are.

12 comments for “Lawyers on the Front Line

  1. Ryan S.
    February 29, 2004 at 2:07 pm

    The “list of vices” came from 2 Timothy 3:1-5. He listed each one followed by a “check” [for example: coveteous- check, boasters- check, proud- check, blasphemers- check, disobedient to parents- check check]. He did the double-check after a few of the items. The ones I remember receiveing the double-check were “disobedient to parents,” “witout natural affection,” and “lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.”

  2. lyle
    February 29, 2004 at 4:17 pm

    I took goode notes…I’ll post them later; and inquire re: a transcript. it will eventually be published in the clark memorandum (might take 3-4 months)

  3. lyle
    March 2, 2004 at 12:54 pm

    Observer: Pres. Packard made a strong condemnation of those that would use their legal knowledge to obtain riches. Obviously, if the allegations involved above are proven (truth is not the issue afterall), then they should not only be thrown in jail and assessed civil fines, but a church council should likely be held on them for bringing the good name of the Church/Kingdom of God into disrepute.

    I’m not an attorney (yet), but perhaps a good and competent LDS attorney in that area would like to take this on as a pro-bono case and go after the alleged Social Capital/Gadianton thieves…

  4. Greg Call
    March 3, 2004 at 6:56 pm

    Here’s the text of Packer’s address:

  5. Kaimi
    March 3, 2004 at 7:09 pm

    I posted previously about the tendency of LDS members to buy into financial scams. See

  6. Matt Evans
    March 3, 2004 at 9:21 pm

    Hi Observer,

    All Multi-Level Marketing structures I’ve seen are immoral. They all rely on convincing people they are a business, when really they are the end user. Church leaders should condemn MLM from the pulpit.

  7. lyle
    March 4, 2004 at 1:59 pm

    Here is the official link to Elder Packer’s address.,18255,5004-1-61,00.html

  8. MDS
    March 8, 2004 at 9:07 pm

    I find that after reading the talk, I have more questions about what is expected of me as an LDS attorney than I do answers. What exactly did Elder Packer say, other than lauding President Clark and decrying the moral state of society?

    What are the practical implications of his talk for those of us who don’t practice Constitutional law?

    I guess I read some implied endorsement of ADR in the quote from Lincoln. I can endorse that position on some level.

  9. March 9, 2004 at 9:04 am

    “You who hold the priesthood must be exemplars above reproach.”

    “And I charge each of you lawyers and judges and put you on alert: These are days of great spiritual danger for this people. The world is spiraling downward at an ever-quickening pace. I am sorry to tell you that it will not get better.

    I know of nothing in the history of the Church or in the history of the world to compare with our present circumstances. Nothing happened in Sodom and Gomorrah which exceeds the wickedness and depravity which surrounds us now.

    Satan uses every intrigue to disrupt the family. The sacred relationship between man and woman, husband and wife, through which mortal bodies are conceived and life is passed from one generation to the next generation, is being showered with filth.

    Profanity, vulgarity, blasphemy, and pornography are broadcast into the homes and minds of the innocent. Unspeakable wickedness, perversion, and abuse—not even exempting little children—once hidden in dark places, now seeks protection from courts and judges.

    The Lord needs you who are trained in the law. You can do for this people what others cannot do. We should not need to go beyond the members of the Church to find superior legal counsel.”

    Obviously we are to combat these things, even if we are not trained or practice in Constitutional law. All of us can and should fight against same-sex marriage, pornography, and other immoral and wicked practices, ideas and behaviors.

    “You have, or should have, the spirit of discernment. It was given you when you had conferred upon you the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    You must locate where the snares are hidden and help guide our footsteps around them.”

    We as attorneys are to help provide a guide within our legal system to avoid the snares. The Holy Ghost can guide us. We can educate and inform people. I have done a lot of this in promoting traditional marriage and explaining proper Constitutional interpretation to others and why limiting marriage is not illegally discriminatory, etc.

    From President Packer’s quotation of Judge Bork I think we can take away the teaching that we should combat “rule by judicial fiat” and campaign against ridiculous rulings like Lawrence, Goodridge and others. We should champion a return to Constitutional government and uphold moral laws. From his other quotes we learn we should not twist the law for any purpose, but rather uphold decency, integrity and honor. We should not overcharge or promote discord. We should promote values, morals and a proper understanding of the Constitution.

    “We may one day stand alone, but we will not change or lower our standards or change our course.”

    We must stand by the Prophet and the Apostles and make no apologies for our standards and not go along with the world as it seeks to legitimize, legalize, and promote immorality.

    “Be willing to give of your time and of your means and your expertise to the building up of the Church and the kingdom of God and the establishment of Zion, which we are under covenant to do—not just to the Church as an institution, but to members and ordinary people who need your professional protection.”

    We should look to the work we do and how we do it and ask whether what we are doing builds up God’s church and kingdom or whether it does something else. Do we help one another? I think there is a lot that can be taken from President Packer’s talk.

  10. March 9, 2004 at 11:17 am

    I haven’t read the talk, but has Elder Packard really committed us to Bork style originalism? What if I prefer Scalia or Thomas style originalism? What if I like Ely style activism (Ely was a liberal war horse who thought that Roe was improperly decided)? Unless he comes right out at gives an official position on legal hermeneutics, I would be worried about reading too much into a single reference.

  11. Kaimi
    March 19, 2004 at 3:47 pm

    I just removed a comment that posted people’s personal information (address, phone number). We can’t have those kinds of comments. If this turns out to be a continuing problem, I will close the comments for this post.

  12. Kaimi
    March 23, 2004 at 3:48 pm

    I have now locked this thread; no comments will be accepted. Seven individual comments have also been deleted.

    Various commenters had posted about specific details of alleged wrongdoing at a marketing company. Commenters on both sides had posted details of their allegations, and included the names, addresses, phone numbers of individuals on the other side. We don’t want that kind of discussion here. Take your argument elsewhere, gentlemen.

    (And just in case anyone has any bright ideas, I’ll be monitoring other comment threads as well — any attempt to put up people’s personal information on other threads will result in the commenter’s IP address being banned from the site.)

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