Boyd Kenneth Packer was born on September 10, 1924, in Brigham City, Utah. He was the tenth of eleven children born to Ira and Emma Packer and was the first of their children to be born in a hospital. He grew up as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) and was baptized into the Church as a child. As a young boy he suffered from what the doctors thought was pneumonia. After he became well he tried to walk but could not. It wasn’t until he reached adulthood that he learned that he had actually had polio. As he reached the age to go on a full-time Mormon mission for the Church, World War II began. Instead of serving a full-time mission, President Packer served in the U.S. Army as a fighter pilot. It was while he was on one of his missions that he decided that he would pursue a career as a teacher.After the war, President Packer attended college at Weber State University and later Utah State University. President Packer was asked to give a talk in a ward that he did not attend. A young woman named Donna Edith Smith was at the meeting, and later said that when she heard him speak, she had thought, “Now, this is the type of man I would wish to marry.” On July 27, 1947, Boyd K. Packer married Donna Edith Smith. His wife supported his efforts to gain an education, and together they had ten children. After receiving his Bachelor’s degree, President Packer taught seminary in Brigham City for six years. At the same time, he also worked on getting his master’s degree from Utah State University. President Boyd K. Packer later went on to get a PhD from Brigham Young University. While working with the seminary, President Packer helped open the first seminary for Native Americans. Later President Packer was asked to work with the Church’s Publication Committee, and he helped in the production of numerous editions of the scriptures.President Packer developed talents as an artist and learned how to carve and paint beautifully. He even considered becoming a professional artist. This talent is something President Packer continues to use; he has even illustrated a few books. One of these is a book that was published in 1977 entitled Mothers. President Packer wrote the book and created the beautiful pictures of birds that are shown every couple of pages.
On October 1, 1961, Boyd K. Packer was called to be an assistant to the Twelve Apostles. The calling was a surprise and given only about an hour before it was to be announced in General Conference. His wife heard about the calling as it was being announced to the rest of the members of the Mormon Church. President Packer was only 37 and the youngest of the General Authorities. In 1965 he was given an additional calling, to be the Mission President for the New England States mission. In 1968, President Packer was relieved of this assignment. Two years later on April 9, 1970, he was called to be a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
In 1995, Boyd K. Packer was called to be the acting President of the Twelve, which means that he fulfilled his duties presiding over the other apostles. He moved back into his position as President of the Quorum upon the death of Church President Gordon B. Hinckley in 2008. President Packer is well known for his knowledge of the scriptures and for his quick wit. In addition to serving in the Mormon Church, President Packer is active in serving the community. He has been a city councilman, and received awards for his efforts in educational and civic affairs.