Date: October 10, 2019 12:11AM
> But then again Packer probably stole it from
> someone else.
None of them ever show any signs of originality.
Their anecdotes always ring phony. They may (or may not) be loosely (as in LOOSELY) based on some actual experience that they had, but it's easy to see that they have basically fabricated the story to support some take-away "lesson" that they are trying to teach.
In Packer's story, we find this:
"I knew he must be joking and asked him seriously, “What is the problem?” The answer again: 'Crocodiles.'
“'Nonsense,' I said. 'There are no crocodiles out there. Anyone can see that.'"
This dialogue rings false. For one thing, in this story Packer is visiting this part of Africa for the first time and a full-time ranger in the wildlife park is explaining something that he would be infinitely more knowledgeable about to Packer. Does it make any sense that Packer would immediately dismiss the ranger's explanation as "nonsense." Plus, the whole idea that crocodiles are sneaky and hide beneath the surface in order to surprise prey is common knowledge. Anyone who grew up with the Peter Pan story, for example, would think this about crocodiles. But Packer's pretending that he, a grown man, thought that there could be no crocodiles because they weren't immediately visible.
These guys just make up crap, and usually it's nothing more than a variation on a familiar theme that has been repeated countless times elsewhere.
Joseph Smith's "First Vision" basically plagiarizes elements from various vision stories that were circulating in his area at the time he was deciding to start up his own cult. Charles Finney's vision story is one good example.
The main elements in Bednar's story do seem to track with Packer's story. In both cases, they're probably hoping the little people will be impressed by how well-traveled these super leaders are. I loved how in Packer's case, he was basically on an all-expenses-paid junket to South Africa, i.e. paid for by the dweeb tithepayers, most of whom will never be able to dream of taking a big trip to South Africa. Of course Packer had to introduce the story about his fun safari adventure by first mentioning that he had spent days doing the "grueling" work of dedicating chapels here and there. (In other words, he traveled and enjoyed sightseeing all over South Africa and all he had to do at each destination area was dress up in a suit for a few hours and spazz out a dedication prayer, shake some hands, go back to the hotel and head out for more fun and adventure.)