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LDS President Thomas S. Monson and apostle Boyd K. Packer sat side by side in the faith's governing councils for decades, serving on dozens of committees and church bodies together, fulfilling countless assignments across the globe and building an abiding friendship

"Boyd Kenneth Packer knew the Lord," the 87-year-old Monson said Friday of his friend, who died July 3 at 90, "and the Lord knew him."

More than 5,000 Mormons, church officials and Packer family members — including 10 children, 60 grandchildren and 111 great-grandchildren — filled the historic Tabernacle on Temple Square to pay their final respects to a man who was next in line to be president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Of the top 13 male leaders, only Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the LDS First Presidency, and apostle Neil L. Andersen were missing, both out of the country on assignment.

The four speakers — all men — at the funeral service remembered Packer, who had been an educator before being tapped as an apostle in the Utah-based faith, as a "master teacher."

"He had a gift he shared freely with the world," Monson said. "He possessed the ability to turn complex ideas into language easily understood by all. He taught [gospel truths] with power and authority."

Packer, the Mormon prophet said, "lived as he taught."

Fellow apostle M. Russell Ballard said he, too, had benefited from Packer's teaching skills.

"I've tried to be a good student," he said, "knowing the spirit and power of God."

The late apostle was so giving, so uncomplaining, so energetic, Ballard said, "He wore out his life in the service of the savior of the world."

Then Ballard turned to Packer's widow, Donna Packer, and said, "It was you, Donna, who urged him not to call us before 5 a.m. We thank you for that."

During a lengthy LDS meeting one day, Ballard recalled, a frustrated Packer quipped, "Let the pending items pend."

The two met one last time on the Sunday before Packer's death, Ballard said. "Two old friends said good-bye that ... afternoon, not knowing that it would be some time before we would meet again."

Another LDS apostle, Dallin H. Oaks, said Packer didn't just educate outsiders and the membership, he also was a "teacher to the Twelve."

"He often challenged the Twelve and the [Quorum of the] Seventy," Oaks said, "to prepare for the governance and leadership of a church with many millions more members than we have now."

Packer reminded his fellow apostles, Oaks said, "of the importance of each individual member of the church, especially those who were struggling financially."

He urged the men, Oaks said, to "act as if they are present here in our councils.'"

For his part, Allan F. Packer, the apostle's oldest son and himself a Mormon general authority, addressed the surviving family.

"Grandpa has graduated — he has taken the next step," Allan Packer said. "I know that Grandpa is still alive and that if we live worthy, we will see him again."

The elder Packer had many "deep spiritual experiences," the son said. "But you don't have to be a general authority to have those experiences."

Allan Packer concluded his remarks by reading a poem about spiritual knowledge his father began in 1992. The elder Packer added more to the poem until he delivered the final product during the April 2013 LDS General Conference.

It read, in part:

I now can say with all certainty

That I know and love the Lord.

I can testify with them of old

As I preach His holy word...

I know I will see Him once again

At the end of my life's story.

I'll kneel before His wounded feet;

I'll feel His Spirit glow.

My whispering, quivering voice will say,

"My Lord, my God, I know."

As per Packer's request, the service ended just short of an hour — 59 minutes and 30 seconds.

His body was interred at the Brigham City Cemetery.