1. Editing the written transcript of a talk is very common.
Elder Packer made his own changes and those changes are now online
For some time now I have read and listened to archived Conference talks at the same time to increase comprehension. Editing and substantive changes occur all the time. They catch my attention but that is all. They clarify meaning and intent. No one should read anything significant into it. This is even pointed out in the gay press.
But officials say the alterations are commonplace.
2. The changes he made may have more to do with translation and interpretation than anything.
“The Monday following every general conference, each speaker has the opportunity to make any edits necessary to clarify differences between what was written and what was delivered or to clarify the speaker's intent,” Scott Trotter, spokesman for the LDS, said. “President Packer has simply clarified his intent.”
Refer to my prior post for a discussion of translation and interpretation.
I'm reminded of when I lived in Hawaii and went to school for a short time. I interacted with people from numerous cultures, countries, languages and traditions.
I found out the hard way that sarcasm does not exist in some cultures. I had to stop using it because I was giving offense to people. And even if sarcasm does exist, it is voice inflection, tone and intonation. With a language barrier most people aren't going to understand it anyway.
The sentence that Packer removed, "Why would Heavenly Father do that to anyone?" is a rhetorical question. I'm wondering if there are cultures, countries, languages and traditions that do not utilize rhetorical questions and would simply not understand this or worse, misconstrue it. The talk is going to be translated into dozens of other languages after all.
If any misinterpretation and confusion is occurring it is with the news coverage and commentary associated with it. The Church's position hasn't changed and is abundantly clear.
Added Trotter: "As we have said repeatedly, the church's position on marriage and family is clear and consistent. It is based on respect and love for all of God's children."I find all these protests, marches and demonstrations that resulted from Elder Packer's talk much more destructive and pointless than anything the Church has said. Read my prior post on this topic if you haven't already done so.