-- Feb 14, 1951
[George Albert Smith speaking:] ... It has been suggested to me that I go to some other part of the country and try to get better. I have felt that the headquarters of the work of the Lord was here. Most of the financial interests of the Church are controlled from here, and I have thought we ought to have one in charge so that in the event of the sickness of the President they could carry on. If the President is sick, things would go forward any how...
President Clark: I have done all I can and will do all I can to carry on. I have a real affection for you. I have no desire except to help you and help carry on the Lord's work. (1)
-- Mar 22, 1951
[Henry D. Moyle] Spent afternoon helping Alberta prepare for dinner party
Pres Clark & Louise Bro & Sister Delbert Stapley
Spencer W. Kimball
Ezra Taft Benson
Thorpe B. Isaacson & wives attended as did Stanley McAllister of New York. (2)
-- Apr 4, 1951
[Quorum of the Twelve] George Albert Smith dies. (3)
-- Apr 8, 1951
[David O. McKay] "4:30 p.m.--Special council meeting was held in the Salt Lake Temple. Presented to the Twelve the names of my counselors--Elder Stephen L. Richards as First Counselor, and Pres. J. Reuben Clark, Jr. as Second Counselor." (4)
-- Jun 7, 1951
First Presidency appoints three apostles to administer second anointings to designated couples. (5)
-- Oct 11, 1951
Marion G. Romney is ordained to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. (6)
-- Oct 16,1951
Temple council of First Presidency, Quorum of Twelve Apostles and Patriarch to church decides to allow beer commercials on church-owned KSL television station. (7)
Following the counsel of President David O. McKay, Ezra Taft Benson accepted the Cabinet position of secretary of agriculture in the Eisenhower administration. His selection was greeted with widespread approval. In his "General Statement on Agricultural Policy," he said, "The supreme test of any government policy, agricultural or other, should be 'How will it affect the character, morale, and well-being of our people?' …A completely planned and subsidized economy weakens initiative, discourages industry, destroys character, and demoralizes the people".
He assumed office when farm income was declining and wartime legislation was piling up surpluses in government warehouses, inviting increased government controls of agriculture. He worked to reverse that course, winning significant legislative victories in spite of intense political opposition.
He became known for his integrity, and friend and foe alike acknowledged that he was a man of religious principles who stood by his convictions despite political pressures. He traveled hundreds of thousands of miles, carrying his farm message throughout the nation and the world, and aggressively encouraged consumption of U.S. farm products.
He served eight years in the Cabinet, meeting with heads of state and agriculture leaders and farmers in over forty nations. He had discussions with such leaders as Chiang Kai-shek, Nehru, Khrushchev, King Hussein, and David Ben-Gurion. During this time, his example and activities brought positive and widespread attention to the Church. President David O. McKay said that Secretary Benson's work in the Cabinet would "stand for all time as a credit to the Church and the nation". (8)
1 - George Albert Smith Diary, as quoted in Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1910-1951, Privately Published, Salt Lake City, Utah 2010
2 - Henry D. Moyle Diary, as quoted in Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1910-1951, Privately Published, Salt Lake City, Utah 2010
3 - Wikipedia, Chronology of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (LDS Church), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronology_of_the_Quorum_of_the_Twelve_Apostles_(LDS_Church)
4 - McKay, David O., Office Journal
5 - On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com
6 - Wikipedia, 20th Century (Mormonism), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/20th_century_(Mormonism)
7 - Quinn, D. Michael, The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power, Appendix 5, Selected Chronology of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1848-1996, http://amzn.to/extensions-power
8 - Encyclopedia of Mormonism, "Ezra Taft Benson," Reed Benson and Sheri Dew, Daniel H. Ludlow (editor), New York: Macmillan, 1992
LDS History Chronology: Ezra Taft Benson
Mormon History Timeline: the life of Ezra Taft Benson