45 years ago today - Feb 25, 1974-Monday

[Leonard Arrington]
When Jim Allen had his luncheon the other day with Paul Dunn [of the First Council of Seventy], Brother Dunn was talking about different styles of administration and made a comparison of President Lee and President Kimball. He said that President Lee was a very firm administrator, so firm that some people were a little afraid of him-a little afraid of doing something he might not approve of; he ran a very tight ship. He wanted to have the opportunity of making a ruling on nearly every matter, both of overwhelming importance and lesser importance, and he expected everybody to carry out his instructions literally. ...

President Kimball on the other hand, is a far more relaxed administrator. He is willing to give more discretion to other General Authorities and Church administrators in general. He is less of a man in a hurry than President Lee. President Lee always stayed at his office and made all of his decisions there. President Kimball, on the other hand, wanders around the Church Administration Building and visits with people in their own offices, and when he needs to see somebody, he goes up to their office instead of calling them down. While he is a sober-minded person when he should be, he does have a good sense of humor and is willing to joke to some extent with people he is conversing with. President Kimball also perhaps is more forgiving of people who make mistakes or violate a covenant.

Maureen [Ursenbach] ask [Richard Anderson's wife] why Richard doesn't finish up the Emma Smith-Joseph Smith book. She suggested that maybe those letters of Emma should not be published-that Emma did not intend them for publication. ... she believes that when the work goes hard maybe that is a sign that it should not be published. When obstacle after obstacle comes up maybe that is the Lord trying to tell us that we ought to drop that project. ...

Roland Rich Woolley ... has heard that Saturday night's Church News has a long article on Ezra Taft Benson "trying to clean him up"-or trying to emphasize his good points. Brother Woolley said he realized that Brother Benson is not well thought of by many churchmen because of his dallying around with the John Birch Society, and Brother Woolley realizes that Brother Benson definitely needs cleaning up to be well accepted by most members of the Church. He also said that Brother Benson had been unwise in another respect-he had allowed himself to be on the Board of Directors of the Olson Egg Producers. Apparently this went on even when he was Secretary of Agriculture [1953-61]. This was illegal, and if not illegal, certainly unwise for him to have done this. Brother Woolley said he was afraid that one of these days this would come out in the open and be given publicity that would not be good for the Church.

[Confessions of a Mormon historian : the diaries of Leonard J. Arrington, 1971-1997, Gary James Bergera, editor, Signature Books, 2018]

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