55 years ago today - Early April 1966

Apostle Lee's general conference talk publicly criticized Apostle Benson. Without naming his apostolic subordinate, Lee next told the April 1966 conference, "I would that all who are called to high places in the Church would determine, as did the Apostle to the Gentiles, to know and to preach nothing save Jesus Christ and him crucified." Then Lee darkly added: "The absolute test of the divinity of the calling of any officer in the Church is this: Is he in harmony with the brethren of that body to which he belongs? When we are out of harmony, we should look to ourselves first to find the way to unity." Apostles Joseph Fielding Smith, Harold B. Lee, and Mark E. Petersen had already indicated that Apostle Ezra Taft Benson was not in harmony with his quorum.

[Quinn's telephone conversation on 7 Nov. 1992 with L. Brent Goates. He described his father-in-law's April 1966 conference address as "an insinuation" concerning Benson but declined to comment further on the differences between the two apostles. Goates, Harold B. Lee, makes no reference to the dispute. From D. Michael Quinn, Ezra Taft Benson and Mormon Political Conflicts, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 26:2 (Summer 1992), also in Quinn, The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power Salt Lake City (Signature Books, 1994), Chapter 3.]

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