David O. McKay aided by Second Counselor J. Reuben Clark, placed his hands on the apostle's head and set him apart ... as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. "You will have a responsibility, even greater than your associates in the cabinet," McKay prayed, because you go . . . as an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. You are entitled to inspiration from on high, and if you so live and think and pray, you will have that divine guidance which others may not have. . . . We bless you, therefore, dear Brother Ezra, that when questions of right and wrong come before the men with whom you are deliberating, you may see clearly what is right, and knowing it, that you may have courage to stand by that which is right and proper. . . . We seal upon you the blessings of . . . sound judgment, clear vision, that you might see afar the needs of this country; vision that you might see, too, the enemies who would thwart the freedom of the individual as vouchsafed by the Constitution, . . . and may you be fearless in the condemnation of these subversive influences, and strong in your defense of the rights and privileges of the Constitution.
[McKay, Diary, November 28, 1952. Unlike most entries in McKay's diary, which are typed, this one is in McKay's handwriting; Dew, Benson , 259; Gary James Bergera, '"Rising above Principle": Ezra Taft Benson as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, 1953-61, Part 1', Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought (Fall 2008, v 41)]
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