"Except for the President," Ezra Taft Benson lamented to concerned Mormons toward the end of his first year in office, I am assured that no man in public life has a heavier responsibility at the present time [than I]. I feel the weight of it very keenly. The cross fires, pressures and political maneuvering associated with the office make the burden almost unbearable at times. I know that I have the faith and prayers of millions of people who are hoping and praying that the philosophies and principles which I am trying to advocate will prevail.
Of course, the Church is on trial. ... I hope you will not become unduly depressed when you read items deeply critical of me and my activities.
[Benson, Open letter to "My Brothers and Sisters," November 9, 1953, in Benson Scrapbooks.; 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)]