55 years ago today - Dec 16, 1965

By the end of December 1965 other general authorities vetoed an effort by one of Benson's intermediaries to have the Birch Society's president speak at Brigham Young University. Those voting against the proposal were Apostles Joseph Fielding Smith, Harold B. Lee, Delbert L. Stapley, Marion G. Romney, and LeGrand Richards. That unanimous vote reflected First Presidency counselor N. Eldon Tanner's statement to a political science professor: "We certainly don't want the Birch Society to get a hold on the BYU campus." Tanner had served as a counselor for the past two years since Henry D. Moyle's death.

[Board of Trustees, Executive Committee minutes, 16 Dec. 1965, archives, Brigham Young University; Wilkinson diary, 21 Dec. 1965; Bergera and Priddis, Brigham Young University, 197; N. Eldon Tanner statement in the mid-1960s to J. Kenneth Davies as reported in Davies interview by Gary James Bergera, 24 Dec. 1984.However, Apostle Delbert L. Stapley's vote against the Birch Society president as a BYU speaker should not be construed as evidence of his disagreement with Benson's political views. For example, Stapley wrote a woman that "we are drifting towards the socialized state," and sent her copies of Benson's conference talks on Communism (Stapley to Mrs. W. E. Daddow, 19 Feb. 1965, LDS archives). 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.]

No comments:

Post a Comment