60 years ago today - Nov 4, 1962

After giving a "political" talk to a multi-stake meeting of BYU students in November 1962, religion professor Glenn L. Pearson told one of his students that Elder Benson's support of the Birch Society was a mission from God. Then, described by BYU's president as "the most untactful person I have heard," Pearson said that [Hugh B.] Brown was "a Judas in the First Presidency." The student concluded that a church court should excommunicate Counselor Brown.

[Wilkinson diary, 4 Nov. 1962; conversation reported to Michael Quinn by the student in November 1962, during which time Quinn was also enrolled in Pearson's missionary preparation course. 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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