50 years ago today - Dec 30, 1973-Sunday

[Leonard Arrington]
I was told this afternoon that President Kimball was a traditionalistvery conservative as to doctrine and as to procedures. A prediction was made that he would most likely choose Elders [Ezra Taft] Benson and [Mark E.] Petersen, as the senior members of the Quorum after him, to be his counselors. He has great compassion for ordinary persons and their problems, but his approach is that of a traditionalist rather than an innovator.

I was also told that Elder Kimball and Elder Benson were called at the same time. They were notified to go to church headquarters for the interview at about the same time. [[Kimball was actually notified of his call several months before Benson.]] Elder Kimball happened to arrive just 10 minutes ahead of Elder Benson, and had the first interview. Then Elder Benson. Then their names were presented in that order to the conference, and they were ordained in that order. I was told that he had heard this from Elder Benson himself. This suggests that perhaps Elder Benson feels it was an accident that he followed Elder Kimball in order of seniority. If this story is true, and if Elder Kimball is aware of or sympathetic with this feeling, then perhaps he will choose Elder Benson as a counselor. On the other hand, there will certainly be strong precedent for maintaining the same counselors that President Lee had. We'll know tomorrow at 10 a.m.

I have been amazed at the number of reports of people reading Nightfall at Nauvoo by Sam Taylor. This suggests how starved member[s] of the Church are for dramatically written historical material. It also shows their curiosity. They are not buying the seminary version of Church History. It must not be the whole story. So they are reading something that may give them the low down on what really happened.

[Confessions of a Mormon historian : the diaries of Leonard J. Arrington, 1971-1997, Gary James Bergera, editor, Signature Books, 2018]

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