50 years ago today - Feb 22, 1974

Benson resumed partisan warfare by announcing that the church might officially support political candidates. Then on the eve of the November election he publicly endorsed the ultra-conservative American Party and spoke at its rally on the Saturday before the election. This required the First Presidency to issue an immediate statement that "we take no partisan stand as to candidates or parties, and any person who makes representations to the contrary does so without authorization."

["Support for Candidate Possible Some Day, LDS Apostle Says," Salt Lake Tribune, 22 Feb. 1974, B-l; "Benson Tells Party Support," Salt Lake Tribune, 4 Nov. 1974, 29; "Church Says Elder's Speech on Third Party 'Unauthorized,'" Ogden Standard-Examiner, 4 Nov. 1974, A-10; "American Party told, 'Stand Firm,'" Deseret News, 4 Nov. 1974, B-14. 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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