Moment: President Benson’s Example of “Loyal Support”
Contributed By Ryan Morgenegg, Church News staff writer
“One of our great needs as a people is greater, more loyal support for one another.” —President Ezra Taft Benson (1985–1994)
In the October general conference of 1951, Elder Ezra Taft Benson, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, shared a personal story about the importance of loyalty and support:
“I have but one thought to add, my brothers and sisters. I have set aside two or three times that which I had in mind to say, as it has been treated much better than I could have treated the subject. I would like to bring this thought to your attention through a brief story.
“Some months ago while attending a meeting of agricultural and farm cooperative leaders in an eastern city, I had occasion to leave my hotel room and cross the street to the nearby post office to mail some letters. As I entered the door of the post office on a side street, I heard words coming through an open window at the opposite side of the building which sounded very much to me like a Mormon missionary preaching on the street.
“After mailing the letters, I eased over to the open window, and there I saw two young men in blue serge suits standing on the corner of the steps of the post office. One young man was bearing his testimony regarding the coming forth of the Book of Mormon and the mission of the Prophet Joseph. He was earnest, he was sincere, he spoke with conviction. I thrilled with what he said.
“Some fifty or seventy-five people were listening in addition to the moving congregation that is always part of the street meeting. Standing at his side was his companion. In one arm were copies of the Book of Mormon, and the hats of the two brethren in his other hand.
“When the street meeting ended, I went out and introduced myself, visited with them a moment, and then I turned to the young man who had been holding the literature in his arm and said, ‘Elder, what were you doing while your companion was preaching and bearing testimony?’ The answer filled my soul with thanksgiving. He said, ‘Brother Benson, I was praying to God that my companion would say the right thing that would touch the hearts of the people and bring them a conviction of the truth of this great latter-day work.’
“Support for one another, that is the one thought that I have to leave with you, my brethren and sisters. One of our great needs as a people is greater, more loyal support for one another.” —Conference Report, October 1951, 154–55.