Excerpt from remarks by Elder Ezra T. Benson
5 December 1847
On the occasion of the Twelve selecting
Brigham Young to be President of the Church
(Minutes of a meeting with the Twelve, 5 Dec. 1847, Brigham Young Papers; cited in Richard E. Bennett, We’ll Find the Place: The Mormon Exodus, 1846–1848 [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1997], 289–90)
I have not exchanged a word with Brigham on the matter. I feel now . . . that everything is right and it is hard to get it wrong. . . . I [p.290] have a testimony that he is called of God. My conscience is perfectly clear and my feelings the same as they ever have been. I am willing to lift him up a peg. That’s my private and public feelings. The arguments that have been used are gone. The time has come and it may as well be done now as any other. I can act tonight [5 December] as well as any time. As the revelation says “It is of necessity.”
. . . It is plan to me as the nose on my face. I have as much power as I can deal with. I will not carry any burden that grinds in here. The Kingdom of God is a Kingodom of light and truth and we have enough. . . . I came in [the quorum] like Abram going from his house not knowing why I came. I was tapped on the head like a shot of electricity. If I did not keep watch ahead as John E. Page said it’s hell and damnation all around. I am tormented all the while if I did not do right. I am not concerned but that the Lord will carry on the work and that all will be right. I could not get it into my mind that God would send an angel, call one of his servents, and then suffer one ignoramus to lead away the people to the Devil. I would not worship such a God and I believe God would remove our head out of it’s place. I am here and I am willing to act. . . . I want to keep with the Quorum of the Twelve and I mean to stick with Brother Brigham.