“President Benson Addresses Members in Utah, California,” Ensign, Sept. 1987, 77–78
President Ezra Taft Benson left messages of love and instruction with members in both Utah and California during June as he addressed large gatherings in Provo and Oakland.
President Benson, accompanied by his wife, Flora, addressed a conference of the Heber City and Payson Utah regions June 14 at the Brigham Young University Marriott Center in Provo.
On June 28, they both spoke to an estimated five thousand people in Oakland, California, during the rededication of the newly remodeled Oakland interstake center.
The center, which is adjacent to the Oakland Temple, was rededicated by Elder John K. Carmack of the First Quorum of the Seventy. Elder Carmack was completing his assignment as President of the North America West Area.
At the Provo conference, President Benson urged members to read and study the Book of Mormon regularly. He said, “We are to use the Book of Mormon in handling objections to our church,” and pointed out the need for members to make the scriptures an important part of their daily lives.
In response to an invitation from Elder James E. Faust of the Quorum of the Twelve, President Benson told the youth present in the gathering how he felt about patriarchal blessings.
He noted that he was very thankful for his own patriarchal blessing, and said, “Patriarchal blessings in part point out to you the blessings and the potential of your lives. I recommend it wholeheartedly to every young person today.”
Following his address, President Benson sang “I Am a Mormon Boy” for the benefit of the Primary children in the congregation. Immediately afterward, he asked, “Now if there are any of you who are not Mormon boys or girls, would you please stand? We’ll send the missionaries over to you right away.”
Other speakers at the conference included Elder Faust and Elder Paul H. Dunn of the First Quorum of the Seventy, and Elder Dunn’s wife, Jeanne.
At the Oakland rededication ceremony, President Benson urged members to study the Book of Mormon throughout their lives. “I know,” he said, “that our families may be corrupted by worldly trends and teaching unless we know how to use that book to expose and combat the falsehood in socialism, rationalism, humanism, and so forth.”
He noted that “social, ethical, cultural, or educational converts will not survive under the heat of the day unless their tap roots go down to the fulness of the gospel that the Book of Mormon contains.”
Prior to President Benson’s address, Sister Benson delivered a short, inspiring message focusing on the family and the home.
Other speakers included Elder Carmack, and President J. David Billeter of the Oakland California Stake.
The proceedings of the services were translated into the various languages spoken in the Oakland stakes.
Oakland report correspondent: M. C. O’Bryant, Public Communications Representative, Concord California Stake.