Obituary: Ezra Taft Benson

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The Independent Online
MALISE RUTHVEN's admirable obituary of Ezra Taft Benson (1 June) only slightly overstates Benson's influence on the reactionary policy about access to the Mormon Church archives that set in when he became president in 1985, writes Nicolas Barker.

It is true that Benson belonged to a majority that saw dangers in keeping open the door that his predecessor, Heber Kimball, had unlocked. But he himself was already past any active part in implementing the policy; that was due to Boyd K. Packer, now a youthful 69 and fourth in line for the presidency. There is no sign, with the full extent of Mark Hofmann's forgeries still unknown, and the memory of the murders he committed still fresh, that access to the sensitive documents, forged or genuine, will become any easier.

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