Human prophet in divine call

President Ezra Taft Benson was ordained and set apart as the 13th president of the Church on Nov. 18, 1985.

In recent years, President Benson's health has become frail and he has been unable to travel and be among the Saints, for whom he had expressed much love and concern.In one of his addresses during the October 1992 general conference, President Gordon B. Hinckley, first counselor in the First Presidency, said: "The head of the Church is the Lord Jesus Christ. It is His Church. But the earthly head is our prophet. Prophets are men who are endowed with a divine calling. Notwithstanding the divinity of that calling, they are human. They are subject to the problems of mortality.

"We love and respect and honor and look to the prophet of this day, President Ezra Taft Benson. He has been a great and a gifted leader, a man whose voice has rung out in testimony of this work across the world. He holds all the keys of the priesthood on the earth in this day. But he has reached an age where he cannot do many of the things he once did. This does not detract from his calling as a prophet. But it places limitations upon his physical activities. . . .

"Some people, evidently not knowing the system, worry that because of the President's age, the Church faces a crisis. They seem not to realize that there is a backup system. In the very nature of this system, there is always on board a trained crew, if I may so speak of them. They have been thoroughly schooled in Church procedures. More importantly, they also hold the keys of the eternal priesthood of God. They, too, have been put in place by the Lord."

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