Steady, solemn procession passes prophet's casket

From 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. on May 3, thousands filed through the lobby of the Church Administration Building to pay final respects to President Ezra Taft Benson.

In opening remarks at President Benson's funeral June 4, President Gordon B. Hinckley, who served as President Benson's first counselor in the First Presidency said: "It was a most impressive sight yesterday at the Church Administration Building. All day long the people came, in a steady and solemn procession past the bier of their beloved friend and prophet. They were quiet, they were reverent, and they were touched in their hearts. They were both young and elderly with all ages in between. There was something somber and at the same time beautiful about it. Thoughts ran deep but words were few. Beyond those who came were the countless thousands across the world who wished they might have been able to come, not to speak, but in silence to communicate their love and their sorrow."The public viewing began at 9 a.m.; Church employees and their families and Church service missionaries were invited to the viewing at 7 a.m.

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