‘I thought he was such a lovely man’

On July 9, 1923, a young missionary serving in the British Isles reported in his journal:

"Warm. Arrived in Sunderland from Darlington this morning at 11 o'clock and attended to the mail awaiting my attention. We then went to the Sunderland hall to prepare for the baptism. While the font was filling, I was writing out reports, etc. Seven were baptized – two adults and five children. About fifty attended the service, which was very pleasing and enjoyable."The missionary was 23-year-old Ezra Taft Benson, then president of the Newcastle Conference in the Great Britain Mission. One of the five children baptized was Clara Isabella Scott Green, today nearing 80 years old, who still remembers the kind young elder who signed her baptismal certificate.

"I thought he was such a lovely man," said Sister Green from her home in Sunderland. "It was a very happy time."

Over the years, Sister Green has treasured her certificate and a letter President Benson wrote to her mother, and she recently sent a copy of the letter to the prophet, who was delighted to hear from someone who was a child he knew as a missionary.

Remembering those early years of the Church in England, Sister Green recalled that "in those days, we didn't have a church buildingT; we had to have meetings in the rooms of big shops and things."

Traveling, she said, was done by "tram cars."

Since the day she was baptized, Sister Green has remained very active in the Church. A member of the South Shields Ward, Sunderland England Stake, she can't attend Sunday meetings anymore due to poor health, but her home teachers regularly bring her the sacrament, and she has a yearly temple interview.

"After my non-memberT husband died in 1980, I did his temple work for him," she said. "My whole family has been so blessed because of the Church."