Ezra Taft Benson was a political conservative and often gave talks as a voice of warning against the sins of the world and against godless communism as an apostle. When he became prophet, his message more focussed on love and on a renewed emphasis in studying the Book of Mormon. This attitude was evident in the men he called to be Apostles. He was prophet for nine years, but the last four of them, his health problems were such that he was rarely seen in public.
First Presidency in 1985:
Ezra Taft Benson
Gordon B. Hinckley
Thomas S. Monson
Quorum of the Twelve in 1985:
Marion G. Romney, Howard W. Hunter,
Boyd K. Packer, Marvin J. Ashton,
L. Tom Perry, David B. Haight,
James E. Faust, Neal A. Maxwell,
Russell M. Nelson, Dallin H. Oaks,
M. Russell Ballard...
Called to be Apostles by Ezra Taft Benson:
Joseph B. Wirthlin, Richard G. Scott, Robert D. Hales
(June 11, 1917 - December 1, 2008)
Apostle - October 4, 1986
Wirthlin was a first cousin to Gordon B. Hinckley and they grew up in the same ward. He served a mission in Europe (1936-1939) and played running back at the University of Utah. He married Elisa Rogers in 1941 and had eight children.
He served as a stake presidency counselor and on a stake high council. He served as a bishop at the same time his father Joseph L. Wirthlin was the Presiding Bishop of the church. He was the last person to be called as an assistant to the Q12 before the position was eliminated. He then became a member of the Presidency of the Seventy.
Upon Pres. Kimball's death, Wirthlin was the first Apostle that the new Pres. Benson called. He often focussed on improving spirituality, with talks like "The Virtue of Kindness" and "Seeking the Good." He died at age 91. He is the most recent Apostle to die; all others called after him are still alive.
(November 7, 1928 - )
Apostle - October 1, 1988
Richard's father Kenneth Scott was not a member of the LDS church when he went to work for Ezra Taft Benson in the US Department of Agriculture. Benson helped convert him to the Gospel, and thirty years later, Benson was able to call Kenneth's son as an Apostle.
Richard wasn't very active until he started dating Jeanine Watkins, daughter of Senator Arthur Watkins. Jeanine said she'd only marry a returned missionary, so he went on a mission to Uruguay and married her when he returned.
He worked as a nuclear engineer. He helped develop the first commercial nuclear power plant.
He was called to be an Apostle at age 59. He can speak Spanish and Portugese and he will record his talks in those two languages before each General Conference so those listening to translators while they watch live will hear his voice. He's known for his compassion and empathy in his talks.
(August 24, 1932 - )
Apostle - April 2, 1994
Hales was born in New York City, raised in Queens. He was a pilot in the US Air Force and made his living in high executive positions at many different companies.
He was the Presiding Bishop for nine years before being called to be an Apostle. A few years ago he had two heart attacks and several surgeries, and while it appeared he might not have much longer, he's been able to fully perform his duties the past few years. He's currently 82.