In the middle of the decade, the Church underwent a change in administration following the death of President Spencer W. Kimball on Nov. 5, 1985.
The beloved leader came to represent an era of a greatly increased missionary force, Church membership, and worldwide temples. When President Ezra Taft Benson was set apart as prophet on Nov. 10, 1985, that era was only beginning.Called to serve as counselors with President Benson were Presidents Gordon B. Hinckley and Thomas S. Monson.
President Benson, with an energy that belied his age of 86, added his own special brand of enthusiasm, urging members to "flood the earth" with the Book of Mormon. Under President Benson's leadership, the Church reached the 7-million-member milestone, saw six temples dedicated, and witnessed the missionary force grow to 40,000.
President Howard W. Hunter, acting president of the Council of the Twelve since November 1985, was set apart as president of the Twelve June 2, 1988.
During the 1980s, half the present members of the Twelve were called to their positions.
They are Elders Neal A. Maxwell, ordained July 23, 1981; Russell M. Nelson, April 12, 1984; Dallin H. Oaks, May 3, 1984; M. Russell Ballard, Oct. 10, 1985; Joseph B. Wirthlin, Oct. 9, 1986; and Richard G. Scott, Oct. 6, 1988.