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Praise for President Ezra Taft Benson continued Wednesday.

- Former President George Bush: "Ezra Taft Benson led an exemplary life that was highlighted by his service to his country, his faith, and his devotion to his family. To all in the Mormon congregation that he led with such vigor and distinction and, especially, his loved ones, Barbara and I send our sincere condolences."- Jim Bradley, chairman of the Salt Lake County Commission: President Benson was a man of great service to God, to the faithful of his church and to the people of America. My deepest respects and heartfelt condolences are offered to President Benson's family and to all the people of the LDS faith."

- Rex Lee, Brigham Young University president: "Like every other faithful member of the church, I was deeply touched by the news of President Benson's passing, not only because he has been our prophet, seer and revelator, but also because of the greatness of the man and the ways he has touched so many lives, including mine. In addition to his well-known leadership in the church and government, he has also played a crucial role in the growth and development of BYU in the last half of this century.

"Both personally and on behalf of the university, I express my condolences to the members of the family, to Reed, who is a member of our faculty, to Mark, to Barbara, Beverly, Bonnie and Beth and their children and grandchildren. With them we share the deep sense of loss and our hearts go out to them."

- Arthur Smith, University of Utah president: "On behalf of the University of Utah, I express great sorrow at his passing. He was a wise and respected leader who made his mark not only on Utah but on the nation and the world. He certainly made his mark as president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints . . . He had a long and productive life, and I'm sure he'll be long respected and revered in that role."

- George H. Emert, Utah State University president: "From all appearances from where I sit, President Benson provided great leadership for the church. I'm sure the membership and others will be saddened that he has gone onto the next step. He lived a full life and had great impact on many people's lives. He will be remembered by a whole host of folks in a very positive way."

- Paul Thompson, Weber State University president: "We need to honor President Benson for his great service both to the nation and his church. He lived a long and productive life, and the impressive thing was that he was able to serve his nation and his church so effectively. He was an inspiration to Weber State University students and alumni, the people of Utah and the people of the world."

- Gerald Sherratt, Southern Utah University president: "Ezra Taft Benson was a truly great example of one's life lived in the service of others. As a public servant, a religious leader and humanitarian, few have been his equal in our day. He will most definitely be missed by those who loved and revered him."

- Cecelia H. Foxley, Utah commissioner of higher education: "He was an extraordinary human being. It was extraordinary that he would serve his country at such a prominent level, along with his church and clearly, his family and community. It's very unusual that an individual would serve at the levels he did and serve so well."

- Former Gov. Norm Bangerter: "I enjoyed a very pleasant and cordial personal relationship with President Benson. I consider him a man of deep personal commitment to the things which he believed. I think he was a very strong leader, not only by precept but by example, and I have the greatest respect for him.

"We had discussions on religious issues and political issues, and principle was always the guiding factor for him."

- Former Gov. Calvin L. Rampton: "I've known President Benson for many years. We disagreed on political philosophy, but I admired and respected him as a man."

- Monsignor M. Francis Mannion, Cathedral of the Madeleine: "The passing of the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is an occasion of sadness for Utahns of all religious persuasions. During President Benson's leadership, many significant and substantive developments took place, not least in my view the advancement of positive and cooperative relations between Utah's Roman Catholics and Latter-day Saints. May these grow and continue under the new presidency."

- The Rev. E. Kenneth Tracy, executive presbyter, Presbytery of Utah: "Even though we had theological differences, he was still the leader of a very important segment of our society. I extend my sympathy to followers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I will be in prayer for President Benson and his church."

- The Rev. Dr. Max E. Glenn, executive minister, Shared Ministry in Utah: "The death of President Benson is a time of mourning which affects the entire religious community. We express our sympathy and love to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the family of President Benson."

- Lorenzo N. Hoopes, Oakland, Calif., former Utahn and executive assistant to President Benson when he was U.S. secretary of agriculture: "In my opinion, President Benson was the best qualified secretary of agriculture the nation has ever had. He was uniquely qualified for the position by way of training, experience and dedication. President Benson stressed that each person has a responsibility to give of himself in four different areas: family, church, vocation and the community. . . . I send my love and best wishes to President Benson's family."

- Fred S. Ball, president of the Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce: "President Benson was a good friend of the chamber and business community. He regularly expressed interest and concern about downtown Salt Lake City development. He wanted to make sure the capital city and the world headquarters of Mormonism was maintained and remained healthy and vibrant. He talked to me several times over the years."

- C. Michael Hoover, Irving, Texas, assistant chief Scout executive of the Boy Scouts of America: "We were very saddened to hear of the passing of President Benson, who was a great supporter of Scouting. He was a member of our National Advisory Council at the time of his death and had been a longtime member of the National Executive Board. . . . Every time we met with him he encouraged boys to be involved in Scouting and particularly to reach their Eagle rank. He was a holder of the Silver Buffalo Award, the highest award given by the Boy Scouts of America . . .. The Boy Scouts of America is saddened by his passing."

- Daken K. Broadhead, Corona Del Mar, Calif., first executive assistant to President Benson when he was U.S. secretary of agriculture: "Ezra Taft Benson was one of the most courageous, faithful and most well-qualified men who ever worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He was very well-qualified for his position to handle the major problems facing the government. I have known President Benson since 1932 and have maintained contact with him for many years."

- Senate Minority Leader Scott Howell, D-Salt Lake: "When I think of President Benson, I remember his last talk about how he loved all of God's children regardless of color, race, nationality or political persuasion. It was a message all church members should listen to again, that diversity is something to be accepted in the church and that people of all political persuasions are welcome in the church."

- House Majority Leader Marty Stephens, R-Farr West: "Those in government service often find it hard to find a good balance in their lives between politics and religion. President Benson was a great example of someone who lived in the world but not of the world. He participated in the government of our nation without letting government overcome his ideals and philosophies."

- House Minority Whip Kelly Atkinson, D-West Jordan: "His death is a loss to our community, as well as society at large. He was a great man who served his country well and his religion better. He really struggled the past few years and I hated to see that. But it is still a sad day."

- Former Senate President Arnold Christensen, R-Sandy: "I don't have the words to describe such a fantastic man. He was much more than a giant of a man. His contributions to society, not only in the church, but worldwide . . . I have met many presidents of the United States, but his contributions are far above any man I have ever known. His demonstration of family life and what it ought to be influenced my own personal life more than any leader of the church."

- Lt. Gov. Olene Walker: "I remember when I was in college a group of us went to Salt Lake and stopped at his house. President and Mrs. Benson had the record player on and were dancing. I was so impressed by that, that he would have that kind of family relationship. Certainly we all loved President Benson, but it was the warm, caring example he set that endeared him to all of us."

- Attorney General Jan Graham: "He led a life that was nothing short of remarkable . . . remarkable in so many different areas. His passion for strong families was a fundamental building block for people in America. It was evident in everything he did."

- Speaker of the House Rob Bishop, R-Brigham City: "All of us feel a profound sense of grief at his passing. But we also feel immense gratitude for the service and leadership he has provided."

- The Rt. Rev. George E. Bates, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Utah: "With heartfelt sympathy, the people of the Episcopal Diocese of Utah join all those throughout the world today who mourn the death of President Ezra Taft Benson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

"President Benson was revered both as a man and as a prophet. It is with sincere admiration for his life and works that we send our love and fellowship to all those who grieve his passing, yet as we grieve we know the event of death brings him to a larger life."