Howard Badger, a regular member of the Church, was permitted to sit in the vacant seat of Elder Ezra T. Benson of the Quorum of the Twelve during General Conference, shortly after the conclusion of World War II. Why was he extended this honor, most likely the only time this has occurred?
a. He assisted Elder Benson distribute desperately needed supplies to the Saints in war torn Europe
b. He was about to be called as an Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve
c. He was the Church’s first security officer for the General Authorities
d. It would be the first time that the Church would read the Statistical report in Conference
Emma Lawrence Colling often related the following incident which she felt was an answer to their prayer for food and help: Brother Ephraim K. Hanks, while at Provo, was impressed to go to Salt Lake. He stopped overnight at Draper. While lying awake in bed, a voice called to him saying, “The handcart people are in trouble, will you go and help them?” Brother Hanks answered, “Yes, I will go.” The voice called three times, repeating the same words. The answer was the same. In the morning Brother Hanks hastened to Salt Lake, and two days later was on his way eastward, alone.
Ten miles east of Green River he met a number of teams that had been sent to the relief of the belated companies, but they had turned back because of the deep snow. Those in charge had come to the conclusion that the immigrants had all perished. Brother Hanks got some of their supplies and went on his way. Several days later he met others returning. From them he secured a saddle horse and pack animal and went on.
Sixty miles from Devils Gate Brother Hanks killed a buffalo. He cut the meat in strips and lashed it on his horses. Toward evening he saw a black streak in the snow. It was slowly moving; he knew what it was. At last he reached the ill-fated handcart camp. He said, “The starving forms and haggard looks of those poor dejected creatures can never be blotted from my mind.” Flocking around him, starving mothers reached out their hands, saying “Please give me some meat for my hungry children.” Shivering urchins with tears streaming down their thin cheeks cried out, “Please give me some.” In a short time everyone was eating bison.
During the evening Brother Hanks went from tent to tent anointing and administering to the sick. Some were healed instantly, and many dropping spirits took fresh courage. Richard Collings, who was very sick that night, was one to whom Brother Hank’s administered, and he received strength to go on.
Brother Hanks spent most of his time caring for the sick and afflicted. Some days he anointed and administered to as many as two hundred, and in many instances they were healed almost instantly. Notwithstanding these wonderful manifestations of God’s power, many Saints lost their limbs from freezing. Some lost their hands and others their feet. Food became so scarce that the company was put on rations, and several times the ration was cut down. At times the only food in camp was a little flour. A few ounces were allotted each person for the day.
Chronicles of Courage, Daughters of Utah Pioneers (Salt Lake City: Lesson Committee, 1993), V4:64.