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Mormon Leader Suffers Fainting Spell

January 12, 1986|Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY — Ezra Taft Benson, ordained president of the Mormon Church two months ago, suffered a fainting spell Saturday and was admitted to LDS Hospital, a church spokesman said.

"He is in good condition, alert and smiling, and saying that he wants to go home," spokesman Jerry Cahill said.

Benson's physician, cardiologist Allen Barker, has not determined what caused the fainting spell, and ordered him to undergo tests, Cahill said.

Benson, 86, was expected to remain in the coronary care unit for at least 48 hours.

Benson was talking with his son on the telephone in his apartment at the Westin Hotel Utah when he fainted early Saturday afternoon, Cahill said.

Benson's son, Reed, called on another line and asked a security guard to check on his father. The guard found Benson slumped in his chair, Cahill said.

The former U.S. secretary of agriculture became president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Nov. 10 after the death of Spencer W. Kimball.

Benson, on his first official trip, met last week with President Reagan in Washington to discuss efforts by church members to fight world hunger.

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