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Encyclopedia > Ezra Taft Benson
The Greatest Man Ever to Live
Full name Ezra Taft Benson
Born August 4, 1899
Place of birth Whitney, Idaho
Died May 30, 1994
Place of death Salt Lake City, Utah
LDS Church President
Ordained November 10, 1985
Predecessor Spencer W. Kimball
Successor Howard W. Hunter

Ezra Taft Benson (August 4, 1899May 30, 1994) was President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1985 until his death. Earlier he served as United States Secretary of Agriculture for both of the administrations of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Image File history File links Circle-question-red. ... Image File history File links Unbalanced_scales. ... Image File history File links Ezra_Taft_Benson. ... August 4 is the 216th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (217th in leap years), with 149 days remaining. ... Year 1899 (MDCCCXCIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar). ... Whitney is a small community in Franklin County, Idaho. ... May 30 is the 150th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (151st in leap years). ... 1994 (MCMXCIV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated as the International Year of the Family and the International Year of the Sport and the Olympic Ideal by United Nations. ... Salt Lake City is the capital and the most populous city of the U.S. state of Utah. ... The Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the largest attraction in the citys Temple Square. ... In the Latter Day Saint movement, the President of the Church is generally considered to be the highest office of the church. ... November 10 is the 314th day of the year (315th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 51 days remaining. ... 1985 (MCMLXXXV) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Spencer Woolley Kimball (March 28, 1895 – November 5, 1985) was the twelfth President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1973-1985). ... Howard William Hunter (November 14, 1907 – March 3, 1995) was the fourteenth President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1994-1995), and served the shortest amount of time of any Church president to date (nine months). ... August 4 is the 216th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (217th in leap years), with 149 days remaining. ... Year 1899 (MDCCCXCIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar). ... May 30 is the 150th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (151st in leap years). ... 1994 (MCMXCIV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated as the International Year of the Family and the International Year of the Sport and the Olympic Ideal by United Nations. ... In the Latter Day Saint movement, the President of the Church is generally considered to be the highest office of the church. ... The Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the largest attraction in the citys Temple Square. ... 1985 (MCMLXXXV) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The United States Secretary of Agriculture is the head of the United States Department of Agriculture concerned with land and food as well as agriculture and rural development. ... The presidential seal was first used in 1880 by President Rutherford Bitch ass face Hayes and last modified in 1959 by adding the 50th star for Hawaii The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. ... D. D. Eisenhower during WWII Dwight David Eisenhower (born David Dwight Eisenhower, October 14, 1890 - March 28, 1969), nicknamed Ike, was an American soldier and politician, who served as the thirty-fourth President of the United States (1953-1961). ...

Contents

Biography

Born on a farm in Whitney, Idaho, Benson was the oldest of 11 children. Began his academic career at Utah State University, he was a 1926 graduate of Brigham Young University (after serving a church mission in Britain from 1921 to 1923). Benson pursued a career in agriculture and later served in many church leadership positions. Whitney is a small community in Franklin County, Idaho. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Utah State Universitys main campus is located in Logan, Utah. ... Year 1926 (MCMXXVI) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar). ... Brigham Young University Brigham Young University (BYU), located in Provo, Utah, is the flagship university of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). ... A missionary is traditionally defined as a propagator of religion who works to convert those outside that community; someone who proselytizes. ... Year 1921 (MCMXXI) was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for full calendar). ... {{year nav|1939 1923 (MCMXXIII) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar). ...


In 1939, when he was president of the church's Boise, Idaho, stake and working for the University of Idaho Extension Service, he moved to Washington, D.C. to become Executive Secretary of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, and became the first president of a new LDS Church stake there. 1939 (MCMXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full year calendar). ... Nickname: City of Trees Motto: Energy Peril Success Location of Boise in the State of Idaho Coordinates: Country United States State Idaho County Ada Founded 1863 Incorporated 1864 Government  - Mayor David H. Bieter Area  - City  64 sq mi (165. ... A stake is an administrative unit composed of multiple congregrations in sects of the Latter Day Saint movement. ... The University of Idaho is the states most prominent land-grant and primary research university, located in the city of Moscow in Latah County. ... Nickname: DC, The District Motto: Justitia Omnibus (Justice for All) Location of Washington, D.C., in relation to the states Maryland and Virginia Coordinates: Country United States Federal District District of Columbia Government  - Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D)  - City Council Chairperson: Vincent C. Gray (D) Ward 1: Jim Graham (D...


Apostle

On October 7, 1943, both Benson and Spencer W. Kimball (18951985) were ordained to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, filling two vacancies created by the deaths of Apostles that summer. Because Kimball was the older of the two, he was ordained first. Succession to the presidency of the church is by chronological order of ordination to apostleship, allowing Spencer W. Kimball to become president of the church years earlier than Benson. Upon Spencer W. Kimball's death in 1985, Benson became the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. October 7 is the 280th day of the year (281st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1943 (MCMXLIII) was a common year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1943 calendar). ... Spencer Woolley Kimball (March 28, 1895 – November 5, 1985) was the twelfth President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1973-1985). ... 1895 (MDCCCXCV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ... 1985 (MCMLXXXV) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The current Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the LDS Church. ... This is the current Mormon collaboration of the month! Please help improve it to meet the ideal article standard. ... Spencer Woolley Kimball (March 28, 1895 – November 5, 1985) was the twelfth President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1973-1985). ... Spencer Woolley Kimball (March 28, 1895 – November 5, 1985) was the twelfth President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1973-1985). ... In the Latter Day Saint movement, the President of the Church is generally considered to be the highest office of the church. ... The Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the largest attraction in the citys Temple Square. ...


Political career

In 1953, Benson was appointed U.S. Secretary of Agriculture by President Eisenhower perhaps to appease Robert Taft,[citation needed] and Benson accepted this position with the permission of Church President David O. McKay. He retained his United States Cabinet place throughout the two terms of the Eisenhower Administration without yielding his position in the Quorum of the Twelve. In office, he was criticized for his opposition to government price supports and such aid to farmers. Upon starting his service in this office, he suggested starting each cabinet meeting with a prayer. President Eisenhower agreed to the suggestion and kept the prayer as the opening event to every cabinet meeting during his administration. 1953 (MCMLIII) was a common year starting on Thursday. ... Robert A. Taft Robert Alphonso Taft (September 8, 1889 - July 31, 1953), of the Taft political family of Ohio, was a United States Senator and sought to be the Presidential candidate of the Republican Party in 1940 and 1952. ... David Oman McKay (September 8, 1873 – January 18, 1970) was the ninth President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church; see also Mormon), serving from 1951 until his death in 1970. ... Cabinet meeting on May 16, 2001. ... In Mormonism, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (also known as the Quorum of the Twelve, the Council of the Twelve, or the Twelve) is one of the governing bodies of the church hierarchy in many Latter Day Saint denominations, members of which are considered to be Apostles, and special...


As Secretary of Agriculture, Benson was predicted by the press to be the first man of the cabinet to be ousted, and even Congressional Republicans felt he was too high a liability for the party, given his severely anti-socialist stance. However, Benson prevailed for the eight years of the Eisenhower presidency, which has been termed one of the great "political mysteries" of the 20th century.[citation needed] Secretary Benson grew to have a hatred for communism. He spoke to audiences with his anti-communist speeches, warning repeatedly of what he believed was the threat of a "socialist-communist conspiracy." In the 1960s he stated to the BYU student body: (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999... Communism is an ideology that seeks to establish a classless, stateless social organization based on common ownership of the means of production. ... Anti-communism is opposition to communist ideology, organization, or government, on either a theoretical or practical level. ... ...

“I have talked face to face with the godless communist leaders. It may surprise you to learn that I was host to Mr. [Nikita] Khrushchev for a half day when he visited the United States, not that I’m proud of it. I opposed his coming then, and I still feel it was a mistake to welcome this atheistic murderer as a state visitor. But, according to President Eisenhower, Khrushchev had expressed a desire to learn something of American Agriculture — and after seeing Russian agriculture I can understand why. As we talked face to face, he indicated that my grandchildren would live under communism. After assuring him that I expected to do all in my power to assure that his and all other grandchildren will live under freedom, he arrogantly declaired in substance:
“‘You Americans are so gullible. No, you won’t accept communism outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of socialism until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism. We won’t have to fight you. We’ll so weaken your economy until you’ll fall like overripe fruit into our hands.’
“And they’re ahead of schedule in their devilish scheme.” (Ezra Taft Benson “Our Immediate Responsibility.” Devotional Address at Brigham Young University. circa 1968.”)

Benson's claims regarding Khrushchev's statements have been challenged. The supposed Communist strategy of "giving [Americans] small doses of socialism until they suddenly awake to find they have communism" had already been attributed to Khrushchev; however, that quotation was later determined to be a deliberate fabrication by American rightists.[1] The quote that the United States would "fall like an overripe fruit into [Communist] hands" had been previously attributed to Vladimir Lenin well before Khruschev's 1959 trip to the United States, and numerous researchers had failed to find any evidence that supported the attribution.[1] Discussing Benson's claim to have heard both from Khrushchev, academics Paul Boller and John George wrote "... it strains credulity to believe that [Khrushchev] used the doses-of-socialism phrase (not fabricated until 1960), or even the overripe-fruit fake (which had been circulating in the United States, not the Soviet Union, since 1954), or that his interpreter chose those words when translating his remarks. Benson may have heard what he wanted to hear."[1] Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev (Russian: , Nikita Sergeevič Chruščëv; IPA: , in English, , or , occasionally ); surname more accurately romanized as Khrushchyov; April 17 [O.S. April 5] 1894[1]–September 11, 1971) was the leader of the Soviet Union after the death of Joseph Stalin. ... Lenin redirects here. ...


In his political and ecclesiastical life, Benson was intensely conservative. He was an ardent evangelist of American exceptionalism, and a vitriolic opponent of Communism and Socialism. In the early 1960s, Benson met Robert W. Welch Jr., founder of the John Birch Society. While Benson never joined the Society, his wife Flora joined, and his son Reed was the Society's Utah state coordinator. His reasons for not joining may have related to incompatibility with his position as an Apostle; however, he had read the Society's Blue Book and was very sympathetic to the cause, stating that he "was convinced that the John Birch Society was the most effective non-church organization in our fight against creeping Socialism and godless Communism." This article deals with conservatism as a political philosophy. ... Progress of America, 1875, by Domenico Tojetti American exceptionalism (cf. ... Communism is an ideology that seeks to establish a classless, stateless social organization based on common ownership of the means of production. ... Socialism refers to a broad array of doctrines or political movements that envisage a socio-economic system in which property and the distribution of wealth are subject to social control. ... 1960 (MCMLX) was a leap year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1960 calendar). ... Robert Henry Winborne Welch Jr. ... The John Birch Society is an Americanist organization founded in 1958 to fight what it saw as growing threats to the Constitution of the United States, especially a suspected communist infiltration of the United States government, and to support free enterprise. ... Official language(s) English Capital Salt Lake City Largest city Salt Lake City Area  Ranked 13th  - Total 84,876 sq mi (219,887 km²)  - Width 270 miles (435 km)  - Length 350 miles (565 km)  - % water 3. ... This is the current Mormon collaboration of the month! Please help improve it to meet the ideal article standard. ...


While Benson later attributed his longevity to his unorthodox diet and his religious faith, his eating habits became the source of constant ribbing in the 1970s when his conservative friends began a series of "Ezra Roasts" to poke fun at Benson as a means of fund-raising to finance campaigns against the Equal Rights Amendment. The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979, inclusive. ... The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution that was intended to guarantee equal rights under the law for Americans regardless of gender. ...


Prophet

Benson succeeded Kimball as President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 1973, and as President of the Church in 1985. Known in his early years for his ultra-conservative and right libertarian political views, he was comparatively moderate once he attained the church's highest office. During his early years as Church President he brought a renewed emphasis to the distribution and reading of the Book of Mormon, reaffirming the LDS scripture's importance as "the keystone of [the LDS] religion." President Thomas S. Monson Acting President Boyd K. Packer In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is the most senior Apostle in the church, aside from the church President. ... 1973 (MCMLXXIII) was a common year starting on Monday. ... In the Latter Day Saint movement, the President of the Church is generally considered to be the highest office of the church. ... 1985 (MCMLXXXV) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article deals with conservatism as a political philosophy. ... This article is becoming very long. ... The Book of Mormon[1] is one of the sacred texts of the Latter Day Saint movement, named after the prophet/historian Mormon who, according to the text, compiled most of the book. ...


In the years before his death, Benson suffered from poor health resulting from blood clots in the brain, strokes, and heart attacks. During this time, Benson almost never appeared in public, and First Presidency First Counselor Gordon B. Hinckley took on many of Benson's official duties, as he had done as the Second Counselor in Kimball's last years. Joining Hinckley in this task was Thomas S. Monson, the Second Counselor in the First Presidency, and Hinckley and Monson received legal power of attorney to act in Benson's behalf in LDS corporate affairs. Important ecclesiastical continued to be signed in Benson's name, with the aid of a signature machine. In Mormonism, the First Presidency (or the Quorum of the Presidency of the Church) is one of the governing bodies in the church hierarchy of several Latter Day Saint denominations. ... Gordon Bitner Hinckley (b. ... President Thomas S. Monson. ... In Mormonism, the First Presidency (or the Quorum of the Presidency of the Church) is one of the governing bodies in the church hierarchy of several Latter Day Saint denominations. ... A power of attorney or letter of attorney in common law systems or mandate in civil law systems is an authorization to act on someone elses behalf in a legal or business matter. ...


There was some controversy as to whether Benson's actual mental health during this time was accurately portrayed by the Church leadership. According to Church spokesman Don LeFevre, Hinckley and Monson reviewed major church decisions with Benson in his home, where he was attended by a staff of nurses. According to Benson's grandson Steve Benson, who later became a vocal, anti-Mormon critic, by 1993 Benson was living in a sweatsuit, fed by others, and incapable of recognizing others or speaking coherently. Steve Benson is not considered to be an official spokesman for the Benson family or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Family members have shied away from Steve Benson's remarks. Stephen R. Benson is a Pulitzer Prize-winning liberal U.S. editorial cartoonist for The Arizona Republic. ... 1993 (MCMXCIII) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar and marked the Beginning of the International Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination (1993-2003). ... Stephen R. Benson is a Pulitzer Prize-winning liberal U.S. editorial cartoonist for The Arizona Republic. ... The Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the largest attraction in the citys Temple Square. ...


Death

Benson died in his Salt Lake City apartment of heart failure on May 30, 1994. He was buried near his birthplace in Whitney, Idaho. The Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Salt Lake Citys top tourist draw. ... May 30 is the 150th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (151st in leap years). ... 1994 (MCMXCIV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated as the International Year of the Family and the International Year of the Sport and the Olympic Ideal by United Nations. ... Whitney is a small community in Franklin County, Idaho. ...


Published works

  • Ezra Taft Benson (1990). Come, Listen to a Prophet's Voice. Deseret Book Company. ISBN 0-87579-351-7. 
  • — (1983). Come Unto Christ. Deseret Book Company. ISBN 0-87747-997-6. 
  • — (1986). The Constitution: A Heavenly Banner. Deseret Book Company. ISBN 0-87579-216-2. 
  • — (1976). Cross Fire: The Eight Years With Eisenhower. Doubleday. ISBN 0-8371-8422-3. 
  • — (1992). Elect Women of God. Bookcraft. ISBN 0-88494-838-2. 
  • — (1992). An Enemy Hath Done This. Bookcraft. ISBN 0-88494-184-1. 
  • — (1974). God, Family, Country: Our Three Great Loyalties. Deseret Book Company. ISBN B0006CF3MC. 
  • — (1989). A Labor of Love: The 1946 European Mission of Ezra Taft Benson. Deseret Book Company. ISBN 0-87579-275-8. 
  • — (1990). Missionaries to Match Our Message. Bookcraft. ISBN 0-88494-779-3. 
  • — (1960). in Reed A. Benson.: So Shall Ye Reap: Selected Addresses of Ezra Taft Benson. Deseret Book Company. ISBN B0007E7BME. 
  • — (1988). The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson. Bookcraft. ISBN 0-88494-639-8. 
  • — (1977). This Nation Shall Endure. Deseret Book Company. ISBN 0-87747-658-6. 
  • — (1962). The Red Carpet. Bookcraft. ISBN B0007F4WJI. 
  • — (2003). Sermons and Writings of President Ezra Taft Benson. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 
  • — (1964). Title of Liberty, compiled by Mark A. Benson, Deseret Book Company. 
  • — (1988). A Witness and a Warning: A Modern-Day Prophet Testifies of the Book of Mormon. Deseret Book Company. ISBN 0-87579-153-0. 

References

  1. ^ a b c Boller, Jr., Paul F.; George, John (1989). They Never Said It: A Book of Fake Quotes, Misquotes, and Misleading Attributions. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-505541-1. 

2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... August 28 is the 240th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (241st in leap years), with 125 days remaining. ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ... May 16 is the 136th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (137th in leap years). ...

External resources

General conference talks

  • To the Elderly in the Church October 1989
  • To the Single Adult Sisters of the Church October 1988
  • Flooding the Earth with the Book of Mormon October 1988
  • To the Single Adult Brethren of the Church April 1988
  • The Great Commandment--Love the Lord April 1988
  • To the Fathers in Israel October 1987
  • The Savior's Visit to America April 1987
  • The Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants April 1987
  • To the Young Women of the Church October 1986
  • The Book of Mormon--Keystone of Our Religion October 1986
  • Godly Characteristics of the Master October 1986
  • Cleansing the Inner Vessel April 1986
  • A Sacred Responsibility April 1986
  • Born of God October 1985
  • Our Responsibility to Share the Gospel April 1985
  • When I Was Called as a Scoutmaster October 1984
  • Our Commission to Take the Gospel to All the World April 1984
  • What Manner of Men Ought We to Be? October 1983
  • A Principle with a Promise April 1983
  • The Honored Place of Woman October 1981
  • Joseph Smith: Prophet to Our Generation October 1981
  • Great Things Required of Their Fathers April 1981
  • Prepare for the Days of Tribulation October 1980
  • A Marvelous Work and a Wonder April 1980
  • A Witness and a Warning October 1979
  • This Is a Day of Sacrifice April 1979
  • Prayer April 1977
  • Our Priceless Heritage October 1976
  • The Book of Mormon Is the Word of God April 1975
  • Do Not Despair October 1974
  • Watchman, Warn the Wicked April 1973
Preceded by
Spencer W. Kimball
President of the LDS Church
November 10, 1985May 30, 1994
Succeeded by
Howard W. Hunter
Preceded by
Spencer W. Kimball
President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
December 30, 1973November 10, 1985
Succeeded by
Marion G. Romney
Preceded by
Spencer W. Kimball
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
October 7, 1943November 10, 1985
Succeeded by
Mark E. Petersen
Preceded by
Charles F. Brannan
United States Secretary of Agriculture
1953–1961
Succeeded by
Orville Freeman

  Results from FactBites:
 
Ezra Taft Benson - MormonWiki (639 words)
Ezra Taft Benson became the thirteenth President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on November 10, 1985.
In 1939, Ezra Taft Benson was asked to be the executive secretary of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives at its headquarters in Washington, D.C. On July 26, 1943 Ezra Taft Benson was called as an apostle.
In 1973, Ezra Taft Benson became the president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and in 1985 became the President of the Church.
Ezra Taft Benson - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1339 words)
Ezra Taft Benson (August 4, 1899 – May 30, 1994) was President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1985 until his death.
While Benson later attributed his longevity to his unorthodox diet and his religious faith, his eating habits became the source of constant ribbing in the 1970s when his conservative friends began a series of "Ezra Roasts" to poke fun at Benson as a means of fund raising to finance campaigns against the Equal Rights Amendment.
Benson succeeded Kimball as President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 1973, and as President of the Church in 1985.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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