President Ezra Taft Benson, Patriot and Prophet
President Benson in 2015


Biography and Teachings

Stretching Across the Veil


Resources
Biography

Ezra Taft Benson: Thirteenth President of the Church
A long article with many great pictures.
Presidents of the Church Institute Manual



Serving Church and Country: President Ezra Taft Benson, lecture by Sheri Dew
Men and Women of Faith series,
Church History Library, 2014
1 hr video and media exhibit




Ezra Taft Benson A Biography by Sheri Dew, 1987
After watching the above lecture we can appreciate the magnificent opportunity and the monumental challenge Sister Dew faced in compiling this 500+ page biography. Available from Deseret Book in print and ebook




A Son's Loving Tribute, Reed A. Benson
President Ezra Taft Benson, who was very supportive of homeschooling, passed on in 1994, on Memorial Day. Our LDS-HEA Conference was that Friday, and the funeral was on Saturday. At that time General Authorities conducted the funerals of prophets, so our group of several hundred eager and faithful homeschoolers was the blessed recipients of Reed Benson's tribute to his father.
LDS-HEA Homeschool Conference audio, 1994
Reed Benson Dissertation, 1981

European Mission WWII

A Labor of Love: The 1946 European Mission of Ezra Taft Benson, 1989.
Taken from the journals and correspondence of Ezra and Flora Benson.
Available from Deseret Book, print or ebook.




On Wings of Faith: My Daily Walk with A Prophet, Frederick Babbel
Brother Babbel was President Benson's companion on the European Mission
Not available from Deseret Book;
Available from Cedar Fort Publishing



That We Might Be One: The Story of The Dutch Potato Project
A very moving video about Mission President Zappey's project to heal his Saints after the German occupation. President Benson had worked with President Zappey of Holland during his 1946 mission. You will understand the video better if you scroll down to the quote from Brother Babbel's book.
12 min video.



Secretary of Agriculture

Cross Fire: Eight Years with Eisenhower This book is written from ten volumes of journal records kept by Secretary of Agericulture Ezra Taft Benson who served while he was an Apostle. He kept so many volumes because, he wrote in his Forward, "I believe the more the people know about what goes on in government the better. The people need to know more about what their leaders are like, what motivates them, how decisions are made, the kind of infighting that takes place as political forces and figures struggle to pass or defeat legislative programs and in so doing mold the future of this republic."
Six hundred pages of fascinating reading, especially the parts about Khrushchev. Amazon new or used, about $40;
Barnes & Noble new, about $40.
Archive.org, free text here and here.
Teachings

Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Ezra Taft Benson
We should all read this manual, even those who don't attend the Sunday classes, and then Americans should go on to read his teachings on government.
Relief Society/Priesthood Manual



The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, 1988 "President Benson personally reviewed the entire manuscript, as did his counselors in the First Presidency." There are 700 pages of quotes, many of which will surprise you.
Available as an ebook at Deseret Book, available used at Amazon.




Speeches

Here are a few of President Benson's talks about the Constitution, our responsibilities, and the dangers he saw then -- which are far more dangerous today.

Righteousness Exalteth a Nation, GC Apr 1963

The Constitution - A Glorious Standard, GC Apr 1976

The Constitution A Heavenly Banner, BYU, Sept 1986, to open the Bicentennial year of the signing of the Constitution.

A letter dated January 15, 1987, "to be read in sacrament meeting," signed by Ezra Taft Benson, Gordon B. Hinckley, and Thomas S. Monson, encouraged members to participate in church sponsored Bicentennial Celebration activities and to "familiarize themselves with the Constitution" and "recommit themselves to its principles and be prepared to defend it and the freedom it provides (D&C 109:54)."

Our Divine Constitution, GC Oct 1987

The Constitution: A Glorious Standard, Ensign Sep 1987

The LDS Church and Politics, Dec 1952. Includes Apostle Benson's story of his interview with Eisenhower.

There are more of President Benson's BYU Devotionals on this BYU Speeches page.

Quotes
Elder Fred Babbel, On Wings of Faith
"I was told that, although many Dutch people understood and spoke German, they resented highly the indignity of having to do so during their recent occupation by German troops. The Germans had confiscated practically everything they could locate. Only those bicycles and cars which were completely dismantled and buried in the ground [except for those retained by the collaborators, whom the Dutch regarded with contempt] remained in the land. Even the car in which we were riding had been taken completely apart when the Germans came into Holland. [He and three of the local brethren were to meet President Benson in Holland.] I learned that every able-bodied man the Nazis could capture had been used for some kind of slave labor. For 5 ½ years most Dutch men tried to avoid arrest by living "underground," sustaining themselves on a very meager diet. Many were caught and executed, but the underground workers continued to resist-killing several Germans, where possible, for every one of their own number that had been captured and killed. Children were kidnapped and women were threatened to force fathers and husbands out of hiding. Murder and thievery as a means of reprisal had become common practices. It was a time of sickening horror. . . . As appalling as were the scars of war the moral decadence gave one an even more sickening impression. According to my traveling companions, honesty and trustworthiness seemed to have almost totally disappeared. Standards of sexual morality had reached a low point never known before in that country."

From Fred Babbel's Obituary, 2001
Frederick William Babbel, 85, of Orem, Utah, died May 31, 2001, in Provo, Utah. Frederick William Babbel's parents converted to the LDS faith in Germany, later moving to Salt Lake City in the early 1900's. His father Frederick August Babbel and two uncles ran a clothing tailor shop on the top floor of ZCMI. That is where Fred's father met his mother, Lena Lamprecht who was hired as a seamstress. Fred was born in 1915 in Salt Lake City. He was the 2nd oldest of nine children. Fred had a very eventful life growing up with four brothers and four sisters on a two bedroom farm in Twin Falls, Idaho. The five boys slept on the porch which eventually was glassed in due to the cold, snowy weather. Fred was an enterprising entrepreneur. At age five, he went door-to-door advertising his father's tailor business by wearing a fully custom-tailored suit and a big smile. Later on he sold newspapers, and in his early teens, Fred was mentored by HC Howell, the editor of the Idaho Postman, who taught him extensive mimeographing, spelling, grammar, and editing.
When Fred was a senior in high school, he met a new 14 year-old girl from Ogden named June Andrew in his debate class. He was surprised to find that she was playing for the Men's HS Glee Club. Later in the year, she accompanied Fred's male quartet, "The Balladeers," in a weekly radio broadcast. Fred and June both served missions in Europe. Fred served a German mission before war was declared while June served in France and Canada right shortly after the war was declared, thus keeping them apart for 5 years. They were married in 1943, while Fred was in the army during World War II. Fred was released from the army when his first baby was three weeks old to go with Ezra Taft Benson to Europe. They were sent to arrange for food, clothing, and medical supplies for people starving as a result of the war. Thousands survived and were given fresh hope because of their efforts. When Fred returned, his daughter was just taking her first steps.
Back in Utah once again, Fred served as secretary to the General Authorities, Executive Secretary of the Melchizedek Priesthood Committee and Secretary of the General Priesthood Committee of the LDS Church [and a very distinguished career]. (full article)

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© Joyce Kinmont 2008-2015