Listen to this article

Ezra Taft Benson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Ezra Taft Benson
Ezra Taft Benson.jpg
13th President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
November 10, 1985 – May 30, 1994
PredecessorSpencer W. Kimball
SuccessorHoward W. Hunter
President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
December 30, 1973 – November 10, 1985
PredecessorSpencer W. Kimball
SuccessorMarion G. Romney
End reasonBecame President of the Church
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
October 7, 1943 – November 10, 1985
Called byHeber J. Grant
End reasonBecame President of the Church
LDS Church Apostle
October 7, 1943 – May 30, 1994
Called byHeber J. Grant
ReasonDeaths of Sylvester Q. Cannon and Rudger Clawson[1]
Reorganization
at end of term
Jeffrey R. Holland ordained
15th United States Secretary of Agriculture
In office
January 21, 1953 – January 20, 1961
PredecessorCharles F. Brannan
SuccessorOrville Freeman
PresidentDwight D. Eisenhower
Political partyRepublican
Personal details
BornEzra Taft Benson
(1899-08-04)August 4, 1899
Whitney, Idaho, U.S.
DiedMay 30, 1994(1994-05-30) (aged 94)
Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.
EducationUtah State University, Logan
Brigham Young University (BS)
Iowa State University (MS)
University of California, Berkeley
Spouse(s)Flora Amussen (1926–1992)
Children6, including Reed
Signature 
Signature of Ezra Taft Benson

Ezra Taft Benson (August 4, 1899 – May 30, 1994) was an American farmer, government official, and religious leader who served as the 15th United States Secretary of Agriculture during both presidential terms of Dwight D. Eisenhower and as the 13th president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) from 1985 until his death in 1994.

Early life[edit]

Born on a farm in Whitney, Idaho, Benson was the oldest of eleven children. He was the great-grandson of Ezra T. Benson, who was appointed by Brigham Young a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 1846. When he was 12 years old, his father was called as a missionary to the midwestern United States, leaving his expectant mother alone with seven children. Benson took much of the responsibility for running the family farm and in the words of his sister, "He took the place of father for nearly two years."[2] Benson began his academic career at Utah State Agricultural College (USAC, modern Utah State University), where he first met his future wife, Flora Smith Amussen. Benson alternated quarters at USAC and worked on the family farm.[3]

Benson served an LDS Church mission in Britain from 1921 to 1923. It was while serving as a missionary, particularly an experience in Sheffield, that caused Benson to realize how central the Book of Mormon was to the Restored Gospel message and converting people to the LDS Church.[3] Due to local antagonism and threats of violence, LDS Church leaders sent apostle David O. McKay to personally oversee the mission. McKay was impressed with Benson and appointed him as president of the Newcastle Conference.[4]

After his mission, Benson studied at Brigham Young University and finished his bachelor's degree there in 1926. That year he married Flora Smith Amussen, shortly after her return from a mission in Hawaii. They had six children together. Benson received a master of science degree in agricultural economics in 1927 from Iowa State University.[5][6] Several years later, he did preliminary work on a doctorate at the University of California at Berkeley, but never completed it.

Just after receiving his master's degree, Benson returned to Whitney to run the family farm. He later became the county agriculture extension agent for Oneida County, Idaho. He later was promoted to the supervisor of all county agents and moved to Boise in 1930. Benson encouraged crop rotation, improved grains, fertilizers, pest controls, and establishment of farmer's cooperatives to market farm commodities.[7]

While in Boise, Benson also worked in the central state extension office connected with the University of Idaho Extension Service. He also founded a farmers cooperative. Benson was superintendent of the Boise Stake Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association and later a counselor in the stake presidency. Benson was a critic of national agricultural policies implemented in the 1930s under Franklin D. Roosevelt. In particular, he objected farm subsidies, and efforts by the Agricultural Adjustment Administration to raise prices by paying farmers to destroy crops and kill livestock.[8]

In 1939, he became president of the Boise Idaho Stake. Later that year, he moved to Washington, D.C., to become Executive Secretary of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, overseeing around five thousand farm cooperatives which represented two million farmers throughout the country.[9]

Benson became the first president of a new church stake in Washington, D.C.[10]

Apostle[edit]

In 1943, Benson went to Salt Lake City to ask church leaders for advice on whether to accept a new job. They unexpectedly told him that he would join them.[10] On October 7, 1943, both Benson and Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985) became members of the church's Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, filling two vacancies created by the deaths of apostles that summer. Because Kimball was ordained first, he was given seniority over Benson in the Quorum. Upon Kimball's death in 1985, Benson became the president of the church in his place.

In 1946 the First Presidency sent Benson to Europe to oversee the church's relief efforts after World War II. He spent eleven months there, traveling 61,000 miles and supervising two thousand tons of relief supplies, including to Germany and Poland.[11] Recalling this experience, he wrote to his wife, "I'm so grateful you and the children can be spared the views of the terrible ravages of war. I fear I'll never be able to erase them from my memory."[12] Apostle Gordon B. Hinckley noted of Benson's experience in Europe, "I am confident that it was out of what he saw of the bitter fruit of dictatorship that he developed his strong feelings, almost hatred, for communism and socialism."[13]

Benson's teachings as an apostle were the 2015 course of study in the LDS Church's Sunday Relief Society and Melchizedek priesthood classes.

Political career[edit]

Benson while Secretary of Agriculture

In 1948, Republican presidential nominee Thomas E. Dewey approached Benson before the election that year about becoming the United States Secretary of Agriculture. Although Benson had supported his distant cousin Robert A. Taft over Dwight D. Eisenhower for the 1952 Republican nomination and did not know Eisenhower, after his election Eisenhower nevertheless appointed Benson as Secretary of Agriculture. Benson accepted with the permission and encouragement of church president David O. McKay; Benson therefore served simultaneously in the United States Cabinet and in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.[10] He became the first clergy member to be a cabinet secretary since Edward Everett in 1852, which created some controversy as crossing a boundary between church and state.[14] The American Council of Churches opposed Benson for being a member of what they felt was a "pagan religion...hostile to the Biblical evangelical Christian faith."[15]

At the time of assuming office, the Department of Agriculture had 78,000 employees and an annual budget of $2.1 billion dollars.[16]

Benson opposed the system of government price supports and aid to farmers which he was entrusted by Eisenhower to administer, arguing that it amounted to unacceptable socialism. Furthermore, farming in the United States was increasingly becoming large scale agribusiness at the expense of the small farmer, and Benson was opposed to outsized portions of these government subsidies being apportioned to these large companies.[17] He was once pelted with eggs by a group of South Dakota farmers over his efforts to reduce price controls. Another time, 21 congressman from the midwest stormed his office requesting he not lift price controls on hogs, which he refused to do, and later noted that the prices rose on their own.[18] Nonetheless, he served in his cabinet position for all eight years of Eisenhower's presidency. He was selected as the administrator-designate of the Emergency Food Agency, part of a secret group that became known as the Eisenhower Ten. The group was created by Eisenhower in 1958 to serve in the event of a national emergency.

As Benson's term came to an end in 1961, farm commodity prices had risen 10% from the previous year, and Benson's popularity increased.[19]

In 1968, the John Birch Society made an effort to nominate Benson as a presidential candidate with segregationist Senator Strom Thurmond as Vice President, for which Benson sought and obtained approval from LDS Church president David O. McKay.[20] Several months later, Benson flew to Alabama to meet with segregationist Alabama Governor George Wallace, who asked Benson to become his Vice Presidential running mate for the presidency. This time President McKay refused Benson's request, even after Wallace himself wrote to McKay.[21][22]

Benson's interest in politics could be seen in the subjects he chose for his biannual addresses at general conference. Three-quarters of Benson's 20 sermons at general conference during the 1960s were on a political theme.[23] In addition, Benson gave hundreds of other talks discussing Communism and how to combat it.[24]

Like Robert A. Taft, Benson supported a non-interventionist foreign policy.[25]

In August 1989, Benson received the Presidential Citizens Medal from U.S. President George H. W. Bush.

Anti-Communism efforts[edit]

Benson was an outspoken opponent of communism and socialism, and a strong supporter, but not an official member, of the John Birch Society, which he praised as "the most effective non-church organization in our fight against creeping socialism and Godless Communism."[26] Benson requested permission of church president David O. McKay to join the Birch Society and sit on its board, but the request was denied.[27] Benson was a close friend with Birch Society founder Robert W. Welch Jr., exchanging dozens of letters, and many hours in person discussing politics.[28] When Nikita Khrushchev came in September 1959 to the USA, Benson opposed his visit.[29] From the 1950s to the 1980s, his public support of anti-communism often put him at odds with other leaders of the LDS Church.[30] In 1960, Benson made a proposition to Brigham Young University president Ernest L. Wilkinson that his son Reed be used as a spy to "find out who the orthodox teachers were and report to his father." Wilkinson declined the offer, stating "neither Brother Lee nor I want espionage of that character."[31] Later in the 1960s and 1970s, members and advocates of the Birch Society did conduct espionage at BYU.[32]

In October 1961 general conference, Benson said, "No true Latter-day Saint and no true American can be a socialist or a communist or support programs leading in that direction."[33] This, and similar statements by Benson in the December Church News led Hugh B. Brown, a politically liberal member of the First Presidency of the LDS Church, to begin publicly and privately push back against Benson. In the April 1962 general conference, Brown said, "The degree of a man's aversion to communism may not always be measured by the noise he makes in going about and calling everyone a communist who disagrees with his personal political bias. ... There is no excuse for members of this Church, especially men who hold the priesthood, to be opposing one another over communism."[34]

In October 1962, Benson formally endorsed the John Birch Society, as his son Reed Benson accepted a leadership role in the society.[35] Reed Benson had been using LDS Church meetinghouses for Birch Society meetings, a move that angered both Brown and first counselor Henry D. Moyle, who believed that it violated the LDS Church's policy of political neutrality. Hugh B. Brown wrote in a letter shortly after the endorsement that he was "disgusted" and if Ezra Taft Benson continued his John Birch activities that "some disciplinary action should be taken."[36] In January 1963, the First Presidency issued a statement, "We deplore the presumption of some politicians, especially officers, co-ordinators and members of the John Birch Society, who undertake to align the Church or its leadership with their political views." Three days later, Benson spoke at a Birch Society endorsed political rally, reported by several newspapers as purposefully ignoring the First Presidency statement, and embarrassing to the LDS Church.[37][38][39] The Birch Society in February 1963 asked its members to "Write to President McKay," with the suggested verbiage to praise "the great service Ezra Taft Benson and his son Reed (our Utah Coordinator) are rendering to this battle, with the hope that they will be encouraged to continue."[40] That same month, Benson gave a copy of his book, The Red Carpet: A Forthright Evaluation of the Rising Tide of Socialism-the Royal Road to Communism, to newly called apostle N. Eldon Tanner, who was a Democrat, and had been a Canadian politician in the Alberta Social Credit Party.[41]

In 1963, the First Presidency sent Benson to Europe to preside over the missionary work there. Some, including the New York Times, interpreted this move as an "exile" after Benson's virtual endorsement of the John Birch Society in general conference. McKay publicly denied that the assignment was an exile or a rebuke, but other church leaders, including Joseph Fielding Smith, indicated that a purpose in sending Benson to Europe was to break his ties with the Birch Society.[42]

Benson published a 1966 pamphlet entitled "Civil Rights, Tool of Communist Deception".[43] In a similar vein, during a 1972 general conference of the LDS Church, Benson recommended that all members of the church read Gary Allen's New World Order tract "None Dare Call It a Conspiracy".[44][45] U.S. Representative Ralph R. Harding, during a speech in Congress, accused Benson of being "a spokesperson for the radical right" and using his apostleship to give the impression that the church "approve[d] of" the John Birch Society. President Eisenhower endorsed Harding's criticism of Benson.[46]

Civil rights movement[edit]

Benson viewed the civil rights movement as having been infiltrated with communists, who were using the movement to steer the United States towards communist policies. In his October 1967 conference address, Benson summed up his oft-repeated views,

"Now there is nothing wrong with civil rights; it is what's being done in the name of civil rights that is alarming. =There is no doubt the so-called civil rights movement as it exists today is used as a Communist program for revolution in America just as agrarian reform was used by the Communists to take over China and Cuba."[47]

In 1967, Benson asked David O. McKay for permission to speak on "how the Communists are using the Negros to ... foment trouble in the United States". While McKay allowed Benson to speak on this subject, other church apostles were opposed to Benson's positions. (McKay did occasionally take action to limit Benson's use of the church to promote the John Birch Society, such as when he deleted a couple of paragraphs from Benson's 1965 conference address after a complaint from Hugh B. Brown.) When Joseph Fielding Smith became church president in 1970, Benson was no longer given permission to promote his political opinions.[48]

Also in 1967, Benson gave a talk discussing his views on the civil rights movement at the anti-Communist/segregationist leadership school of Billy James Hargis, who published it in his Christian Crusade magazine.[49] Benson approved this talk to be used as the foreword to the book The Black Hammer: A Study of Black Power, Red Influence and White Alternatives, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has classified as "racist".[50][51] This book features a decapitated and bleeding African-American head, being used at the end of a hammer in the Communist hammer and sickle, illustrating the books theme that the civil rights movement was being used as a tool by communists. Historian D. Michael Quinn speculates that the endorsement of this book by Benson may have been an attempt to curry favor with segregationist George Wallace, who several months later asked Benson to be his vice presidential running mate for his 1968 campaign.[52]

Church presidency[edit]

Benson succeeded Kimball as President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 1973, and as church president in 1985. Benson retained Gordon B. Hinckley, who had been Kimball's second counselor, as his first counselor and chose Thomas S. Monson as his second counselor. Despite speculation, Benson did not discuss politics during his tenure as President, and instead focused on spiritual messages.[53] During his early years as church president, Benson brought a renewed emphasis to the distribution and reading of the Book of Mormon, reaffirming this LDS scripture's importance as "the keystone of [the LDS] religion." After his challenge to the membership to "flood the earth with the Book of Mormon", the church sold a record six million copies of the Book of Mormon that year to its membership for distribution.[54] He is also remembered for a general conference sermon condemning pride.[55] In the April 1988 General Conference's priesthood session, he gave a powerful sermon to older men who were single, exhorting them to quit being worldly and picky, get a wife, and raise a family.[56]

Scouting[edit]

Benson was a lifelong supporter of Scouting. He started in 1918 as assistant Scoutmaster. On May 23, 1949, he was elected a member of the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America. He received the three highest national awards in the Boy Scouts of America—the Silver Beaver, the Silver Antelope, and the Silver Buffalo—as well as world Scouting's international award, the Bronze Wolf.[57]

Health problems and death[edit]

Benson suffered poor health in the last years of his life from the effects of blood clots in the brain, dementia, strokes, and heart attacks, and was rarely seen publicly in his final years. He was ultimately rendered unable to speak due to the strokes he suffered. One of Benson's last appearances during which he spoke was at his 90th birthday celebration in 1989. Benson made his final public appearance at the funeral of his wife Flora in 1992. He was hospitalized in 1992 and 1993 with pneumonia.

Benson died May 30, 1994, of congestive heart failure in his Salt Lake City apartment, slightly more than two months before his 95th birthday. Funeral services were held June 4, 1994, in the Salt Lake Tabernacle and were conducted by Hinckley. Benson was buried near his birthplace in Whitney, Idaho, at the Whitney City Cemetery. Following Benson's funeral, Howard W. Hunter succeeded him as church president.

Published works[edit]

  • Reed A. Benson., ed. (1960). So Shall Ye Reap: Selected Addresses of Ezra Taft Benson. Deseret Book Company. ASIN B0007E7BME.
  • The Red Carpet. Bookcraft. 1962. ASIN B0007F4WJI.
  • Title of Liberty. compiled by Mark A. Benson. Deseret Book. 1964.CS1 maint: others (link)
  • Wes Andrews and Clyde Dalton (1967). The Black Hammer: A Study of Black Power, Red Influence and White Alternatives. Foreword by Ezra Taft Benson.
  • An Enemy Hath Done This. Bookcraft. 1969. ISBN 0-88494-184-1.
  • Civil Rights, Tool of Communist Deception. Deseret Book. 1969. ASIN B0007FRU42.
  • God, Family, Country: Our Three Great Loyalties. Deseret Book. 1974. ASIN B0006CF3MC.
  • Cross Fire: The Eight Years With Eisenhower. Doubleday. 1976. ISBN 0-8371-8422-3.
  • This Nation Shall Endure. Deseret Book. 1977. ISBN 0-87747-658-6.
  • Come Unto Christ. Deseret Book. 1983. ISBN 0-87747-997-6.
  • The Constitution: A Heavenly Banner. Deseret Book. 1986. ISBN 0-87579-216-2.
  • The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson. Bookcraft. 1988. ISBN 0-88494-639-8.
  • A Witness and a Warning: A Modern-Day Prophet Testifies of the Book of Mormon. Deseret Book. 1988. ISBN 0-87579-153-0.
  • Ezra Taft Benson Remembers The Joys of Christmas. Deseret Book. 1988. ASIN B00072PW5E.
  • A Labor of Love: The 1946 European Mission of Ezra Taft Benson. Deseret Book. 1989. ISBN 0-87579-275-8.
  • Come, Listen to a Prophet's Voice. Deseret Book. 1990. ISBN 0-87579-351-7.
  • Missionaries to Match Our Message. Bookcraft. 1990. ISBN 0-88494-779-3.
  • Elect Women of God. Bookcraft. 1992. ISBN 0-88494-838-2.
  • Sermons and Writings of President Ezra Taft Benson. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 2003.
  • Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Ezra Taft Benson. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 2014.

Posthumous honors[edit]

See also[edit]

  • Steve Benson (grandson and Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Benson and Spencer W. Kimball were ordained on the same date to fill the vacancies in the Quorum of the Twelve resulting from the deaths of Sylvester Q. Cannon and Rudger Clawson.
  2. ^ Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Ezra Taft Benson page:4 Online at: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/teachings-of-presidents-of-the-church-ezra-taft-benson/the-life-and-ministry-of-ezra-taft-benson?lang=eng
  3. ^ a b "President Ezra Taft Benson: A Sure Voice of Faith", Ensign, July 1994.
  4. ^ Bringhurst, N. G., & Foster, C. L. (2011). The Mormon quest for the presidency: from Joseph Smith to Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman. Independence, MO: John Whitmer Books. page 134-135
  5. ^ "Ezra Taft Benson: Thirteenth President of the Church". Presidents of the Church Student Manual. Intellectual Reserve, Inc. 2012. Retrieved December 19, 2016.
  6. ^ "Alumni Achievement". Iowa State University Alumni. Retrieved November 21, 2018.
  7. ^ Bringhurst, N. G., & Foster, C. L. (2011). The Mormon quest for the presidency: from Joseph Smith to Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman. Independence, MO: John Whitmer Books. page 135
  8. ^ Bringhurst, N. G., & Foster, C. L. (2011). The Mormon quest for the presidency: from Joseph Smith to Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman. Independence, MO: John Whitmer Books. page 136
  9. ^ Harris, M. L. (2019). Thunder from the right: Ezra Taft Benson in Mormonism and politics. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. See also: "Ezra Taft Benson Biographical Sketch" [1966], Box 26 Folder 2, William J. Grede Papers, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin; and Benson, So Shall Ye Reap, 333-342
  10. ^ a b c Pusey, Merlo J. (1956). Eisenhower, the President. Macmillan. pp. 67–69.
  11. ^ Harris, M. L. (2019). Thunder from the right: Ezra Taft Benson in Mormonism and politics. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.
  12. ^ A Labor of Love: The 1946 European Mission of Ezra Taft Benson (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1989 pg. 188-189
  13. ^ Gordon B. Hinckley, "Farewell to a Prophet," Ensign, July 1994.
  14. ^ Bringhurst, N. G., & Foster, C. L. (2011). The Mormon quest for the presidency: from Joseph Smith to Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman. Independence, MO: John Whitmer Books. page 138
  15. ^ Bringhurst, N. G., & Foster, C. L. (2011). The Mormon quest for the presidency: from Joseph Smith to Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman. Independence, MO: John Whitmer Books. page 139
  16. ^ Bringhurst, N. G., & Foster, C. L. (2011). The Mormon quest for the presidency: from Joseph Smith to Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman. Independence, MO: John Whitmer Books. page 139
  17. ^ Bringhurst, N. G., & Foster, C. L. (2011). The Mormon quest for the presidency: from Joseph Smith to Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman. Independence, MO: John Whitmer Books. page 140
  18. ^ John Dart. Ezra Taft Benson, Leader of Mormons, Dies at 94 : Religion: The church's president- prophet also served in Eisenhower’s Cabinet as secretary of agriculture and was once known for his conservative politics. Los Angeles Times. MAY 31, 1994. online at: https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1994-05-31-mn-64245-story.html
  19. ^ Bringhurst, N. G., & Foster, C. L. (2011). The Mormon quest for the presidency: from Joseph Smith to Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman. Independence, MO: John Whitmer Books. page 140
  20. ^ Harris, M. L. (2019). Thunder from the right: Ezra Taft Benson in Mormonism and politics. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.
  21. ^ Harris, M. L., & Bringhurst, N. G. (2015). The Mormon Church and Blacks: a documentary history. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.
  22. ^ Dew, Ezra Taft Benson, 392
  23. ^ Dew, Sheri. Ezra Taft Benson. pp. 366–367.
  24. ^ Gibbons, F. M. (1996). Ezra Taft Benson: statesman, patriot, prophet of God. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book Co. page 240.
  25. ^ http://www.latterdayconservative.com/ezra-taft-benson/united-states-foreign-policy/
  26. ^ Sean Wilentz. "Confounding Fathers: The Tea Party's Cold War Roots". The New Yorker. October 18, 2010.
  27. ^ Harris, M. L. (2019). Thunder from the right: Ezra Taft Benson in Mormonism and politics. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. see McKay Journal, August 9, 1963, Box 54, Folder 1, and March 5, 1964, Box 56, Folder 2, in Davod O. McKay Papers, Special Collections, Marriott Library, University of Utah, and Ezra Taft Benson to William J. Grede, April 19, 1967, Box 26, Folder 2, William J. Grede Papers, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisc.
  28. ^ Harris, M. L. (2019). Thunder from the right: Ezra Taft Benson in Mormonism and politics. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.
  29. ^ Dew, Sheri L. (1987). Ezra Taft Benson A Biography. Deseret Book Company. p. 338. ISBN 0-87579-110-7.
  30. ^ Quinn, D. M. (2017). The Mormon hierarchy: extensions of power. Salt Lake City, UT: Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates. e-book location 3077 of 29417
  31. ^ Ernest L. Wilkinson diary, 29 Nov. 1960. Gary James Bergera and Ronald Priddis, Brigham Young University: A House of Faith (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1985), 203
  32. ^ Quinn, D. M. (2017). The Mormon hierarchy: extensions of power. Salt Lake City, UT: Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates. e-book location 3157 of 29417
  33. ^ Ezra Taft Benson, "The American Heritage of Freedom: A Plan of God," Improvement Era 64 (Dec. 1961):955
  34. ^ Hugh B. Brown, "Honor the Priesthood," Improvement Era 65 (June 1962):450 In a letter to Harley Ross Hammond, 15 Apr. 1962, Brown wrote of the address,

    "While we do not think it wise to name names in our statements of Church policy, the cries which come from certain sources would indicate that somebody was hit by some of our statements and that was what we hoped would be the result."

  35. ^ Harris, M. L. (2019). Thunder from the right: Ezra Taft Benson in Mormonism and politics. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. "Reed A. Benson Takes Post In Birch Society," Deseret News, 27 Oct. 1962.
  36. ^ Hugh B. Brown to Gustive O. Larson, 11 Nov. 1962. Eugene Campbell papers, Lee Library,and fd1, box 51, of Poll papers.
  37. ^ Drew Pearson "Benson Embarrasses His Church" Washington Post, 22 Jan. 1963, B-23.
  38. ^ "Church Embarrassed over Ezra Taft Benson Stand," Ogden Standard-Examiner, 22 Jan. 1963, 4.
  39. ^ "Ezra Taft Benson Addresses Rally," Deseret News, 7 Jan. 1963, A-3
  40. ^ ' The John Birch Society Bulletin, Feb. 1963, 28-29
  41. ^ G. Homer Durham et al., N. Eldon Tanner: His Life and Service Salt Lake Cirty: Deseret Book Co., 1982, 57–89.
  42. ^ Quinn, Michael D. "Ezra Taft Benson and Mormon Political Conflicts" (PDF). Retrieved September 15, 2017. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  43. ^ Gregory A. Prince and William Robert Wright. David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism (Salt Lake City, Utah: University of Utah Press, 2005, ISBN 0-87480-822-7). pp. 72–73, 92–93, 473.
  44. ^ D. Michael Quinn. "Ezra Taft Benson and Mormon Political Conflicts" Archived October 21, 2013, at the Wayback Machine, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 26(2):1–87 (Summer 1992) at p. 72 Archived October 21, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  45. ^ Alexander Zaitchik, "Fringe Mormon Group Makes Myths with Glenn Beck's Help". Southern Poverty Law Center Intelligence Report, Spring 2011, Issue Number: 141.
  46. ^ Quinn, Michael. "Ezra Taft Benson and Mormon Political Conflicts" (PDF). Retrieved September 15, 2017. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  47. ^ https://archive.org/details/conferencereport1967sa/page/n37/mode/2up
  48. ^ Prince, Gregory; Wright, Robert (2005). David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism. University of Utah Press.
  49. ^ Ezra Taft Benson, "Trade and Treason," Christian Crusade 19 (Apr. 1967):22-24
  50. ^ Quinn, D. M. (2017). The Mormon hierarchy: extensions of power. Salt Lake City, UT: Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates. e-book location 4001 of 29417. see full text: https://archive.org/stream/TheBlackHammer/The%20Black%20Hammer_djvu.txt
  51. ^ Southern Poverty Law Center, https://www.splcenter.org/file/1913
  52. ^ Quinn, D. M. (2017). The Mormon hierarchy: extensions of power. Salt Lake City, UT: Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates. e-book location 4026 of 29417.
  53. ^ John Dart. Ezra Taft Benson, Leader of Mormons, Dies at 94 : Religion: The church's president- prophet also served in Eisenhower’s Cabinet as secretary of agriculture and was once known for his conservative politics. Los Angeles Times. MAY 31, 1994. online at: https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1994-05-31-mn-64245-story.html
  54. ^ Dehlin, John. "LDS Anthropologist Daymon Smith on Post-Manifesto Polygamy, Correlation, the Corporate LDS Church, and Mammon". Mormon Stories. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  55. ^ "Beware of Pride". LDS Church. Retrieved May 5, 2008.
  56. ^ "To the Single Adult Brethren of the Church". LDS Church. Retrieved January 13, 2017.
  57. ^ Church Educational System (2005). "Chapter 13: Ezra Taft Benson, Thirteenth President of the Church". Presidents of the Church: Student Manual. LDS Church.
  58. ^ "Franklin County – Idahoans on loan to the world". Idahoshalloffame.org. Archived from the original on January 19, 2015. Retrieved January 28, 2017.
  59. ^ "Ezra Taft Benson Building". Byui.edu. September 27, 1977. Retrieved January 28, 2017.

Further reading[edit]

  • Bergera, Gary James. “‘Weak-Kneed Republicans and Socialist Democrats’: Ezra Taft Benson as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, 1953–61, Part 2,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, 41 (Winter 2008), 55–95. online
  • Fox, Jeffrey C. "A typology of LDS sociopolitical worldviews." Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 42.2 (2003): 279-289. online
  • Quinn, D. Michael. "Ezra Taft Benson and Mormon Political Conflicts." Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 26.2 (1993): 1-87. online
  • Schapsmeier, Edward L., and Frederick H. Schapsmeier. "Eisenhower and Ezra Taft Benson: farm policy in the 1950s." Agricultural History 44.4 (1970): 369-378. online
  • Schapsmeier, Edward L., and Frederick H. Schapsmeier. "Religion and reform: a case study of Henry A. Wallace and Ezra Taft Benson." Journal of Church and State 21.3 (1979): 525-535. online

External links[edit]

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints titles
Preceded by
Spencer W. Kimball
President of the Church
November 10, 1985 – May 30, 1994
Succeeded by
Howard W. Hunter
President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
December 30, 1973 – November 10, 1985
Succeeded by
Marion G. Romney
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
October 7, 1943 – November 10, 1985
Succeeded by
Mark E. Petersen
Political offices
Preceded by
Charles F. Brannan
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture
Served under: Dwight D. Eisenhower

1953–1961
Succeeded by
Orville Freeman