Mormon History: LDS (Mormon) Prophet Ezra Taft Benson 1/2





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Published on Jun 2, 2008

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Ezra Taft Benson became the thirteenth President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on November 10, 1985.

President Benson was born August 4, 1899, in Whitney, Idaho, and was the oldest of eleven children. When he was a youth, his father was called on a mission. The family worked hard to keep up the farm while he was gone, but his father's example touched the children, and all eleven served at least one full-time mission.

In 1918, Ezra Taft Benson enlisted in the army just as World War I was ending. He then pursued a career in farming and took courses from Utah State University in agriculture. In 1921, he was called on a mission to England. Following his mission, Ezra Taft Benson attended Brigham Young University, where he was named the most popular man on campus and graduated with honors.

On September 10, 1926, Benson married Flora Smith Amussen, a woman with many talents. She had won the women's singles tennis championship in college and had served a mission to Hawaii. Together, they had six children.

In 1929, President Benson was appointed to be the Franklin County agricultural agent and helped farmers solve agricultural problems. In 1930, he was appointed to serve as the executive secretary of the Idaho Cooperative Council, and he remained in this office for five years. He left in 1936 for additional graduate study at the University of California. When he returned in 1938, he was called to be a Stake President. 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, Elder Benson was called as an apostle. He was called in 1945 to oversee the European mission and help the people who were suffering from the war. In ten months he delivered 92 boxcar loads of food, clothing, bedding, and medical supplies. He also helped reopen the missions in Europe.

In 1952, President Benson accepted a cabinet position under Dwight D. Eisenhower as the Secretary of Agriculture. He served in this position for eight years. His presence in politics helped the Church become accepted throughout the world. In 1973, Ezra Taft Benson became the president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and in 1985 became the President of the Church. He was 86 years old. President Benson emphasized the importance of reading the Book of Mormon, missionary work, and strengthening families. He served as president until his death in 1994.

Information from http://www.mormonwiki.com


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