Biography[ edit ] Born on a farm in Whitney , Idaho , Benson was the oldest of eleven children. He was the great-grandson of Ezra T. 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. Benson alternated quarters at USAC and worked on the family farm. 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.
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Biography[ edit ] Born on a farm in Whitney , Idaho , Benson was the oldest of eleven children. He was the great-grandson of Ezra T. 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.
Benson alternated quarters at USAC and worked on the family farm. 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. McKay to personally oversee the mission.
McKay was impressed with Benson and appointed him as president of the Newcastle Conference. 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 from Iowa State University. 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 He also founded a farmers cooperative. Benson was a critic of national agricultural policies implemented in the s under Franklin D. 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. Later that year, he moved to Washington, D. They unexpectedly told him that he would join them. Because Kimball was ordained first, he was given seniority over Benson in the Quorum.
He spent eleven months there, traveling 61, miles and supervising two thousand tons of relief supplies, including to Germany and Poland. 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 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.
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.
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. 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 to serve in the event of a national emergency. Taft, Benson supported a non-interventionist foreign policy.
McKay to join the Birch Society and sit on its board, but the request was denied. Welch Jr. Wilkinson that his son Reed be used as a spy to "find out who the orthodox teachers were and report to his father. Brown , a politically liberal member of the first presidency of the LDS Church, to begin publicly and privately push back against Benson.
There is no excuse for members of this Church, especially men who hold the priesthood, to be opposing one another over communism. Moyle , who believed that it violated the LDS Church policy. 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.
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. 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. 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.
McKay for permission to speak on "how the Communists are using the Negros to When Joseph Fielding Smith became church president, Benson was no longer given permission to promote his political opinions. 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 campaign.
Benson retained Gordon B. Monson as his second counselor. Despite speculation, Benson did not discuss politics during his tenure as President, and instead focused on spiritual messages. He started in as assistant Scoutmaster. He was ultimately rendered unable to speak due to the strokes he suffered. Benson made his final public appearance at the funeral of his wife Flora in He was hospitalized in and with pneumonia.
Benson died May 30, , of congestive heart failure in his Salt Lake City apartment, slightly more than two months before his 95th birthday. Hunter succeeded him as church president. Published works[ edit ] Reed A.
Deseret Book Company. The Red Carpet. Title of Liberty. Deseret Book. Foreword by Ezra Taft Benson. An Enemy Hath Done This.
Ezra Taft Benson
Ememy did we do about it? I enjoy Thu Oct 04, 9: This is one of my favorite books because the first time I read the book I think I was 21the world suddenly made sense to me. Benson suffered poor health in the last years of his life from the effects of blood clots in the brain, strokes, and heart attacks, and was rarely seen publicly. A bit of an intellectual exercise but dpne results are definitely worth it. I need to brush up on my history!
An enemy hath done this
Shelves: politics , own Benson does not mince words. This is a great collection of speeches and conference addresses and supplemental information of the plague of communism and anything like unto it. While several themes are repeated, the foreword does point out that this is a collection of writings; thus that is to be expected. How Benson does not mince words. Benson reminds us that we are to continue to fight for our freedom, as that is part of living the gospel. We have let so many of our liberties slip through our fingers; most are too asleep to notice or are in complete denial. Benson points out our responsibilities not only as citizens of the United States but as members of the LDS Church to shun overreaching government.
An Enemy Hath Done This