Ezra Taft Benson was the 13th president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1985 until his death in 1994. He also was a government official who served as the 15th United States Secretary of Agriculture during both presidential terms of Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Ezra Taft Benson’s talks highlights
“The man [who] is greatest and most blessed and joyful [is one] whose life most closely approaches the pattern of Christ. This has nothing to do with earthly wealth, power, or prestige. The only true test of greatness, blessedness, joyfulness is how close can a life come to being like the Master, Jesus Christ. He is the right way, the full truth, and the abundant life” (Ezra Taft Benson, First Presidency Christmas devotional, 7 December 1986).
The Book of Mormon
“I have a vision of homes alerted, of classes alive, and of pulpits aflame with the spirit of Book of Mormon messages.
“I have a vision of home teachers and visiting teachers, ward and branch officers, and stake and mission leaders counseling our people out of the most correct of any book on earth—the Book of Mormon.
“I have a vision of artists putting into film, drama, literature, music, and paintings great themes and great characters from the Book of Mormon.
“I have a vision of thousands of missionaries going into the mission field with hundreds of passages memorized from the Book of Mormon so that they might feed the needs of a spiritually famished world.
“I have a vision of the whole Church getting nearer to God by abiding by the precepts of the Book of Mormon.
“Indeed, I have a vision of flooding the earth with the Book of Mormon” (Ensign, November 1988, page 6).
Answer to Prayer
“From childhood, at my mother’s knee where I first learned to pray; as a young man in my teens; as a missionary in foreign lands; as a father; as a Church leader; as a government official; I know without any question that it is possible for men and women to reach out in humility and prayer and tap that Unseen Power; to have prayers answered. … Prayer will open doors; prayer will remove barriers; prayer will ease pressures; prayer will give inner peace and comfort during times of strain and stress” (in Conference Report, October 1956, page 104).
Faith in Jesus Christ
“Faith in Jesus Christ consists of complete reliance on Him. As God, He has infinite power, intelligence, and love. There is no human problem beyond His capacity to solve. Because He descended below all things (see D&C 122:8), He knows how to help us rise above our daily difficulties. …
“Faith in Him means trusting that He has all power over all men and all nations. There is no evil which He cannot arrest. All things are in His hands. This earth is His rightful dominion. Yet He permits evil so that we can make choices between good and evil” (Ensign, November 1983, page 8).
The Holy Ghost
“The Holy Ghost causes our feelings to be more tender. We feel more charitable and compassionate with each other. We are more calm in our relationships. We have a greater capacity to love each other. People want to be around us because our very countenances radiate the influence of the Spirit. We are more godly in our character. As a result, we become increasingly more sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Ghost and thus able to comprehend spiritual things more clearly” (Ensign, April 1988, page 4).
“What can we do to keep the light of freedom alive? Keep the commandments of God. Walk circumspectly before Him. Pay our tithes and fast offerings. Attend our temples. Stay morally clean. Participate in local elections. … Be honest in all our dealings.
“Faithfully hold our family home evenings. Pray—pray to the God of heaven that He will intervene to preserve our precious freedoms, that His gospel may go to every nation and people” (This Nation Shall Endure, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1977, pages 9–10).
“The earth was cursed for Adam’s sake. Work is our blessing, not our doom. God has a work to do, and so should we. Retirement from work has depressed many a man and hastened his death. … We should work at taking care of the spiritual, mental, social, and physical needs of ourselves and of those whom we are charged to help. In the church of Jesus Christ, there is plenty of work to do to move forward the kingdom of God” (Ensign, October 1986, page 2).
“The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of the people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature” (Ensign, November 1985, page 6).
Commitment to the Lord
“We must put God in the forefront of everything else in our lives. He must come first, just as He declares in the first of His Ten Commandments: ‘Thou shalt have no other gods before me’ (Ex. 20:3).
“When we put God first, all other things fall into their proper place or drop out of our lives. Our love of the Lord will govern the claims for our affection, the demands on our time, the interests we pursue, and the order of our priorities” (Ensign, May 1988, page 4).
To the Youth
“Young [people], the family unit is forever, and you should do everything in your power to strengthen that unit. In your own family, encourage family home evenings and be an active participant. Encourage family prayer. …
“Your most important friendships should be with your own brothers and sisters and with your father and mother. Love your family. Be loyal to them. Have a genuine concern for your brothers and sisters. Help carry their load” (Ensign, November 1986, page 81).
Importance of Good Homes
“No nation rises above its homes. … The good home is the rock foundation—the cornerstone of civilization. There can be no genuine happiness separate and apart from a good home, with the old-fashioned virtues at its base. If your nation is to endure, the home must be safeguarded, strengthened, and restored to its rightful importance” (in Conference Report, April 1966, page 130).
- Life Is Eternal April 1971, Saturday morning session
- Satan’s Thrust—Youth October 1971, Friday morning session
- Civic Standards for the Faithful Saints April 1972, Thursday afternoon session
- Listen to a Prophet’s Voice October 1972, Friday afternoon session
- “Watchman, Warn the Wicked” April 1973, Friday afternoon session
- Prepare Ye October 1973, Saturday afternoon session
- Missionary Work: A Major Responsibility April 1974, Sunday afternoon session
- Do Not Despair October 1974, Saturday afternoon session
- The Book of Mormon Is the Word of God April 1975, Saturday afternoon session
- A Message to the World October 1975, Friday afternoon session
- The Constitution—A Glorious Standard April 1976, Tuesday morning session
- Our Priceless Heritage October 1976, Friday afternoon session
- Prayer April 1977, Saturday afternoon session
- Ministering to Needs through the Lord’s Storehouse System April 1977, Welfare Services session
- A Message to the Rising Generation October 1977, Saturday afternoon session
- “May the Kingdom of God Go Forth” April 1978, Saturday afternoon session
- Worthy of All Acceptation October 1978, Saturday afternoon session
- This Is a Day of Sacrifice April 1979, Saturday afternoon session
- Church Government through Councils April 1979, general welfare session
- A Witness and a Warning October 1979, Saturday afternoon session
- A Marvelous Work and a Wonder April 1980, Saturday afternoon session
- Remarks April 1980, Commemorative Postal Card Ceremonies
- Prepare for the Days of Tribulation October 1980, Saturday afternoon session
- Great Things Required of Their Fathers April 1981, priesthood session
- Joseph Smith: Prophet to Our Generation . October 1981, Sunday morning session
- Valiant in the Testimony of Jesus April 1982, Sunday afternoon session
- Fundamentals of Enduring Family Relationships October 1982, Sunday morning session
- A Call to the Priesthood: “Feed My Sheep” April 1983, priesthood session
- A Principle with a Promise April 1983, Sunday morning session
- Jesus Christ: Our Savior and Redeemer October 1983, Saturday morning session
- What Manner of Men Ought We to Be? October 1983, priesthood session
- Counsel to the Saints April 1984, Saturday morning session
- Our Commission to Take the Gospel to All the World April 1984, priesthood session
- A New Witness for Christ October 1984, Saturday morning session
- When I Was Called as a Scoutmaster October 1984, priesthood session
- Our Responsibility to Share the Gospel April 1985, Saturday morning session
- Preparing Yourselves for Missionary Service April 1985, priesthood session
- Born of God October 1985, Saturday morning session
- Worthy Fathers, Worthy Sons October 1985, priesthood session
- Cleansing the Inner Vessel April 1986, Saturday morning session
- To the “Youth of the Noble Birthright” . April 1986, priesthood session
- A Sacred Responsibility April 1986, Sunday afternoon session
- The Book of Mormon—Keystone of Our Religion October 1986, Saturday morning session
- Godly Characteristics of the Master October 1986, priesthood session
- The Gift of Modern Revelation October 1986, Sunday afternoon session
- The Savior’s Visit to America April 1987, Saturday morning session
- To the Home Teachers of the Church . April 1987, priesthood session
- The Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants April 1987, Sunday afternoon session
- Our Divine Constitution October 1987, Saturday morning session
- To the Fathers in Israel October 1987, priesthood session
- “Come unto Christ” October 1987, Sunday afternoon session
- The Great Commandment—Love the Lord April 1988, Saturday morning session
- To the Single Adult Brethren of the Church . April 1988, priesthood session
- “Come unto Christ, and Be Perfected in Him” April 1988, Sunday afternoon session
- Flooding the Earth with the Book of Mormon October 1988, Saturday morning session
- I Testify October 1988, Sunday afternoon session
- Beware of Pride April 1989, Saturday morning session
- To the Children of the Church April 1989, Sunday afternoon session
- To the Elderly in the Church October 1989, Saturday morning session
- A Message for the World January 31, 1950
- The Growth of the Church April 15, 1952
- The LDS Church and Politics December 1, 1952
- Responsibilites of Citizenship October 22, 1954
- A Four-Fold Hope May 24, 1961
- “Pay Thy Debt, and Live” February 28, 1962
- A Race Against Time December 10, 1964
- Safety in the Face of Danger May 10, 1966
- Our Immediate Responsibility October 25, 1966
- The Book of Mormon Warns America May 21, 1968
- The Proper Role of Government . October 21, 1968
- The American Challenge . April 21, 1970
- Opportunity and Challenge October 6, 1970
- People—World Celebration in Iran May 1, 1973
- This Nation Shall Endure December 4, 1973
- Jesus Christ—Gifts and Expectations December 10, 1974
- God’s Hand in Our Nation’s History March 28, 1977
- A Vision and a Hope for the Youth of Zion . April 12, 1977
- Because I Live, Ye Shall Live Also March 24, 1978
- In His Steps March 4, 1979
- Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet February 26, 1980
- Prepare Yourselves for the Great Day of the Lord . April 14, 1981
- Think on Christ October 1, 1983
- The Constitution—A Heavenly Banner . September 16, 1986
- The Law of Chastity . October 13, 1987
- Untitled (MP3) October 16, 1973
- Steps to Preserve Our American Freedom (MP3) September 20, 1977
- Prepare For The Day of the Lord/Lord is Brooding Over Spanish (MP3) September 16, 1980
- Untitled (MP3) September 21, 1982
- A Marked Generation (MP3) . September 20, 1983
- Living a Clean Life (MP3) . March 12, 1985