“Historical Summary,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Ezra Taft Benson (2014), ix–xi
“Historical Summary,” Teachings: Ezra Taft Benson, ix–xi
The following chronology provides a brief historical framework for the teachings of President Ezra Taft Benson in this book.
August 4, 1899
Born near Whitney, Idaho, to George Taft Benson Jr. and Sara Dunkley Benson.
1912 to 1913
Assumes many responsibilities at home while his father serves a mission in the northern United States.
1914 to 1919
Attends and graduates from Oneida Stake Academy in Preston, Idaho.
Called to serve as an assistant Scoutmaster (a leader of young men) in his ward in Whitney.
Meets Flora Smith Amussen, his future wife.
Attends Utah Agricultural College (now Utah State University) in Logan, Utah.
July 13, 1921
Ordained an elder by his father.
July 15, 1921, to November 2, 1923
Serves as a full-time missionary in the British Mission.
August 25, 1924, to June 1926
Flora serves a full-time mission in the Hawaiian Islands.
Joins his brother Orval in purchasing the family farm in Whitney.
Graduates from Brigham Young University.
September 10, 1926
Marries Flora in the Salt Lake Temple.
September 1926 to June 1927
Attends the Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts (now the Iowa State University of Science and Technology), graduating with a master’s degree in agricultural economics.
Moves back to the family farm in Whitney.
Accepts employment as the county agricultural agent for Franklin County, Idaho. Leaves the farm and moves to nearby Preston, Idaho.
1930 to 1939
Employed as an agricultural economist and specialist with the University of Idaho Extension Division.
January 1935 to November 1938
Serves as first counselor in the stake presidency of the Boise Stake.
November 1938 to March 1939
Serves as president of the Boise Stake.
1939 to 1943
Works as executive secretary for the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives in Washington, D.C. Lives with his family in Bethesda, Maryland.
Called to serve as president of the Washington Stake in Washington, D.C.
July 26, 1943
Called to serve as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
October 7, 1943
Ordained an Apostle and set apart as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles by President Heber J. Grant.
January 1946 to December 1946
Serves as president of the European Mission, helping to bring temporal and spiritual relief to Latter-day Saints after the devastation of World War II.
July 16, 1946
Dedicates Finland for the preaching of the gospel.
January 1953 to January 1961
Serves as the United States secretary of agriculture under the leadership of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
January 1964 to September 1965
Serves again as president of the European Mission.
November 10, 1966
Rededicates Italy for the preaching of the gospel.
April 14, 1969
Dedicates Singapore for the preaching of the gospel.
October 26, 1969
Dedicates Indonesia for the preaching of the gospel.
December 30, 1973
Set apart as President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
November 10, 1985
Set apart as President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
October 24, 1986
Dedicates the Denver Colorado Temple.
August 28, 1987
Dedicates the Frankfurt Germany Temple. (Nine temples were dedicated during his service as President of the Church.)
October 2, 1988
Delivers his final general conference address in person. (After October 1988, his frail physical health prevented him from speaking at general conference. His counselors in the First Presidency read sermons on his behalf or quoted messages he had given in past addresses.)
August 14, 1992
Mourns the death of his wife, Flora.
May 30, 1994
Dies at his home in Salt Lake City, Utah, about two months before his 95th birthday.