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The LDS Daily WOOL© Archive - Ezra Taft Benson

"There are times when you simply have to righteously hang on and outlast the devil until his depressive spirit leaves you. As the Lord told the Prophet Joseph Smith: "Thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high" (D&C 121:7-8)." — "Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson," p. 396

"Every Latter-day Saint should make the study of [the Book of Mormon] a lifetime pursuit. Otherwise he is placing his soul in jeopardy and neglecting that which could give spiritual and intellectual unity to his whole life." — Ezra Taft Benson, "The Book Of Mormon Is The Word Of God," General Conference, April 1975

"So it is not enough to receive the priesthood and then sit back passively and wait until someone prods us into activity. When we receive the priesthood, we have the obligation of becoming actively and anxiously engaged in promoting the cause of righteousness in the earth,..." — Ezra Taft Benson, "Conference Report," October 1948, p. 101

"There will be trials and disappointments to our young people, but I am convinced that any person who has real faith in God and a testimony of this work can endure anything and still keep his spirit sweet. We want our young people prepared so they can endure anything." — "The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson," p. 205

"Not only must we move forward in a monumental manner more copies of the Book of Mormon, but we must move boldly forward into our own lives and throughout the earth more of its marvelous messages." — Ezra Taft Benson, "Beware of Pride," General Conference, April 1989

"It is not just that the Book of Mormon teaches us truth, though it indeed does that. It is not just that the Book of Mormon bears testimony of Christ, though it indeed does that, too. But there is something more. There is a power in the book which will begin to flow into your lives the moment you begin a serious study of the book. You will find greater power to resist temptation. You will find the power to avoid deception. You will find the power to stay on the strait and narrow path. The scriptures are called "the words of life" (D&C 84:85), and nowhere is that more true than it is of the Book of Mormon. When you begin to hunger and thirst after those words, you will find life in greater and greater abundance." — Ezra Taft Benson, "The Book of Mormon—Keystone of Our Religion," General Conference, October 1986

"Members of the Church everywhere should know the Book of Mormon better than any other book. Not only should we know what history and faith-promoting stories it contains, but we should understand its teachings...I have noticed within the Church the difference in discernment, in insight, conviction, and spirit between those who know and love the Book of Mormon and those who do not. That book is a great sifter." — Ezra Taft Benson, "The Book of Mormon is the Word of God," General Conference, April 1975

"More than at any time in our history we have need for greater spirituality. The way to develop greater spirituality is to feast on the words of Christ as revealed in the scriptures. One of the most significant happenings in recent Church history is the publication of the new editions of the standard works with the new footnotes and other helps. I think we can say without exaggeration that never before in any dispensation have the Saints been so abundantly blessed with the words of the Lord and His prophets. Now our challenge is to do as the Lord commanded: 'Study my word which hath gone forth among the children of men' (D&C 11:22)." — General Conference, April 1984

"Now let me say something to all who can worthily go to the house of the Lord. When you attend the temple and perform the ordinances that pertain to the house of the Lord, certain blessings will come to you: You will receive the spirit of Elijah, which will turn your hearts to your spouse, to your children, and to your forebears. You will love your family with a deeper love than you have loved before. You will be endowed with power from on high as the Lord has promised." — "Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson," p. 254

"We must not be cast down or discouraged in this work. There is no basis for discouragement. We are not alone. We will not, we cannot fail if we will do our duty. The Lord will magnify us even beyond our present talents and abilities." — "Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson," p. 381

"To His disciples, the Lord said that they should be of good cheer, for He had overcome the world—and so He had (see John 16:33). And so can we, if we are allied with Him." — "Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson," p. 591

"Increasingly, the Latter-day Saints must choose between the reasoning of men and the revelations of God. This is a crucial choice, for we have those within the Church today who, with their worldly wisdom, are leading some of the members astray. President J. Reuben Clark warned: 'The ravening wolves are amongst us, from our own membership, and they, more than any others, are clothed in sheep's clothing, because they wear the habiliments of the Priesthood…. We should be careful of them.'" — "Conference Report," April 1949, p. 163

"Our affections are often too highly placed upon the paltry, perishable objects. Material treasures of earth are merely to provide us, as it were, room and board while we are here at school. It is for us to place gold, silver, houses, stocks, lands, cattle, and other earthly possessions in their proper places. Yes, this is but a place of temporary duration. We are here to learn the first lesson toward exaltation—obedience to the Lord's gospel plan." — "Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson," p. 475

"In his dream, Lehi saw an iron rod which led through the mists of darkness. He saw that if people would hold fast to that rod, they could avoid the rivers of filthiness, stay away from the forbidden paths, stop from wandering in the strange roads that lead to destruction. Later his son Nephi clearly explained the symbolism of the iron rod. When Laman and Lemuel asked, 'What meaneth the rod of iron?' Nephi answered, 'It was the word of God; and [note this promise] whoso would hearken unto the word of God, and would hold fast unto it, they would never perish; neither could the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction.' (1 Ne. 15:23–24; italics added.) Not only will the word of God lead us to the fruit which is desirable above all others, but in the word of God and through it we can find the power to resist temptation, the power to thwart the work of Satan and his emissaries." — Ezra Taft Benson "The Power of the Word," Ensign, May 1986, p. 80

"You must also bend your efforts and your activities to stimulating meaningful scripture study among the members of the Church. Often we spend great effort in trying to increase the activity levels in our stakes. We work diligently to raise the percentages of those attending sacrament meetings. We labor to get a higher percentage of our young men on missions. We strive to improve the numbers of those marrying in the temple. All of these are commendable efforts and important to the growth of the kingdom. But when individual members and families immerse themselves in the scriptures regularly and consistently, these other areas of activity will automatically come. Testimonies will increase. Commitment will be strengthened. Families will be fortified. Personal revelation will flow." — Ezra Taft Benson, "The Power of the Word," "Ensign," May 1986, p. 81

"Has the fact that we have had the Book of Mormon with us for over a century and a half made it seem less significant to us today? Do we remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon? In the Bible we have the Old Testament and the New Testament. The word testament is the English rendering of a Greek word that can also be translated as covenant. Is this what the Lord meant when He called the Book of Mormon the 'new covenant'? It is indeed another testament or witness of Jesus. This is one of the reasons why we have recently added the words 'Another Testament of Jesus Christ' to the title of the Book of Mormon." — Ezra Taft Benson, "The Keystone of Our Religion," Ensign, Jan. 1992, p. 4

"It is not on the pinnacle of success and ease where men and women grow most. It is often down in the valley of heartache and disappointment and reverses where men and women grow into strong characters." — Ezra Taft Benson, Stockholm Sweden Area Conference, 1974

"The two groups who have the greatest difficulty in following the prophet are the proud who are learned and the proud who are rich. The learned may feel the prophet is only inspired when he agrees with them; otherwise, the prophet is just giving his opinion-speaking as a man. The rich may feel they have no need to take counsel of a lowly prophet." — Ezra Taft Benson, "The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson," [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1988], p. 138

"His gospel is the perfect prescription for all human problems and social ills. But His gospel is effective only as it is applied in our lives. Therefore, we must 'feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell [us] all things what [we] should do.' (2 Nephi 32:3.) Unless we do His teachings, we do not demonstrate faith in Him." — Ezra Taft Benson, "Come unto Christ," [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1983], p. 132

"I now add my voice to these wise and inspired brethren and say to you that one of the most important things you can do as priesthood leaders is to immerse yourselves in the scriptures. Search them diligently (see D&C 1:37; 3 Nephi 23:1). Feast upon the words of Christ (see 2 Nephi 31:20; 32:3). Learn the doctrine. Master the principles that are found therein. There are few other efforts that will bring greater dividends to your calling. There are few ways to gain greater inspiration as you serve." — Ezra Taft Benson, "The Power of the Word," Ensign, May 1986 p. 81

"In the Book of Mormon we read that 'despair cometh because of iniquity.' (Moro. 10:22.) 'When I do good I feel good,' said Abraham Lincoln, 'and when I do bad I feel bad.' Sin pulls a man down into despondency and despair. While a man may take some temporary pleasure in sin, the end result is unhappiness. 'Wickedness never was happiness.' (Alma 41:10.) Sin creates disharmony with God and is depressing to the spirit. Therefore, a man would do well to examine himself to see that he is in harmony with all of God's laws. Every law kept brings a particular blessing. Every law broken brings a particular blight. Those who are heavy laden with despair should come unto the Lord, for his yoke is easy and his burden is light. (See Matt. 11:28-30.)" — Ezra Taft Benson, "Do Not Despair," General Conference, Oct. 1974, pp. 90-91

"As fathers of our homes, we have a serious responsibility to assume leadership in the home. We must create homes where the Spirit of the Lord can abide. We must always remember the statement of the Savior that 'the spirit of contention is not of [Him], but is of the devil.' (3 Nephi 11:29) We must not allow the adversary to be an influence in our homes. We must be more Christlike in our attitude and behavior than what we see in the world. We should be as charitable and considerate with our loved ones as Christ is with us. He is kind, loving, and patient with each of us. Should we not reciprocate the same love to our wives and children?" — Ezra Taft Benson, "Come unto Christ," [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1983], p. 53

"If thoughts make us what we are and we are to be like Christ, then we must think Christlike thoughts." — Ezra Taft Benson, "Come unto Christ," [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1983], p. 41

"So it was with Joseph Smith. He too was there. He too sat in council with the noble and great ones. Occupying a prominent place of honor and distinction, he unquestionably helped in the planning and execution of the great work of the Lord to 'bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man,' the salvation of all our Father's children. His mission had had, and was to have, impact on all who had come to earth, all who then dwelt on earth, and the millions yet unborn. The Prophet Joseph Smith made this eternal fact clear in these words: 'Every man who has a calling to minister to the inhabitants of the world was ordained to that very purpose in the grand council of heaven before this world was. I suppose that I was ordained to this very office in that grand council. It is the testimony that I want that I am God's servant, and this people His people.' (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 365.)" — Ezra Taft Benson, "God, Family, Country: Our Three Great Loyalties," [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1974], p. 30

"Young men of the Aaronic Priesthood, remember the scriptural injunction, 'Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord.' (3 Ne. 20:41; D&C 38:42; see also Isa. 52:11) Remember the story of Joseph in Egypt, who hearkened not to the wife of Potiphar and maintained his purity and virtue. (See Gen. 39:6-20). Consider carefully the words of the prophet Alma to his errant son, Corianton, 'Forsake your sins, and go no more after the lusts of your eyes.' (Alma 39:9)'The lusts of your eyes.' In our day, what does that expression mean? Movies, television programs, and video recordings that are both suggestive and lewd. Magazines and books that are obscene and pornographic. We counsel you, young men, not to pollute your minds with such degrading matter, for the mind through which this filth passes is never the same afterward. Don't see R-rated movies or vulgar videos or participate in any entertainment that is immoral, suggestive, or pornographic. Don't listen to music that is degrading." — Ezra Taft Benson, "Come, Listen to a Prophet's Voice," [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1990], p. 7

"We should put God ahead of everyone else in our lives. When Joseph was in Egypt, what came first in his life-God, his job, or Potiphar's wife? When she tried to seduce him, he responded by saying, 'How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?' (Genesis 39:9) Joseph was put in prison because he put God first. If we were faced with a similar choice, where would we place our first loyalty? Can we put God ahead of security, peace, passions, wealth, and the honors of men? When Joseph was forced to choose, he was more anxious to please God than to please his employer's wife. When we are required to choose, are we more anxious to please God than our boss, our teacher, our neighbor, or our date?" — Ezra Taft Benson, "The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson," [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1988], p. 350

"Studying and searching the scriptures is not a burden laid upon Saints by the Lord, but a marvelous blessing and opportunity. Note what the Lord Himself has said about the benefits of studying His word. To the great prophet-leader Joshua, He said: 'This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein; for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success' (Joshua 1:8). The Lord was not promising Joshua material wealth and fame, but that his life would prosper in righteousness and that he would have success in that which matters most in life, namely the quest to find true joy (see 2 Nephi 2:25)." — Ezra Taft Benson, "The Power of the Word," "Ensign," [May 1986]: p. 81

"Some people intend to make a decision and then never get around to it. They intend to paint the barn, to fix the fence, to haul away that old machinery or remove that old shed, but the time of decision just never arrives. Some of us face a similar situation in our personal lives. We intend to pay a full tithing, to begin keeping the Word of Wisdom, to make our initial home teaching visits early in the month. However, without actual decision followed by implementation, the weeks and months go by and nothing is accomplished. We could drift into eternity on these kinds of good intentions. Thus lack of decision becomes our decision not to do those good things for which we had the best of intentions. The Lord apparently sensed this weakness in his children, for he said: 'Wherefore, if ye believe me, ye will labor while it is called today.' (D&C 64:25) Get the facts—then decide promptly. As an excuse for postponing decisions, do not rely on the old clichés some people use, such as 'I want to sleep on it.' We don't make decisions in our sleep. However, don't jump to conclusions or make snap judgments. Get the facts, be sure of the basic principles, and weigh the consequences. Then decide!" — Ezra Taft Benson, "God, Family, Country: Our Three Great Loyalties," [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1974], p. 148

"To those burdened and sorrowing with guilt, we offer hope. Your Redeemer loves you with a perfect love. He died to pay for the sins of all who truly repent and follow the course He prescribed.... Accept the healing of spirit that He alone can give. ('First Presidency Christmas Message,' Church News [15 December 1985], p. 3)" — Ezra Taft Benson, "The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson," [Salt Lake City, Utah: Bookcraft, 1988], p. 74

"Would it seem reasonable to an eye doctor to be told to heal a blind man by spitting in the dirt, making clay, and applying it to the man's eyes and then telling him to wash in a contaminated pool? Yet this is precisely the course that Jesus took with one man, and he was healed (see John 9:6-7). Does it seem reasonable to cure leprosy by telling a man to wash seven times in a particular river? Yet this is precisely what the prophet Elisha told a leper to do, and he was healed (see 2 Kings 5). 'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.' (Isaiah 55:8-9.)" — Ezra Taft Benson, "Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet," "1980 Devotional Speeches of the Year" [Provo: BYU Press, 1981], p. 28

"It is the pure love of Christ, called charity, that the Book of Mormon testifies is the greatest of all-that never faileth, that endureth forever, that all men should have, and that without which they are nothing (see Moroni 7:44-47; 2 Nephi 26:30)." - "The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson," [Salt Lake City, Utah: Bookcraft, 1988], p. 349

"Now God expects us to use the Book of Mormon in several ways. We are to read it ourselves-carefully, prayerfully, and ponder as we read, as to whether this book is the work of God or of an unlearned youth. And then when we are finished reading the things in the book, Moroni exhorts us to put them to the test, in these words: 'And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, He will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.' (Moro. 10:4.) I have done as Moroni exhorts, and I can testify to you that this book is from God and so is verily true." - Ezra Taft Benson, "The Book of Mormon Is the Word of God," Ensign, Jan. 1988, 3

"The prophet Lehi also saw our day in his great visionary dream of the tree of life. He saw that many people would wander blindly in the mists of darkness, which symbolized the temptations of the devil. (See 1 Ne. 12:17.) He saw some fall away 'in forbidden paths,' others drown in rivers of filthiness, and still others wander in 'strange roads.' (1 Ne. 8:28, 32.) When we read of the spreading curse of drugs, or read of the pernicious flood of pornography and immorality, do any of us doubt that these are the forbidden paths and rivers of filthiness Lehi described?" - Ezra Taft Benson, "The Power of the Word," Ensign, May 1986, p. 79

"At present, the Book of Mormon is studied in our Sunday School and seminary classes every fourth year. This four-year pattern, however, must not be followed by Church members in their personal and family study. We need to read daily from the pages of the book that will get a man 'nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.' (History of the Church, 4:461.) And when we are called upon to study or teach other scriptures, we need to strengthen that undertaking by frequent reference to the additional insights which the Book of Mormon may provide on the subject (see 1 Ne. 13:40, 2 Ne. 3:12)." - Ezra Taft Benson, "Flooding the Earth with the Book of Mormon," Ensign, Nov. 1988, p. 4

"In the Lord's due time His Spirit 'wrought upon' Columbus, the pilgrims, the Puritans, and others to come to America. They testified of God's intervention in their behalf (see 1 Ne. 13:12-13). The Book of Mormon records that they humbled 'themselves before the Lord; and the power of the Lord was with them' (1 Ne. 13:16). Our Father in Heaven planned the coming forth of the Founding Fathers and their form of government as the necessary great prologue leading to the restoration of the gospel. Recall what our Savior Jesus Christ said nearly two thousand years ago when He visited this promised land: 'For it is wisdom in the Father that they should be established in this land, and be set up as a free people by the power of the Father, that these things might come forth' (3 Ne. 21:4). America, the land of liberty, was to be the Lord's latter-day base of operations for His restored church." - Ezra Taft Benson, "Our Divine Constitution," Ensign, Nov. 1987, p. 4

"...the Book of Mormon exposes the enemies of Christ. It confounds false doctrines and lays down contention. (See 2 Ne. 3:12.) It fortifies the humble followers of Christ against the evil designs, strategies, and doctrines of the devil in our day. The type of apostates in the Book of Mormon are similar to the type we have today. God, with his infinite foreknowledge, so molded the Book of Mormon that we might see the error and know how to combat false educational, political, religious, and philosophical concepts of our time." - Ezra Taft Benson, "The Book of Mormon is the Word of God," Ensign, January 1988, p. 3

"Our main task is to declare the gospel and do it effectively. We are not obligated to answer every objection. Every man eventually is backed up to the wall of faith, and there he must make his stand. 'And if they are not the words of Christ, judge ye,' said Nephi, 'for Christ will show unto you, with power and great glory, that they are his words, at the last day; and you and I shall stand face to face before his bar; and ye shall know that I have been commanded of him to write these things.' (2 Ne. 33:11.) Every man must judge for himself, knowing God will hold him accountable. The Book of Mormon is to be used 'for a standard unto my people, which are of the house of Israel,' the Lord says, and its words 'shall hiss forth unto the ends of the earth.' (2 Ne. 29:2.) We, the members of the Church, and particularly the missionaries, have to be the 'hissers,' or the tellers and testifiers, of the Book of Mormon unto the ends of the earth." - Ezra Taft Benson, "The Book of Mormon Is the Word of God," Ensign, Jan. 1988, p. 4

"How do you obtain the Spirit? 'By the prayer of faith,' says the Lord. Therefore, you must pray with sincerity and real intent. Pray for increased faith. Pray for the Spirit to accompany your teaching. Ask the Lord for forgiveness. Your prayers must be offered in the same spirit and with the same fervor as were the prayers of Enos in the Book of Mormon. Surely you are familiar with that inspiring story, so I need not repeat the background. I only want to draw your attention to these verses. Enos testified: 'I will tell you of the wrestle which I had before God before I received a remission of my sins.'" - Ezra Taft Benson, "Keys to Successful Member-Missionary Work," Ensign, Sept. 1990, p. 4-5

"The sixth and final point I wish to make about the process of repentance is that we must be careful, as we seek to become more and more godlike, that we do not become discouraged and lose hope. Becoming Christlike is a lifetime pursuit and very often involves growth and change that is slow, almost imperceptible. The scriptures record remarkable accounts of men whose lives changed dramatically, in an instant, as it were: Alma the Younger, Paul on the road to Damascus, Enos praying far into the night, King Lamoni. Such astonishing examples of the power to change even those steeped in sin give confidence that the Atonement can reach even those deepest in despair." - Ezra Taft Benson, "A Mighty Change of Heart," Ensign, October 1989, p. 5

"Why did righteous fathers in the Book of Mormon go to so much trouble to teach their sons the word of God? King Benjamin said it was to fulfill the commandments of God. (See Mosiah 1:4.) He further stated that were it not for their having the brass plates which contained the commandments, they would have 'suffered in ignorance.' (Mosiah 1:3.) Could the lack of teaching the scriptures in our homes be a source of our suffering in ignorance today?" - Ezra Taft Benson, "Worthy Fathers, Worthy Sons," Ensign, November 1985, pp. 36-37

"Essentially, pride is a 'my will' rather than 'thy will' approach to life. The opposite of pride is humbleness, meekness, submissiveness (see Alma 13:28), or teachableness." - Ezra Taft Benson, "Cleansing the Inner Vessel," Ensign, May 1986, p. 6

"Just as a man does not really desire food until he is hungry, so he does not desire the salvation of Christ until he knows why he needs Christ. No one adequately and properly knows why he needs Christ until he understands and accepts the doctrine of the Fall and its effect upon all mankind. And no other book in the world explains this vital doctrine nearly as well as the Book of Mormon." - Ezra Taft Benson, "The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson" [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1988], p. 28

"Eternal life, the greatest gift that God can give and the life for which we all should be striving, comes from knowing our Father in heaven and His Son, Jesus Christ. As the Savior said: 'This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.' (John 17:3.) We cannot know God and Jesus without studying about them and then doing their will. This course leads to additional revealed knowledge that, if obeyed, will eventually lead us to further truths. When we follow this pattern, we will receive further light and joy, eventually leading into God's presence where we, with Him, will have a fullness." - Ezra Taft Benson, "Come unto Christ," [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1983], p. 32

"God can reveal to us our talents and our strengths so that we will know what we can build upon. Be assured that in all our righteous endeavors, we can say, as did Paul: 'I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.' (Philip. 4:13.) Also be assured, as Paul said further, that there will be no temptation befall us but what is common to man: but God will, with each temptation, provide a way to escape. (See 1 Cor. 10:13.)" - Ezra Taft Benson, "In His Steps," Ensign, September 1988, p. 4

"The greatest events of history are those that affect the greatest number for the longest periods. By this standard, no event could be more important to individuals or nations than the resurrection of the Master. The eventual resurrection of every soul who has lived and died on earth is a scriptural certainty, and surely there is no event for which one should make more careful preparation. A glorious resurrection should be the goal of every man and woman, for it is a reality. Nothing is more absolutely universal than the resurrection. Every living being will be resurrected. 'As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.' (1 Cor. 15:22.)" - Ezra Taft Benson, "Because I Live, Ye Shall Live Also," Ensign, April 1993, p. 4

"Take time to meditate. Meditation on a passage of scripture-James 1:5-led a young boy into a grove of trees to commune with his Heavenly Father. That is what opened the heavens in this dispensation." - Ezra Taft Benson, "Seek the Spirit of the Lord," Ensign, April 1988, p. 2

"The apostle John on the Isle of Patmos 'saw the dead, small and great, stand before God.' (Rev. 20:12.)...

"The spirit world is not far away. Sometimes the veil between this life and the life beyond becomes very thin. Our loved ones who have passed on are not far from us. One great spiritual leader asked, 'But where is the spirit world?' and then answered his own question, 'It is here.'

"'Do spirits go beyond the boundaries of this organized earth? No, they do not. They are brought forth upon this earth, for the express purpose of inhabiting it to all eternity.'

"'... when the spirits leave their bodies they are in the presence of our Father and God; they are prepared then to see, hear and understand spiritual things. . . . If the Lord would permit it, and it was His will that it should be done, you could see the spirits that have departed from this world, as plainly as you now see bodies with your natural eyes....' (Brigham Young, in Journal of Discourses, vol. 3, pp. 367-69.)" - Ezra Taft Benson, "God, Family, Country: Our Three Great Loyalties" [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1974], p. 22

"No other single influence has had so great an impact on this earth as the life of Jesus the Christ. We cannot conceive of our lives without his teachings. Without him we would be lost in a mirage of beliefs and worships, born in fear and darkness where the sensual and materialistic hold sway. We are far short of the goal he set for us, but we must never lose sight of it; nor must we forget that our great climb toward the light, toward perfection, would not be possible except for his teachings, his life, his death, and his resurrection." - Ezra Taft Benson, "Life Is Eternal," Ensign, June 1971, p. 34

"We love the youth of the Church and we know the Lord loves them. There isn't anything the Church wouldn't do that's right to help our young people-to save them. They are our future. We have faith in them. We want them to be happy. We want them to be successful in their chosen fields. We want them to be exalted in the celestial kingdom.

"We say to them, you are eternal beings. Life is eternal. You cannot do wrong and feel right. It pays to live the good, wholesome, joy-filled life. Live so you will have no serious regrets-no heartaches. Live so you can reach out and tap that unseen Power, without which no man or woman can do their best." - Ezra Taft Benson, "Satan's Thrust-Youth," Ensign, Dec. 1971, p. 54

"God the Father has given Jesus Christ a name above all others, so that eventually every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ. He is the way, the truth, and the light, and no one can come back into the presence of our Father in heaven except through him. Christ is God the Son and possesses every virtue in its perfection. Therefore, the only measure of true greatness is how close a man can become like Jesus. That man is greatest who is most like Christ, and those who love him most will be most like him.

"How, then, does a man imitate God, follow his steps, and walk as he walked, which we are commanded to do? We must study the life of Christ, learn his commandments, and do them. God has promised that to follow this course will lead a man to an abundant life and a fullness of joy and the peace and rest which those who are heavy-burdened long for. To learn of Christ necessitates the study of the scriptures and the testimonies of those who know him. We come to know him through prayer and the inspiration and revelation that God has promised to those who keep his commandments." - Ezra Taft Benson, "Listen to a Prophet's Voice," Ensign, Jan. 1973, 57

"Husbands and wives who love each other will find that love and loyalty are reciprocated. This love will provide a nurturing atmosphere for the emotional growth of children. Family life should be a time of happiness and joy that children can look back on with fond memories and associations.

"Hear these simple admonitions from the Lord which may be applied to the marriage covenant.

"First: See that ye love one another; cease to be covetous; learn to impart one to another as the gospel requires. Cease to be unclean; cease to find fault one with another. (D&C 88:123-24.)

"Second: Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her and none else. Thou shalt not commit adultery. (D&C 42:22, 24.)

"Third: He that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention. (3 Ne. 11:29.)" - Ezra Taft Benson, "Fundamentals of Enduring Family Relationships," Ensign (CR), November 1982, p.59

"To love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength is all-consuming and all-encompassing. It is no lukewarm endeavor. It is total commitment of our very being—physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually—to a love of the Lord.

"The breadth, depth, and height of this love of God extend into every facet of one's life. Our desires, be they spiritual or temporal, should be rooted in a love of the Lord. Our thoughts and affections should be centered on the Lord. 'Let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord,' said Alma, 'yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever' (Alma 37:36)." - Ezra Taft Benson, "The Great Commandment—Love the Lord," Ensign (CR), May 1988, p.4

"When you pray—when you talk to your Heavenly Father—do you really talk out your problems with Him? Do you let Him know your feelings, your doubts, your insecurities, your joys, your deepest desires—or is prayer merely an habitual expression with the same words and phrases? Do you ponder what you really mean to say? Do you take time to listen to the promptings of the Spirit? Answers to prayer come most often by a still voice and are discerned by our deepest, innermost feelings. I tell you that you can know the will of God concerning yourselves if you will take the time to pray and to listen." - Ezra Taft Benson, "A Message to the Rising Generation," Ensign (CR), November 1977, p.30

"Pride is the universal sin, the great vice. Yes, pride is the universal sin, the great vice.

"The antidote for pride is humility—meekness, submissiveness. (See Alma 7:23.) It is the broken heart and contrite spirit. (See 3 Ne. 9:20; 3 Ne. 12:19; D&C 20:37; D&C 59:8; Ps. 34:18; Isa. 57:15; Isa. 66:2.)" - Ezra Taft Benson, "Beware of Pride," Ensign (CR), May 1989, p.4

"The Savior himself declared: 'Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day' (3 Ne. 27:20; italics added).

"To deny oneself of all ungodliness is to come to Christ by ordinances and covenants to repent of any sins which prevent the Spirit of the Lord from taking precedence in our lives. To deny oneself of all ungodliness is to 'offer a sacrifice unto the Lord thy God ... , even that of a broken heart and a contrite spirit' (D&C 59:8).

"It is a willingness to forgo personal bad habits such as tobacco, alcohol, profanity, an unruly temper, and immorality—habits which cause us, the children of God, to be less than our destiny.

"I have known good men, decent men, both in and out of the Church who, because of some bad habit, prevented greater happiness and progress from occurring in their lives. One of these good men who saw the great merits of the Church, though he never joined, said to me on one occasion, with cigar in hand, 'Ezra, what is your redeeming vice?' It was the first time I had ever heard such an expression. Brothers and sisters, from the Lord's view, there are no redeeming vices—only redeeming virtues!" - Ezra Taft Benson, "This Is a Day of Sacrifice," Ensign (CR), May 1979, p.32

"No nation can rise above its homes. The church, the school, and even the nation, stand helpless before a weakened and degraded home, in building character. The good home is the rock foundation—the cornerstone of civilization. If this, our nation, is to endure, the home must be safeguarded, strengthened, and restored to its rightful importance." - Ezra Taft Benson, "Conference Report," April 1949, Afternoon Meeting, p.196

"When George A. Smith was very ill, he was visited by his cousin, the Prophet Joseph Smith. The afflicted man reported: 'He [the Prophet] told me I should never get discouraged, whatever difficulties might surround me. If I were sunk into the lowest pit of Nova Scotia and all the Rocky Mountains piled on top of me, I ought not to be discouraged, but hang on, exercise faith, and keep up good courage, and I should come out on the top of the heap.' (George A. Smith Family, comp. Zora Smith Jarvis, Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press, 1962, p. 54.)...

"To press on in noble endeavors, even while surrounded by a cloud of depression, will eventually bring you out on top into the sunshine. Even our master Jesus the Christ, while facing that supreme test of being temporarily left alone by our Father during the crucifixion, continued performing his labors for the children of men, and then shortly thereafter he was glorified and received a fullness of joy. While you are going through your trial, you can recall your past victories and count the blessings that you do have with a sure hope of greater ones to follow if you are faithful. And you can have that certain knowledge that in due time God will wipe away all tears and that 'eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.' (1 Cor. 2:9.)" - Ezra Taft Benson, "Do Not Despair," Ensign (CR), November 1974, p.65

"God loves us. He is watching us. He wants us to succeed. We will know someday that He has not left one thing undone for the eternal welfare of each of us. If we only knew it, heavenly hosts are pulling for us—friends in heaven we cannot now remember, who yearn for our victory. This is our day to show what we can do—what life and sacrifice we can daily, hourly, instantly, make for God. If we give our all, we will get His all from the greatest of all." - Ezra Taft Benson, "Jesus Christ—Gifts and Expectations," Christmas Devotional, Salt Lake City, Utah, 7 December 1986

"Patriotism is more than flag-waving and fireworks. It is how we respond to public issues. If we ask only, 'What is in this proposal for me? What do I get out of it?'—we are not patriotic and we are not very good citizens. But if we ask, 'Is this right? Is it good for the American people? Would it preserve and strengthen our freedom?'—we deserve to stand in the company of Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln. Patriotism is trying always to give more to the nation than we receive. It is selfless service." - Ezra Taft Benson, "The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson," p.589

"Jesus aimed to make of every man a king, to build him in leadership into eternity. On that memorable night after the last supper, He said to the eleven (after Judas had slunk out into the night to go about his dark mission), 'Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth in me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father' (John 14:12). Through delegating, Jesus desired to lift, rather than suppress the individual. And all through the Church today, men and women are growing in stature through positions delegated to them." - Ezra Taft Benson, "The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson," p.380

"We once knew well our Elder Brother and our Father in Heaven. We rejoiced at the prospects of earth life that could make it possible for us to have a fulness of joy. We could hardly wait to demonstrate to our Father and our Brother, the Lord, how much we loved them and how we would be obedient to them in spite of the earthly opposition of the evil one. Now we are here. Our memories are veiled. We are showing God and ourselves what we can do. Nothing is going to startle us more when we pass through the veil to the other side than to realize how well we know our Father and how familiar His face is to us." - Ezra Taft Benson, "The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson," p.24

"Moses never entered the promised land. Joseph Smith never saw Zion redeemed. Some of us may not live long enough to see the day when the Book of Mormon floods the earth and when the Lord lifts His condemnation. (See D&C 84:54-58.) But, God willing, I intend to spend all my remaining days in that glorious effort." - Ezra Taft Benson, "Flooding the Earth with the Book of Mormon," Ensign (CR), November 1988, p.4

"Repetition is a key to learning. Our sons need to hear the truth repeated, especially because there is so much falsehood abroad. Devoted Book of Mormon fathers constantly reminded their sons of saving truths. 'O remember, remember, my sons, the words which king Benjamin spake unto his people,' said Helaman. 'Yea, remember that there is no other way nor means whereby man can be saved, only through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ.' (Hel. 5:9.) 'My sons, remember, remember,' Helaman continued, 'that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation.' (Hel. 5:12.)" - Ezra Taft Benson, "Worthy Fathers, Worthy Sons," Ensign (CR), November 1985, p.35

"This is the spiritual kingdom of God moving forward in its divine course to fill the earth, a truly marvelous work and a wonder! As we contemplate our past and future, may we remember the prophecy of Joseph Smith, words that I testify are true: 'No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done.' (History of the Church, 4:540)" - Ezra Taft Benson, "A Marvelous Work and a Wonder," Ensign (CR), May 1980, p.32)

"Closely allied with the trend toward bigger and bigger government is the tendency toward loose fiscal policy, both public and private. This concerns us as free men. 'The borrower is servant to the lender' (Proverbs 22:7). A nation can hang itself on the gallows of excessive public debt-and the United States is no exception." - "The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson," p. 291

"We must imitate Christ in our mental growth as we search for truth. Let us never fear truth, but only its misuse. On the contrary, let us love truth above all else, for God Himself is truth." - Ezra Taft Benson, The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p.120

"The only way to avoid being deceived is to get the facts. There are people who would try to hide the facts from us and replace the truth with a falsehood. They want us to believe that America is a failure, that her system of capitalistic free enterprise is doomed, that she must remedy her failures by adopting theories of collectivized control. I recognize these voices. I heard them in forty-three nations which I visited in the past. I heard them often during my eight years in Washington. None of them came to me in the name of communism or even socialism, but they came. And while many of us fought them and resisted them on every front, nevertheless, it was alarming to discover how many others were willing to believe and follow. Why do otherwise loyal Americans believe and follow? Because these voices came from masters of deception." - Ezra Taft Benson, "The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson," p.405

"Opportunities to lose oneself for the good of others present themselves daily: the mother who serves her children’s needs; the father who gives his time for their instruction; parents who give up worldly pleasure for quality home life; children who care for their aged parents; home teaching service; visiting teaching; time for compassionate service; giving comfort to those who need strength; serving with diligence in Church callings; community and public service in the interest of preserving our freedoms; financial donations for tithes, fast offerings, support of missionaries, welfare, building and temple projects. Truly, the day of sacrifice is not past." - Ezra Taft Benson, "This Is a Day of Sacrifice," Ensign (CR), May 1979, p.32

"When men, in their energetic search for truth, make new discoveries, these will always be in harmony with all fundamental and eternal truths. Yes, truth is always consistent, whether it be revealed direct from God to man through His inspired prophets, or comes from the laboratory through the diligent searching of His children and the influence of the Spirit of the Lord upon them.

"Continue to grow mentally-to grow in wisdom-to grow in truth. Desire it! Pray for it! Study it! Practice it! Do all this, and you will find truth; it cannot be denied you. Having found it, never forget its source, remembering always that 'the glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth' (D&C 93:36)." - Ezra Taft Benson, "The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson," p.120

"Into what depths have we fallen when government officials will announce publicly that morals do not count anymore, and that we should look upon deviations from chastity as the expected thing in this so-called enlightened age. How dark is the public mind which is lulled to sleep with such an evil philosophy when certain clergymen condone it!" - Ezra Taft Benson, "The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson," p.87

"It is easy to despair when we see about us the moorings of society slipping. We must remember, however, that the Lord sent His Saints into the world 'to be a light unto the world, and to be the saviors of men.' (D&C 103:9.) This is a time when 'Zion must arise and put on her beautiful garments.' (D&C 82:14.) The contrast between the Church and the world will be increasingly marked in the future, which contrast, we hope, will cause the Church to be more attractive to those in the world who desire to live according to God's plan for us, His children." -  Ezra Taft Benson, "May the Kingdom of God Go Forth", Ensign (CR), May 1978, p.32

“Seek learning out of the best books. (See D&C 88:118.) Avoid literature and movies which portray evil as good and good as evil.” - Ezra Taft Benson, “Counsel to the Saints,” Ensign (CR), May 1984, p. 6

“Is there a priesthood holder who has not time to visit three, four, five families at least once each month? Is there a sister who is so busy she cannot visit teach? If we are ‘too busy’ to hold a Church calling, we had better look at our priorities. (Lord, Increase Our Faith, Provo Utah Tabernacle Rededication, 21 September 1986.)” – “The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson,” p. 452

“The record of the Nephite history just prior to the Savior’s visit reveals many parallels to our own day as we anticipate the Savior’s second coming. The Nephite civilization had reached great heights. They were prosperous and industrious. They had built many cities with great highways connecting them. They engaged in shipping and trade. They built temples and palaces.

"But, as so often happens, the people rejected the Lord. Pride became commonplace. Dishonesty and immorality were widespread. Secret combinations flourished because, as Helaman tells us, the Gadianton robbers ‘had seduced the more part of the righteous until they had come down to believe in their works and partake of their spoils’ (Hel. 6:38). ‘The people began to be distinguished by ranks, according to their riches and their chances for learning’ (3 Ne. 6:12). And ‘Satan had great power, unto the stirring up of the people to do all manner of iniquity, and to the puffing them up with pride, tempting them to seek for power, and authority, and riches, and the vain things of the world,’ even as today (3 Ne. 6:15).” - Ezra Taft Benson, “The Savior’s Visit to America,” Ensign (CR), May 1987, p. 4

“More than ever before, we need to learn and apply the principles of economic self-reliance. We do not know when the crisis involving sickness or unemployment may affect our own circumstances. We do know that the Lord has decreed global calamities for the future and has warned and forewarned us to be prepared. For this reason the Brethren have repeatedly stressed a ‘back to basics’ program for temporal and spiritual welfare.” - Ezra Taft Benson, “Prepare for the Days of Tribulation,” Ensign (CR), November 1980, p. 32

“For young people to be in the world but not of the world has never been more difficult than today. But this burden must be shared by the parents. The family home evening is an important barrier to the works of Satan. The MIA program must protect our youth against every evil influence and should fill a vacuum left by rejecting worldly enticements. And, of course, a great panacea for all problems and personal doubts: prayer-private and family prayer, night and morning.” - Ezra Taft Benson, “Satan’s Thrust–Youth,” Ensign (CR), December 1971, p. 53

“For the next six months, your conference edition of the Ensign should stand next to your standard works and be referred to frequently. As my dear friend and brother Harold B. Lee said, we should let these conference addresses ‘be the guide to [our] walk and talk during the next six months. These are the important matters the Lord sees fit to reveal to this people in this day’ (in Conference Report, Apr. 1946, p. 68).” - Ezra Taft Benson, “Come unto Christ, and Be Perfected in Him,” Ensign (CR), May 1988, p. 84

"Of course, the war in heaven over free agency is now being waged here on earth, and there are those today who are saying 'Look, don't get involved in the fight for freedom. Just live the gospel.' That counsel is dangerous, self-contradictory, unsound." - Ezra Taft Benson, "Conference Report," October 1966, Afternoon Meeting, p. 122

"As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we need to place unreserved confidence in the Lord Jesus Christ, whom we accept as the Son of God. Until the world accepts Him as the Savior of mankind, lives His teachings, and looks to Him as the Way, the Truth, and the Life in all phases of our lives, we shall continue in our anxiety about the future and our ability to cope with the challenges that mortality brings to each of us." - Ezra Taft Benson, Jesus Christ:Our Savior and Redeemer, Ensign (CR), November 1983, p.6)

"Why is the Lord angry with the wicked? Because they have rejected the Author of salvation. When you reject the gospel, when you reject the Author of our salvation, what have you to rely on? Nothing! Nothing but the devil's plan. What is the devil's plan? To force men; to take away from them their agency; to compel them to do the bidding of somebody else, whether they like it or not. That is the feeling that has spread over the world. ("Safety in the Face of Wickedness," Tokyo Japan Area Conference, 8-10 August 1975.)" - "The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson," p. 400

"The outlook for the world is not encouraging, but we know what the answer is. There is only one answer, and that is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Peace must come from the heart. Men's hearts must change, and righteousness must rule in the lives of the people of the world before peace can come. May God hasten the day." - Ezra Taft Benson, "Conference Report," April 1947, Afternoon Meeting, p. 157

"A most priceless blessing available to every member of the Church is a testimony of the divinity of Jesus Christ and His church. A testimony is one of the few possessions we may take with us when we leave this life." - Ezra Taft Benson, "Valiant in the Testimony of Jesus," Ensign (CR) April 1982

We invite you to test the validity of our witness about the origin of the Book of Mormon. You can do this by reading it and asking our Heavenly Father if these things are true. I promise you, if you are sincere, you will receive a confirmation of the truthfulness by the Holy Ghost. Millions, with soberness and sincerity, testify they know it is from God. - Ezra Taft Benson, "Joseph Smith: Prophet to Our Generation," Ensign (CR) October 1981

The Word of Wisdom allows us to know that the Lord is vitally concerned about the health of His Saints. He has graciously given us counsel for improving our health, endurance, and resistance to many diseases.

The temporal promise for obedience is: They “shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones; … [they] shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint.” (D&C 89:18, 20.)

I have always felt, however, that the greater blessing of obedience to the Word of Wisdom and all other commandments is spiritual.

Listen to the spiritual promise: “All saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, … shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures.” (D&C 89:18, 19; italics added.) - Ezra Taft Benson, "A Principle With a Promise," Ensign (CR) April 1983

The Apostle Paul used some vivid expressions to illustrate that a member of the Church must be different from the world. He commended us to “put on Christ,” “put off … the old man,” and “put on the new man.” (See Gal. 3:27; Eph. 4:22, 24.)…

It means that we must become like Jesus Christ. We must emulate His way of life in our lives. Of necessity, we must be “born again” (John 3:3) and put aside worldly lusts and former behavior unsuited to the Christlike character. We must seek the Holy Ghost to temper our actions. - Ezra Taft Benson, "What Manner of Men Ought We to Be?" Ensign (CR) October 1983

Not all truths are of equal value, nor are all scriptures of the same worth. What better way to nourish the spirit than to frequently feast from the book which the Prophet Joseph said would get a man “nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book”? (History of the Church, 4:461.) - Ezra Taft Benson, "A New Witness for Christ," Ensign (CR) October 1984

Can human hearts be changed? Why, of course! It happens every day in the great missionary work of the Church. It is one of the most widespread of Christ’s modern miracles. If it hasn’t happened to you—it should. - Ezra Taft Benson, "Born of God," Ensign (CR) October 1985

During the past few years a number of resources have been set in place in the Church to help us. New editions of the scriptures have been published—are we taking advantage of them? More temples are located closer to our people—are we going to the house of the Lord more frequently? The consolidated meeting schedule was set up—are we taking advantage of the increased time with our families? A special home evening manual was provided—are we using it? A new hymnal has just been published—are we singing more songs of the heart? (See D&C 25:12.) And so the list goes on and on. We have received much help. We don’t need changed programs now as much as we need changed people! - Ezra Taft Benson, "Cleansing the Inner Vessel," Ensign (CR) April 1986

We have a sacred responsibility to fulfill the threefold mission of the Church—first, to teach the gospel to the world; second, to strengthen the membership of the Church wherever they may be; third, to move forward the work of salvation for the dead. - Ezra Taft Benson, "A Sacred Responsibility," Ensign (CR) April 1986

These promises—increased love and harmony in the home, greater respect between parent and child, increased spirituality and righteousness—are not idle promises, but exactly what the Prophet Joseph Smith meant when he said the Book of Mormon will help us draw nearer to God. - Ezra Taft Benson, "The Book of Mormon—Keystone of Our Religion," Ensign (CR) October 1986

In a particularly stressful time, or in the anticipation of a critical event, one can seek for a blessing under the hands of the priesthood. Even the Prophet Joseph Smith sought and received a blessing under the hands of Brigham Young and received solace and direction for his soul. Fathers, so live that you can bless your own wives and children. To receive and then consistently and prayerfully ponder one’s patriarchal blessing can give helpful insight, particularly in an hour of need. The sacrament will “bless … the souls” (D&C 20:77, 79) of all those who worthily partake of it, and as such it should be taken often, even by the bedfast. - Ezra Taft Benson, "Do Not Despair," Liahona, March 1987

The most important thing in our lives is the Spirit. I have always felt that. We must remain open and sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Ghost in all aspects of our lives. - Ezra Taft Benson, "Seek the Spirit of the Lord," Ensign, April 1988

How wonderful it would be if people everywhere could all be found daily—night and morning—on their knees, expressing thanks for blessings already received, acknowledging their dependence upon God, and seeking His divine guidance. - Ezra Taft  Benson, "The Power of Prayer," Friend, February 1986

It is soul-satisfying to know that God is mindful of us and ready to respond when we place our trust in Him and do that which is right. There is no place for fear among men and women who place their trust in the Almighty and who do not hesitate to humble themselves in seeking divine guidance through prayer. Though persecutions arise, though reverses come, in prayer we can find reassurance, for God will speak peace to the soul. That peace, that spirit of serenity, is life’s greatest blessing. - Ezra Taft Benson, "Pray Always," Ensign, February 1990

It is time to raise our sights, to get a vision of the magnitude of this great work. The Lord expects it of us. It is not enough just to be members of the Church and go to sacrament meeting. That is good—but that is not enough. The Lord expects us to be missionaries, to live the gospel—yes, wholly, and to help to build up His kingdom. - Ezra Taft Benson, "Of the Most Worth," New Era, July 2002

The appearance of God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ to the boy prophet is the greatest event that has occurred in this world since the resurrection of the Master. As the restored Church of Jesus Christ, we humbly and gratefully bear this witness to all men. This message is a world message. It is the truth, intended for all of our Father’s children. Some three million members of the Church throughout the world bear this solemn testimony. - Ezra Taft Benson, "Life is Eternal," Ensign (CR) June 1971

The Church will always stand for that which is honest, virtuous, true and praiseworthy. Such a pronounced stand for righteousness constitutes a repudiation against every evil and all false philosophies. The First Presidency and the Twelve are not oblivious to false philosophies and evils and will continue to warn the world and the Saints as the Lord directs. - Ezra Taft Benson, "May the Kingdom of God Go Forth," Ensign (CR) May 1978

We encourage families to give their elderly parents and grandparents the love, care, and attention they deserve. Let us remember the scriptural command that we must care for those of our own house lest we be found “worse than an infidel.” (1 Tim. 5:8.) I am so grateful for my own dear family and for the loving care they have given their parents over so many years. - Ezra Taft Benson, "To the Elderly in the Church," Ensign (CR) November 1989

Without Christ there can be no fulness of joy.

In our premortal state, we shouted for joy as the plan of salvation was revealed to us. (See Job 38:7.)

It was there our elder brother Jesus, the firstborn in the spirit of our Father’s children, volunteered to redeem us from our sins. He became our foreordained Savior, the Lamb “slain from the foundation of the world.” (Moses 7:47.)

Thanks be to God the Son for the offering of Himself. And thanks be to God the Father that He sent Him. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son.” (John 3:16.) - Ezra Taft Benson, "Joy in Christ," Ensign October 1986

Oh, my brethren, let us not treat lightly the great things we have received from the hand of the Lord! His word is one of the most valuable gifts He has given us. I urge you to recommit yourselves to a study of the scriptures. Immerse yourselves in them daily so you will have the power of the Spirit to attend you in your callings. Read them in your families and teach your children to love and treasure them. - Ezra Taft Benson, "The Power of the Word," Ensign (CR) May 1986

I bless you with increased discernment to judge between Christ and anti-Christ. I bless you with increased power to do good and to resist evil. I bless you with increased understanding of the Book of Mormon. I promise you that from this moment forward, if we will daily sup from its pages and abide by its precepts, God will pour out upon each child of Zion and the Church a blessing hitherto unknown—and we will plead to the Lord that He will begin to lift the condemnation—the scourge and judgment. Of this I bear solemn witness. - Ezra Taft Benson, “A Sacred Responsibility,” Ensign (CR) May 1986

If we listen to the prophets of this day, poverty would be replaced with loving care for the poor and needy. Many serious and deadly health problems would be avoided through compliance with the Word of Wisdom and the laws of sexual purity. Payment of tithing would bless us, and we would have sufficient for our needs. If we follow the counsel given by the prophets, we can have a life in mortality where we do not bring upon ourselves unnecessary pain and self-destruction. This does not mean we will not have challenges. We will. This does not mean we will not be tested. We will, for this is part of our purpose on earth. But if we will listen to the counsel of our prophet, we will become stronger and be able to withstand the tests of mortality. We will have hope and joy. All the words of counsel from the prophets of all generations have been given so that we may be strengthened and then be able to lift and strengthen others. - Ezra Taft Benson, “Hear the Prophet’s Voice and Obey,” Ensign (CR) May 1995

They would counsel that you cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could do and should do for themselves; the rendering of useful service is the common duty of mankind, and only in the purifying fire of sacrifice is the dross of selfishness consumed and the greatness of the human soul set free. - Ezra Taft Benson, "The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson," p.414

To those who are ill and suffering pain and the vicissitudes of this life, we extend particular love and concern. Our hearts and prayers go out to you. Remember what father Lehi said in blessing his son Jacob, who had suffered at the hands of his older brothers Laman and Lemuel. He said, “Thou knowest the greatness of God; and he shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain.” (2 Ne. 2:2.) And so he will for you. - Ezra Taft Benson, “To the Elderly in the Church,” Ensign (CR) October 1989

I repeat: This is a day of sacrifice, and the opportunities are ever present. Today, I mention just four ways in which this principle may be practiced….

First: To sacrifice, deny yourself all ungodliness….

Second: To sacrifice, be willing to serve a mission….

Third: To sacrifice, solemnize your marriage in the house of the Lord….

Fourth: To sacrifice, serve with your time and means to build the kingdom of God on earth. - Ezra Taft Benson, “This is a Day of Sacrifice,” Ensign (CR) April 1979

Remember that your entire life is a mission and that each new phase of it can be richly rewarding as you magnify your talents and take advantage of your opportunities. - Ezra Taft Benson, “To the Single Adult Brethren of the Church,” Ensign (CR) April 1988

If we don’t feel like praying, then we should pray until we feel like praying. - Ezra Taft Benson, “Prayer,” Ensign (CR) April 1977

Because the fight for freedom is God's fight. For free agency is an eternal principle. It existed before this world was formed; it will exist forever. Some men may succeed in denying some aspects of this God-given freedom to their fellowmen, but their success is temporary. Freedom is a law of God, an eternal law. And, like any of God's laws, men cannot break it with impunity. They can only break themselves upon it. So when a man stands for freedom, he stands with God. And as long as he stands for freedom, he stands with God. Therefore, any man will be eternally vindicated and rewarded who stands for freedom. - Ezra Taft Benson, Conference Report, April 1967, Second Day-Morning Meeting, p. 59

That day is now here. Opposition has been and will be the lot of the Saints of the kingdom in any age. The finger of scorn has been pointed at us in the past, and we may expect it in the future. We also expect to see men in high places defend the Church; there will also be "pharaohs" who know neither Joseph nor his brethren. The seed planted and watered in 1830 has now matured to a fully grown tree for all to see. Some will seek the refuge of its shade in the heat of the day, but none will be neutral in their appraisal of its fruit. - Ezra Taft Benson, "A Marvelous Work and a Wonder," Ensign (CR), May 1980, p. 32

We live in a world of fear today. Fear seems to be almost everywhere present. But there is no place for fear among the Latter-day Saints, among men and women who keep the commandments, who place their trust in the Almighty, who are not afraid to get down on their knees and pray to our heavenly Father. - Ezra Taft Benson, "Conference Report," April 1954, Afternoon Meeting, p. 58

If you would find yourself, learn to deny yourself for the blessing of others. Forget yourself and find someone who needs your service, and you will discover the secret to the happy, fulfilled life. - Ezra Taft Benson, "This Is a Day of Sacrifice," Ensign (CR), May 1979, p. 32

The fact that a book or publication is popular does not necessarily make it of value. The fact that an author wrote one good work does not necessarily mean that all his books are worthy of your reading. Do not make your mind a dumping ground for other people's garbage. It is harder to purge the mind of rotten reading than to purge the body of rotten food, and it is more damaging to the soul. ("In His Steps," Church Educational System Devotional, Anaheim, California, 8 February 1987.) - Ezra Taft Benson, "The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson," p.305

My beloved brethren and sisters, humbly and gratefully I stand before you today. I thank the Lord for the eternal principle of freedom, free agency, the right choice. I cherish patriotism and love of country in all lands. - Ezra Taft Benson, “The Constitution—A Glorious Standard,” Ensign (CR), May 1976, p.91

We are far removed from the days of our forefathers who were persecuted for their peculiar beliefs. Some of us seem to want to share their reward but are ofttimes afraid to stand up for principles that are controversial in our generation. We need not solicit persecution, but neither should we remain silent in the presence of overwhelming evils, for this makes cowards of men. We should not go out of the path of duty to pick up a cross there is no need to bear, but neither should we sidestep a cross that clearly lies within the path of duty. - Ezra Taft Benson, “Conference Report,” October 1964, Second Day-Morning Meeting, p.56

It is my testimony, my brothers and sisters and friends, that God does hear and answer prayers. I have never doubted that fact. 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. Man does not stand alone, or at least he need not stand alone. 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 and difficulty. Thank God for prayer. - Ezra Taft Benson, “Conference Report,” October 1956, Third Day-Morning Meeting, p.104

Sometimes the Lord hopefully waits on his children to act on their own, and when they do not, they lose the greater prize, and the Lord will either drop the entire matter and let them suffer the consequences or else he will have to spell it out in greater detail. Usually, I fear, the more he has to spell it out, the smaller is our reward. – Ezra Taft Benson, “Conference Report,” Apr. 1965, p. 122

The Lord said in September 1831, “Now it is called today until the coming of the Son of Man, and verily it is a day of sacrifice … of my people” (D&C 64:23; italics added).
The Prophet Joseph Smith prepared this remarkable statement on the principle of sacrifice for the Lectures on Faith:
“Let us here observe, that a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation” (Lectures on Faith, 6:7). –
Ezra Taft Benson, “This is a Day of Sacrifice,” Ensign (CR) May 1979

You cannot do wrong and feel right. It is impossible! Years of happiness can be lost in the foolish gratification of a momentary desire for pleasure. Satan would have you believe that happiness comes only as you surrender to his enticements, but one only needs to look at the shattered lives of those who violate God’s laws to know why Satan is called the Father of Lies. –
Ezra Taft Benson, “A Message to the Rising Generation,” Ensign (CR) November 1977

No father, no son, no mother, no daughter should get so busy that he or she does not have time to study the scriptures and the words of modern prophets. None of us should get so busy that we crowd out contemplation and praying. None of us should become so busy in our formal Church assignments that there is no room left for quiet Christian service to our neighbors. –
Ezra Taft Benson, “Boys Need Heroes Close By,” Ensign (CR) May 1976

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