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Ezra Taft Benson: A Biography

4.43  ·  Rating Details  ·  757 Ratings  ·  61 Reviews
”I believe that you will find in this biography the story of a truly great man. Not a perfect man, nor a man who hasn’t faced and even struggled with mortality’s challenges. But a man of conviction and courage. A man who has remained true to the principles in which he deeply believes. A man who has responded to assignments within the gospel kingdom that have demanded total ...more
Paperback, 565 pages
Published March 15th 1989 by Deseret Book Co (first published March 1989)
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Oct 05, 2013 Kimber rated it really liked it
I always enjoy reading biographies of the prophets. Ezra Taft Benson was no different. He was a remarkable man. Reading about his life experiences, I know that he was put on the earth at exactly the right time that the world needed him. It was also apparent that his early life experiences prepared him for his later life experiences. Much of his life was spent in politics, so much of the book discussed the political world he was involved in. Things really don't change much in politics. The Democr ...more
Feb 06, 2008 Kristin rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
Shelves: already-read
My husband and I read this book together during the first few months of our marriage. We often found ourselves laughing and crying at the stories and hardships they faced. I felt particularly connected to the women described and was strengthen in my new role as a wife and upcoming role of a mother. I almost felt a part of the Benson family. It is a wonderful description of a modern family pulling together through difficulties.

I never realized the full extent of President Benson's participation
Jeff Anderson
Oct 31, 2015 Jeff Anderson rated it it was ok
Pretty weak. Glossed over. The poorest of the LDS Church president's biographies that I have read.
Nov 11, 2008 Mommywest rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: People interested in U.S. history/politics, parents, anyone who likes inspiring individuals, Mormons
I'm reading this book for the umpteenth time--I am always inspired by President Benson's life. I also am amazed by his wife and all she was able to do in spite of the fact that her husband was gone all the time because of work/church callings/etc. I learn so much from the way they handled their family and all their responsibilities with faith, determination, and strength. My testimony of the true gospel of Jesus Christ is strengthened every time, without fail!
Feb 05, 2008 Allison rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My Mom gave this book to me way back in High School, when President Benson was the prophet. I never read it, but had it sitting on my shelf. Finally, I made a goal to read it, and was amazed!!! I couldn't put it down, it was so intriguing to learn about the life of a prophet. I loved reading this book and want to read all of the biographies of the prophets.
Martha Bergner
Jan 05, 2015 Martha Bergner rated it liked it
I have no personal memory of this president of the church, but was curious about the details of his life, especially as he visited and supported the saints in Europe after World War II and served eight years as the Secretary of Agriculture under President Eisenhower. It is an interesting read, including many personal details about his family and personal life.

It is clear, however, that the author so esteems him that the book is worshipful. Yes, he worked hard and "wasn't perfect". But you would
Mar 06, 2015 Jodi rated it it was amazing
This is hands down the best biography I have ever read! I can't believe how enjoyable and fun this book was to read as well as incredibly inspirational. I only knew President Benson as an aged prophet when I was a teen. His life was so rich, so varied, and he lived it so fully--I loved learning so much about him and Flora. The subject is an amazing one but Sheri Dew is also an amazingly gifted author. I wish she would write biographies of all the prophets. Also, I want to be Flora Benson when I ...more
Aug 11, 2015 Heather rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful book about an incredible man of God! I loved learning about President Benson; his humble farmer's upbringing; his devotion to family; his sure faith in the Lord; his willingness to serve God, country, and fellowmen; his love for freedom and the Book of Mormon; his great integrity and determination to do what’s right; and his example of the power of prayer and trust in the Lord.

It’s amazing to see how the Lord directed his life from a small town and loving family in Idaho to
Ben Haymond
I loved this book. President Benson was a great man; there have been few men like him. He is a great example in many ways. To start with the ending, I was deeply moved by the account of his ministry as President of the Church. His continued strong emphasis on the Book of Mormon has impacted the Church as a whole and me in particular in very positive ways. As I read the end I felt very strongly that this man was a prophet of God. He was called and prepared for his ministry. His life, his work and ...more
Oct 28, 2009 Nick rated it it was amazing
President Benson was a giant among men. I am struck at how hard he works at everything he undertakes...small or big. He genuinely cared about helping other children of God and for the welfare of others. It is incredible how he could balance a family of 5 children, apostleship, politics, etc.

-Served 8 years in the cabinet of Eisenhower as Sec of Agr
-As apostle, toured post WWII Europe and directed supplies to the needy
-Spent time in Asia building up new missions there
-First stake pres in DC, not
The Thousander Club
Jun 01, 2013 The Thousander Club rated it liked it
Adam C. Zern shares his thoughts . . .

"Ezra Taft Benson is my most admired statesmen. I have read dozens of his speeches, one of his books (An Enemy Hath Done This), as well as reading books he endorsed, such as The American Tradition by Clarence B. Carson. In fact, I have gone so far as to read a biography of a personality, Robert A. Taft, because Ezra Taft Benson listed him as one of his most admired statesmen. After reading his official biography by Sheri Dew, I am as impressed and endeared
Jul 09, 2013 Tony rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My first memories of a living prophet where those of President Benson. During my life, I have had experiences of standing by his grave, reading his past talks and devotionals, and trying to live up to his admonition to read the Book of Mormon. Reading this book has helped me to better understand how President Benson was shaped into being the prophet of God. His life is both exemplar and amazing. His devotion to true principles in the face of adversity and against the stream of popular philosophi ...more
Sandi Willis
Dec 06, 2013 Sandi Willis rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
Ezra Taft Benson was a remarkable man! He rose from a farm boy to become the Secretary of Agriculture under President Eisenhower. He was the only one of Eisenhower's Cabinet that lasted all eight years. He was an Apostle of Jesus Christ and was given the task of taking tons of food, clothing, and bedding to the LDS people in war torn Europe after World War II. He was able to get into places where no one else was able to go because of his prayers and faith in Jesus Christ and knowing that he was ...more
Feb 23, 2009 Lindsay rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, 2009
This book took forever to read, but it was worth it! I can't believe how much I learned. I haven't read many biographies and didn't expect to love this as much as I did. I don't remember President Benson at all and it was interesting to see how different he is than the prophets I am now used too. I learned about President Benson in this book of course, but also a lot about America's freedom, history, and workings, as well as about church history and development. I learned about good families and ...more
May 26, 2014 Ruby rated it it was amazing
Did you know President Benson was the first American civilian to enter war torn Germany and Poland after WW2? The chapter on his work there is unreal!! This man was truly a man of God. It left me feeling uplifted and determined to work a little harder.
Apr 06, 2016 Ken rated it it was ok
Really? A biography of Ezra Taft Benson with hardly a mention of the John Birch Society? President Benson was an interesting figure, straddling the worlds of Salt Lake and Washington D.C. He was educated and talented and spiritual, but Dew's book does a disservice by ignoring significant aspect of Benson's political life, personal views, and interactions with colleagues. For the rest of the story, read David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism. For a more pointed summary, read the chapter ...more
Deborah Hecht
Feb 04, 2016 Deborah Hecht rated it it was amazing
I loved this biography of Ezra Taft Benson's life! What a powerful man of God! He grew up with strong moral character and it continued throughout his long life. He was an example of honesty, integrity, loyalty to God and His gospel. I'm glad I was alive during his time as our prophet. I could always feel his strong spirit when he spoke in conferences. I wish I had read this book years ago. Glad I finally did. I would recommend this book to everyone.
Robin Beck
Feb 23, 2016 Robin Beck rated it it was amazing
It is inspiring to read about the early lives of the prophets. ET Benson was an extraordinary man who was devoted to the Lord his entire life. He always tried to do what was right.
Richard Robbins
Dec 07, 2015 Richard Robbins rated it it was amazing
This is a great book that covers the highlights of an amazing man. After reading this book, I decided to name my son, who was born a few months after I finished, after Ezra Taft Benson.
Apr 30, 2009 Tara rated it it was amazing
This is the best biography that I have ever read! There were several reasons as to why I so enjoyed this book more than any other bio. I learned a lot about myself--comparing myself to him and his wife in so many ways. I loved reading about his family, his SUPPORTIVE wife (I have a renewed goal and view on being a good help meet for my hubby after reading about Flora's life), and his never-wavering testimony that he shared as often as he could. He passed B of Ms around constantly, from U.S. Pres ...more
Pat Tucker
Oct 21, 2015 Pat Tucker rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed reading this biography which was published in 1987 while President Benson was still alive. I was impressed and amazed at all he accomplished. What a great man!
Paula Bothwell
Feb 23, 2016 Paula Bothwell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sheri Dew is my hero - she made what could have been a super dry book into something I could read and remember almost 20 years later.
Joe N.
Mar 07, 2015 Joe N. rated it it was amazing
A fantastic book. The insights into his personal life and character are invaluable. Ezra Taft Benson is truly inspiring and LDS and non-LDS alike would benefit tremendously by learning about his life. Few would be able to handle the load or the scope of his life's work.
Ezra Taft Benson has indeed been motivated by worthy causes. His loyalties to God, to his family, and to his country have become legendary. His life has been an example of integrity, conviction, and principle.Such is the life of
Mel Allred
Oct 09, 2012 Mel Allred rated it really liked it
I don't normally read biographies, however, since I am LDS, I have taken it upon myself to read many of those that are about the prophets of our religion. This one is particularly well written and the subject matter is surprisingly good material for LDS readers and others who may wish to see the personal drive, and inspiration, necessary to achieve that which was achieved by this great man. If you're looking for a self-help book, this is enlightening. If you're looking for a testimony of the wo ...more
Mar 05, 2008 Shelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lds-literature
I read this book as a young college student. President Benson was the Prophet that I knew growing up, and I felt an even stronger connection to him since my dad had been on a mission with President Benson's nephew back in the Eastern States Mission. One time when Elder Benson(he wasn't Prophet yet) was back there for an assisgnment he took his nephew and my dad out to lunch.
I absolutely loved this book. I laughed and cried. Then I read Camilla's Biography and felt the same way. What wonderful pe
Feb 23, 2011 Dad rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lds, biography
This book was very informative. I learned a lot about a man I revere as a prophet of God. He was the one who taught the Church to read the Book of Mormon daily and to stay away from pride. President Benson was a man about my Grandpa Merrill's age who grew up in the same area, northern Cache Valley. I enjoy reading books about righteous men and their lives. I have a lot of love for my grandpa also.
Tony Derricott
I really enjoyed the first part of the book; learning of the years before he became the prophet. I had known him as the prophet from Whitney -- the "town" next door to where I grew up. Now I have a more complete picture.

I was a little disappointed that this book ended prior to his death. I don't mean that to sound macabre. It just seems like it ended before it ended; if you know what I mean.
Tanya W
Jan 11, 2009 Tanya W rated it it was amazing
This was the first biography I read of a prophet. Not only was it very interesting, but it strengthened my testimony of prophets in a powerful way. Although Pres. Benson was not universally admired (a near impossibility for public servants with strong opinions), I put him on my list of people who helped make me a better person. His counsels blessed my life and had a permanent impact on me.
Jan 24, 2010 Michele rated it it was amazing
I really didn't expect to give this book 5 stars, but it was amazing. I learned a tremendous about about our past prophet, Ezra Taft Benson. His life was filled with so many dramatic changes, but he took them in stride and followed the Lord in faith. I also enjoyed reading about his wife, Flora. I learned a lot from her exceptional example, and I want to be more like her.
Jul 09, 2012 Mark rated it it was amazing
This biography is a wonderful portrayal of the prophet of my youth. This well-told biography shares the true story of a farm boy who would become one of the most influential men of his time -- not only for the LDS church, but also in his role as a pivotal cabinet member while also serving in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
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Sheri Dew graduated from Brigham Young University. She served as second counselor in the general Relief Society of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1997 to 2002. In March 2003 the White House appointed her a member of the U.S. Delegation to the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations. In 2002, Sheri Dew became president and CEO of Deseret Book Company.
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