Ezra Taft Benson, April 1, 1989

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-- April 1, 1989
Many national and international citations and awards, including a number of honorary doctorate degrees, were bestowed on him. From the Boy Scouts of America he received the Silver Beaver, Silver Antelope, and Silver Buffalo; he served on their National Executive Board. On April 1, 1989, he was presented world Scouting's highest award, the Bronze Wolf. (1)


-- Aug 1989
Republican U.S. president George Bush awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal to Benson. This was another personal vindication of Benson's decades of political activism. This information was omitted from the 1993-1994 Church Almanac, 370. (2)


-- Sep 1, 1989.
Elder George P. Lee of the First Quorum of the Seventy is excommunicated "for apostasy" and "conduct unbecoming a member." Letters Lee releases to the press include criticisms of the church's neglect of Lamanites and incidents of personal discrimination against him by other general authorities. (3)


-- 30 Sep 1989
Elder Paul H. Dunn, age 65, of the Presidency of the First Quorum of Seventy is given emeritus status "in consideration of factors of age and health." [He had exaggerated many of his stories in books and sermons]. He continues, however, to participate in money-making ventures including tours of major-league baseball parks throughout the United States. (4)


The first General Authorities called to serve for five years are released.


-- 9 Nov 1989
The Berlin Wall came down, paving the way for eventual unification of East and West Germany. (5)


-- 25 Nov 1989
A major change in policy for financing local Church units in the United States and Canada was announced by the First Presidency. Ward members would no longer have stake and ward budget assessments. (5)


-- 02 Dec 1989
Church membership reaches seven million.


-- 1990
Published Volume - Come, Listen to a Prophet's Voice. Deseret Book (6)


Published Volume - Missionaries to Match Our Message. Bookcraft (6)


-- 31 Mar 1990
Conference sustains first general authority of black African descent, Second Quorum of Seventy-s Helvecio Martins of Brazil (who is released in 1995). Chieko Nishimura Okazaki is sustained as first counselor in general presidency of Relief Society, first non-Caucasian member of auxiliary presidency in Mormon history. (4)


-- Apr 1990
[A]pocalyptic-minded Mormon members of the Birch Society had also organized "the American Study Group" which grew to 1,400 members within two months.

This revitalization of Mormon Birchers occurred while their presidential advocate was slipping deeper into the decay of old age. President Benson was physically unable to speak at general conference from April 1990 on. At his last public appearances in 1992 he was a frail shell of the strident partisan whom Mormons had known for decades. (7)

Endnotes:
1 - Encyclopedia of Mormonism, "Ezra Taft Benson," Reed Benson and Sheri Dew, Daniel H. Ludlow (editor), New York: Macmillan, 1992
2 - Deseret News 1991-1992 Church Almanac (Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1990), 315 -- as referenced in D. Michael Quinn, "Ezra Taft Benson and Mormon Political Conflicts", Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 26:2 (Summer 1992) and Quinn, The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power Salt Lake City (Signature Books, 1994), Chapter 3
3 - Anderson, Lavina Fielding, "The LDS Intellectual Community and Church Leadership: A Contemporary Chronology," Dialogue, Vol.26, No.1
4 - On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com
5 - Church News: Historical Chronology of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, http://www.ldschurchnewsarchive.com/articles/58765/Historical-chronology-of-The-Church-of-Jesus-Christ-of-Latter-day-Saints.html
6 - Wikipedia: "Ezra Taft Benson"
7 - "Longtime Doomsayer Seeks 'Safety' Back in LDS Fold," Salt Lake Tribune, 24 Jan. 1993, B-6; also reference to the American Study Group in Malcolm S. Jeppsen, "We Shall Not Be Led Astray," 8, computer print-out, 25 Oct. 1992; Ensign 20 (May 1990): 1, 20 (Nov. 1990): 1, 21 (May 1991): 1, 21 (Nov. 1991): 1, 22 (May 1992): 1,22 (Nov. 1992): 1; photographs in "LDS Historian Says Benson's Right-Wing Beliefs Caused Infighting, Church To Censure Speeches," Salt Lake Tribune, 8 Aug. 1992, A-7, and in "Age Taking Its Toll On President Benson," Salt Lake Tribune, 16 Jan. 1993, C-l. These are referenced in in D. Michael Quinn, "Ezra Taft Benson and Mormon Political Conflicts", Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 26:2 (Summer 1992) and Quinn, The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power Salt Lake City (Signature Books, 1994), Chapter 3

LDS History Chronology: Ezra Taft Benson

Mormon History Timeline: the life of Ezra Taft Benson
http://lds-church-history.blogspot.com/

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