Ezra Taft Benson, Nov 19, 1992.

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-- Nov 19, 1992.
Timothy B. Wilson of Nephi, Utah, who is preparing Mormon's Book: A Modern English Rendering for publication in 1993, is called in by his stake president (Pioneer Stake in Provo) and asked about his project and whether he knows Avraham Gileadi. Tim does not, although Gileadi's wife is editing his book. His stake president also asks whether he would drop the project if he were so instructed. Tim has already received verbal confirmation from Church Copyrights and Permissions that his project does not infringe on the church's copyright and is awaiting written confirmation at the time of the interview. According to a Salt Lake Tribune article, Tim's bishop (Pioneer Third Ward of Provo) told him that the First Presidency "objected to the format of his book," which arranged the standard and modernized rendering verse by verse in parallel columns. Tim revised his rendering to a paragraph, rather than verse, format in an effort to resolve the problem. Inspired by President Benson's challenge to "flood the earth with the Book of Mormon," he has spent two years and $20,000 on this project, which he hopes will makes the Book of Mormon more accessible to millions of readers.

29 November 1992. (1)


-- 29 Nov 1992
Mormon advocates of Ezra Taft Benson's ultra-conservativism found themselves in a religious quandary. LDS church officers were suspicious of "those obsessed with the early speeches of LDS Church President Ezra Taft Benson and who believe the ailing, 93-year-old leader has been silenced because his opinions no longer are politically popular." Such ultra- conservative Mormons were being excommunicated or disciplined in Utah and surrounding states. One of them protested, "We support President Benson 100%," but "there are some brethren who speak 180 degrees against him." (2)


As the ultra-conservative presidential candidate in the national election of 1992, most of the support for [James "Bo" Gritz, a Mormon] was in the "Mormon Culture Region" centering on the state of Utah which alone gave him 28,000 votes. (3)


-- Dec 2, 1992.
Church spokesman Don LeFevre issues a statement announcing that "disciplinary matters are . . . strictly between the individual and . . . local ecclesiastical leaders," stating that Elder Jeppsen "said he had never provided any such list," denying that high church officials are "sedating" Ezra Taft Benson, and denying that there has been "any increase in the number of people excommunicated from the Church." (1)


-- 6 Dec 1992
The total number of wards and branches worldwide reaches exactly twenty thousand on this day. (4)


-- 7 Dec 1992
Concerning recent pressures against Mormon ultra-conservatives, [James 'Bo' Gritz, a Mormon] observes: "The critics I'm talking about are not little people but church authorities [who] have said what Ezra Taft Benson says before he was a prophet doesn't count." (5)


-- 8 Dec 1992
Benson was ... circumspect about expressing his personal views of Brown. One close associate affirms: "I doubt you could find anybody who ever heard Brother Benson speak negatively about Hugh B. Brown." (6)


-- 15 Dec 1992
The First Presidency announces an effort sponsored by the Relief Society to raise literacy rates in the Church worldwide.


-- 21 Dec 1992
Mormon political extremists begin to be expelled from the church (7)


-- During 1992
The Church publishes Understanding and Helping Those Who Have Homosexual Problems, a handbook for bishops and stake presidents. The handbook teaches that "such thoughts and feelings, regardless of their causes, can and should be overcome ... change is possible", that leaders should "be careful not to label the person as 'homosexual' or 'gay'", and that "there is no conclusive evidence that anyone is born with a homosexual orientation". It does emphasize the position that "marriage should not be viewed as a way to resolve homosexual problems", which differs from earlier policy. This publication is still in use by the Church, and is the most current material available that is directed specifically at ecclesiastical leaders. (8)


-- January 1993
News stories began to surface about the apparent mental instability of church president Ezra Taft Benson. While it had been clear through his silent public appearances from the late 1980s that his mind was failing, church leaders had continued to insist that he was aware of what was happening around him. Precipitated by Benson’s hospitalization, news reports started to focus more closely on his mental capacity. ... Lavina Fielding Anderson commented as well: “News photos of [Benson’s] counselors helping him to wave or hold a shovel are deeply distressing,” Anderson said. (9)


-- 4 Mar 1993
First Presidency letter absolutely excludes following persons from possibility of serving full-time missions: "Individuals who have become HIV positive . . . Persons 19 to 26 who have been divorced . . . Young men who have encouraged, paid for, or arranged for an abortion resulting from their immoral conduct . . . Sisters who submit to abortions growing out of their immoral conduct . . . [anyone who] has fathered or given birth to a child out of wedlock." Persons with "homosexual activity" would be eligible only on these conditions: "if there is no current indication of homosexual tendencies" or if "there is strong evidence of complete repentance and reformation, with at least one year free of transgression."

Endnotes:
1 - Anderson, Lavina Fielding, "The LDS Intellectual Community and Church Leadership: A Contemporary Chronology," Dialogue, Vol.26, No.1
2 - "It's Judgment Day for Far Right: LDS Church Purges Survivalists," Salt Lake Tribune, 29 Nov. 1992, A-l, A-2. In "LDS Deny Mass Ouster of Radicals," Salt Lake Tribune, 4 Dec. 1992, 1, an official LDS spokesman denied only the estimate of "hundreds" of excommunications. See also "LDS Church Downplays Reports On Discipline," Deseret News, 4 Dec. 1992, B-l -- 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 - "Hero-Turned Heretic? Gritz May Be Leading LDS Flock Into Wilderness," Salt Lake Tribune, 29 Nov. 1992, A-2 -- 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
4 - Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, United Kingdom, "On This Day," https://www.lds.org.uk/show_oda.php
5 - "Ultraconservative Gritz Remains as Bold as Ever," Salt Lake Tribune, 7 Dec. 1992, B-2; also "LDS Zealots Muzzling Outspoken to Protect Tax Status, Gritz Says," Salt Lake Tribune, 22 Jan. 1993, B-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
6 - Quinn's telephone interview on 8 December 1992 with Karl D. Butler who served as a special assistant to Ezra Taft Benson as Secretary of Agriculture. The two remained friends thereafter -- 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
7 - "Mormon Church Has Begun To Expel Many Extremists," New York Times, 21 Dec. 1992,10 -- 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
8 - LDS Gay History Timeline [Unabridged], http://mormoninthecloset.blogspot.com/2008/11/lds-gay-history-timeline-unabridged.html
9 - Bryan Waterman & Brian Kagel, "The Lord's University: Freedom and Authority at Byu" Signature Books (1998)

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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