About the Lecture
President Ezra Taft Benson faithfully served God, country, and the Church and in all settings was an advocate for freedom. Ten years after being ordained an Apostle, he served as U.S. secretary of agriculture. In 1985, he became President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He testified with fervor of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, the evils of pride, and the threefold mission of the Church.
The preparation of a prophet is a miracle in action. Sister Dew discusses key events in the life of President Benson that prepared him for the challenges and opportunities he would experience later in his life. The implications of this process are far-reaching in both assessing a prophet’s life and considering his impact upon the Church. Sister Dew shares stories illustrating President Benson’s love of family and conviction to principles that guided his ministry, such as loyalty to truth, devotion to freedom, abiding faith, and lifelong service.
“My experience with President Benson personally revealed a much different person than the stern, unbending image many projected of him,” says Sister Dew. “He was kind, thoughtful, and compassionate in so many ways. His strong statements about freedom perhaps at times obscured the greatness of the inner man.”
Sheri L. Dew is a native of Ulysses, Kansas, and graduated from Brigham Young University. She served as second counselor in the Relief Society general presidency from 1997 to 2002. Since then, she has served as the chief executive officer of Deseret Book Company. She was recently named the executive vice president of Deseret Management Corporation. Sister Dew is a 30-year veteran of the publishing industry and has authored a number of best-selling books, including the biographies of two Presidents of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Gordon B. Hinckley and Ezra Taft Benson.
“Serving God and Country: President Ezra Taft Benson” was part of the 2014 Men and Women of Faith lecture series sponsored by the Church History Library. Lectures are held the second Thursday of every month at 7:00 p.m. in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square, 50 North West Temple Street.