Ezra Taft Benson

Ezra Taft Benson Quotes

“To be successful, we must have the Spirit of the Lord. We have been taught that the Spirit will not dwell in unclean tabernacles. Therefore, one of our first priorities is to make sure our own personal lives are in order.”

Ezra Taft Benson  |  Come unto Christ, 92

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“When we put God first, all other things fall into their proper place or drop out of our lives. Our love of the Lord will govern the claims of our affection, the demands on our time, the interests we pursue, and the order of our priorities.”

Ezra Taft Benson  |  Conference Report, Apr. 1988, 13; or Ensign, May 1988, 4

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“The devil knows if the elders of Israel should ever wake up they could step forth and help preserve freedom. Therefore the devil has concentrated, and to a large extent successfully, on neutralizing much of the priesthood.”

Ezra Taft Benson  |  Not Commanded In All Things, Conference, April 1965

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“Most of us think of pride as self-centeredness, conceit, boastfulness, arrogance, or haughtiness. All of these are elements of the sin, but the heart, or core, is still missing. The central feature of pride is enmity-enmity toward God and enmity toward our fellowmen. Enmity means “hatred toward, hostility to, or a state of opposition.” It is the power by which Satan wishes to reign over us.

“Pride is essentially competitive in nature. We pit our will against God’s. When we direct our pride toward God, it is in the spirit of “my will and not thine be done.”

Ezra Taft Benson  |  “Beware of Pride,” Ensign, May 1989

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“Most of us think of pride as self-centeredness, conceit, boastfulness, arrogance, or haughtiness. All of these are elements of the sin, but the heart, or core, is still missing. The central feature of pride is enmity—enmity toward God and enmity toward our fellowmen. Enmity means ‘hatred toward, hostility to, or a state of opposition.’ It is the power by which Satan wishes to reign over us.”

Ezra Taft Benson  |  “Beware of Pride,” Ensign, May 1989

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“Pride does not look up to God and care about what is right. It looks sideways to man and argues who is right. Pride is manifest in the spirit of contention. Was it not through pride that the devil became the devil? Christ wanted to serve. The devil wanted to rule. Christ wanted to bring men to where He was. The devil wanted to be above men. Christ removed self as the force in His perfect life. It was not my will, but thine be done. . . . Humility responds to God’s will – to the fear of His judgments and the needs of those around us. To the proud, the applause of the world rings in their ears; to the humble, the applause of heaven warms their hearts. Someone has said, “Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man.” (C. S. Lewis) Of one brother, the Lord said, “I, the Lord, am not well pleased with him, for he seeketh to excel, and he is not sufficiently meek before me.”

Ezra Taft Benson  |  “Cleansing the Inner Vessel,” Ensign, May 1986, p. 4

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“Fear of men’s judgment manifests itself in competition for men’s approval. The proud love ‘the praise of men more than the praise of God.’ Our motives for the things we do are where the sin is manifest. Jesus said He did ‘always those things’ that pleased God. Would we not do well to have the pleasing of God as our motive rather than to try to elevate ourselves above our brother and outdo another?.”

Ezra Taft Benson  |  “Beware of Pride,” Ensign, May 1989

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“The proud make every man their adversary by pitting their intellects, opinions, works, wealth, talents, or any other worldly measuring device against others. In the words of C. S. Lewis: ‘Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. … It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition has gone, pride has gone’.”

Ezra Taft Benson  |  “Beware of Pride,” Ensign, May 1989

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“Do not leave yourself or your family unprotected against financial storms. … Build up savings.”

Ezra Taft Benson  |  Pay Thy Debt, and Live …, Brigham Young University Speeches of the Year (28 Feb. 1962), 10.

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“Yours is a great responsibility in this day when the need for courageous leadership is so urgent. You can become those leaders. … Our [people] need to develop qualities of leadership. They need to learn the value of staying power—stick-to-it-iveness. They need to learn devotion to duty—the devotion to duty that keeps a good doctor on the job right around the clock in an emergency; the devotion to duty that leads a scientist or a teacher to persevere in a low-paying position in public service because that is where his maximum contribution can be made.” –

Ezra Taft Benson

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