In December 1945 Elder Ezra Taft Benson of the Council of the Twelve was called as president of the European Mission, and the following month he left for Europe. In the normal course of things, that assignment would not have been viewed as particularly noteworthy. But conditions in Europe in 1946 were anything but normal, and what became known as his "emergency mission" there would go down in Church annals as one of the most distinctive, demanding, unusual missions in this dispensation. President Benson had been uniquely prepared for this mission. He brought to the assignment years of experience in Washington, D. C., where he had worked at the highest levels of government. He had excellent organizational skills and stamina exceeding that of many men, was a prodigious worker, and possessed deep faith in the overriding power of the Lord Jesus Christ. President Benson went to Europe, leaving his family behind; and for eleven months while, under the Lord's direction, he performed miracles in behalf of Saints an ocean away, Sister Benson did the same in Salt Lake City as she kept their family of six children on an even keel and mustered the energy and time to give her husband as much support as she could from a distance. Though separated by many miles, their relationship sustained each other. The Bensons' letters to and from each other and their journal entries, as well as other official accounts of that period, tell the story of that adventurous but trying year. They also reveal the depth of their convictions to the Lord as well as their devotion to each other. In microcosm, they represent the essence of Ezra Taft and Flora Benson. A Labor of Love: The 1946 European Mission of Ezra Taft Benson is a story about love-the love of a husband and wife for the Lord and for each other, the love of the Saints for their brothers and sisters an ocean away, the love of the Brethren for one of their colleagues away on a demanding assignment, and the love of the Lord for his people.
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