Ezra Taft Benson, Mid-February 1946

-- Mid-February 1946
Benson had organized four forty-ton carloads of supplies. They arrived in April with additional carloads following. (1)

-- March 23-24, 1946
(Berlin) "The worst destruction I have witnessed was seen today," he wrote. ". . . I smelled the odor of decaying human bodies, saw half-starved women paying exorbitant prices anxiously for potato peelings." "The sisters have been ravished . . .," he continued. "Some have been beaten and f logged to insensibility, others murdered and still others deported . . ." "Words cannot begin to describe the ruin that has been heaped upon this once proud city," he told the First Presidency. "Traveling amid such surroundings leaves one with a feeling so appalling that it must be experienced to be understood." "The job of taking care of our Saints ...is over whelming," he admitted, "and as we contemplate their rehabilitation, it becomes staggering." (1)

-- April 1, 1846
By the end of his first two months in Europe, Benson had visited all of the Church's European missions and further helped to coordinate—aided by the Red Cross and other agencies—the receipt, storage, and eventual distribution of the Church's relief supplies. (1)

-- May 13, 1946
"What we have seen in the last two weeks, only emphasizes the inspiration of the First Presidency in warning the priesthood of the Church regarding the dangers of world [sic] doctrines and practices creeping into the Church and the importance of keeping our practices and procedures simple and plain as the Lord intended. . . . [T]hank the Lord the war did not extend for a ten-year period! Otherwise I fear we would have found crosses and crowns on every pulpit." (2)

-- 1940-1945
One member reported that "some of the presiding brethren in the Western German mission ...tried to preach national Socialism instead of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. ...The Saints were asked to pray for the 'Fuehrer' in their meetings and in their homes and regard him as a divinely called man." (1)

-- Jul 11, 1946
[President George Albert Smith] "At office early. Met in Church Council room with Presidency and Twelve. Transacted considerable business Discussed condition of Patriarch Jos F." [The Presiding Patriarch had been engaging in homosexual behavior] (3)

-- July 15, 1946
The First Presidency wrote to Benson: "Europe brewed her own mess of bitter pottage; America did not brew it. This does not mean that we should not have full sympathy for the sufferings endured by the people in Europe, nor that we should not do our utmost to alleviate them, but it does mean, as it seems to us, that we should not approach this problem from the point of view that it is our responsibility, except beyond the broad lines of human and Church brotherhood." (1)

1 - Gary James Bergera, "Ezra Taft Benson's 1946 Mission to Europe" Journal of Mormon History 34:2 (Spring 2008)
2 - Benson to First Presidency as cited in Gary James Bergera, "Ezra Taft Benson's 1946 Mission to Europe" Journal of Mormon History 34:2 (Spring 2008)
3 - Journals of George Albert Smith

LDS History Chronology: Ezra Taft Benson

Mormon History Timeline: the life of Ezra Taft Benson