Ezra Taft Benson, Oct 9,1946

-- Oct 9,1946
First Presidency and apostles decide to allow faithful African-American Mormons to receive patriarchal blessings, and Patriarch Elder G. Smith blesses black couple for the first time. (1)

-- October 24, 1946
Flora had hoped to raise twelve children, but complications following Beth's birth in mid-1944 resulted in a hysterectomy in late 1946. "I wanted twelve children, but had to settle for a choice half dozen," Flora later explained. "If we just would have had twins every time, we would have made it." (2)

-- November 15, 1946
Alma Sonne arrives in England to replace Benson. (3)

-- December 13, 1846
Benson ends his missing, leaveing Europe for the U.S. During his European relief mission, he traveled 61,236 miles—counting both transatlantic flights—and helped to coordinate the delivery of the equivalent of fifty-one train carloads, weighing some 2,000 tons, of relief supplies.

Confronting the horrors of National Socialism and Stalinist Communism, he developed a deep, abiding hatred of fascism, socialism, and especially communism. For Benson, individual liberty lay at the heart of God's plan for his children. The many lessons of that "never-to-be-forgotten year" would remain with Benson throughout his life. (3)

-- During 1946
In the years immediately following World War II, Republicans in Utah, following national patterns, reasserted themselves. Arthur V. Watkins, a Republican moderate, was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1946. Other important Republican figures in the post-war period included Ezra Taft Benson, Secretary of Agriculture under Dwight Eisenhower, and Congressmen William A. Dawson, Henry Aldous Dixon, and Douglas Stringfellow. The latter--considered an up-and-coming party leader, who even attracted national attention--was forced to resign when it became known that he had contrived a heroic war record. (4)

-- 1947
Benson subscribed to the anti-Communist rhetoric that marked much of American political discourse during these years. Communism, he said in 1947, "is a total philosophy of life, atheistic and utterly opposed to all we hold dear." (5)

-- Jan 30, 1947
Minutes of the Council of the Twelve and of the First Presidency: Letter read from President A. Reed Halverson of the New Zealand Mission stating that there has been an instance or two in the mission where men with a trace of Negro blood have been ordained to the Priesthood and are now taking part. He asks whether or not a person who has colored blood in his veins may receive the Priesthood and what should be done about these brethren who have already been ordained.

In discussing this matter it was the sentiment of the Brethren that president Halverson should be informed that no one should be ordained to the Priesthood who is known to have Negro blood in his veins, and that if any one has been so ordained, if it is admitted or otherwise established, he should be instructed not to attempt to use the Priesthood in any other ordinations. (6)

1 - Quinn, D. Michael, The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power, Appendix 5, Selected Chronology of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1848-1996, http://amzn.to/extensions-power
2 - Benson, Diary, October 24, 1946, and April 26, 1950. For context and full citation, see Gary James Bergera, "Weak-Kneed Republicans and Socialist Democrats": Ezra Taft Benson as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, 1953-61, Part 2, Dialogue : A Journal of Mormon Thought, (Winter 2008, vol 41)
3 - Gary James Bergera, "Ezra Taft Benson's 1946 Mission to Europe" Journal of Mormon History 34:2 (Spring 2008)
4 - Utah History Encyclopedia: Utah Republican Party, http://www.uen.org/utah_history_encyclopedia/
5 - Gary James Bergera, '"Rising above Principle": Ezra Taft Benson as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, 1953-61, Part 1', Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought (Fall 2008, v 41)
6 - Marquardt, H. Michael, Mormon Central: Excerpts From Minutes of the Council of the Twelve and of the First Presidency, 1879-1947 http://www.xmission.com/~research/central/chorg2.htm

LDS History Chronology: Ezra Taft Benson

Mormon History Timeline: the life of Ezra Taft Benson