BOOK REVIEW/OVERVIEW

Author: Ezra Taft Benson

Title: An Enemy Hath Done This

Length: 370 pp.

Publisher: Parliament Publishers, Salt Lake City

Publication Date: 1969

Notes:

Foreword by Senator John L. McClellan

Compiled by Jerreld L. Newquist

includes index and footnotes

Comments:

This compilation includes original material by the then Apostle, and reprints of many addresses given in various forums (including the General Conferences of the L.D.S. Church) from the time of publication of the previous compilation in 1964, through 1968, just before the publication of the present work.

Elder Benson speaks on the need for moral reform, valiance, and vigilance against American socialism and overreaching government authority. In the history of the Church, few general authorities have been as politically outspoken as Ezra Taft Benson. Subjects in this book include disarmament, the war in Vietnam, civil rights, the United Nations, deficit spending, social security, price controls, and much, much more.

A recurring theme is the threat of global conspiracy, which Elder Benson most often identifies as Soviet Communism. Of interest are two comments on the assassination of President Kennedy, which Benson says serves as an example of the damage being done in America by the spirit of communist violence. Lee Harvey Oswald is referred to as the "accused assassin" of the President.

Using the assassination as an illustration, Elder Benson demonstrates how little Americans concern themselves with Communism. He asks his audience to speculate how the nation might have reacted if a similar plot had been carried out by Nazis during the war. It is ironic that the assassination as a Nazi plot may be closer to the truth than is commonly thought.

A favorite essay is "Not Commanded in All Things," reprinted from the April 1965 General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Using Doctrine and Covenants 58:26-29 as the basis for his remarks, Elder Benson urges the Church membership not to wait for him and his Brethren in Salt Lake City to spell out a program for saving America. He points out that plenty of instruction has already been given, and there can be no greater priority. Don't wait until it is popular or until everyone has come to agreement, he says. "Maybe the Lord will never set up a specific Church program for the purpose of saving the Constitution. Perhaps if he set it up at this time it might split the Church asunder, and perhaps he does not want that to happen yet, for not all the wheat and tares are fully ripe." He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.