BETA

Prophet to observe 91st birthday Aug. 4

President Ezra Taft Benson once recorded in his journal that he never passed a birthday without recalling "my rich blessings and the miraculous preservation of my life as I first saw the light of day."

President Benson was born Aug. 4, 1899, in Whitney, Idaho, and from his personal reminiscenses he reflected, "The doctor laid me on the bed and said, `There's no hope for the child, but I believe we can save the mother.' "That was nearly 91 years ago.

"The grandmothers [Louisa Ballif Benson and Margaret Wright DunkleyT immediately rushed to the kitchen and returned with two pans of water - one cold and the other warm. They then dipped me first in the cold water and then in the warm water - back and forth, until finally they heard a yelp, which indicated that the 11 3/4-pound baby had life," President Benson later wrote.

President Benson will note his 91st birthday Saturday, Aug. 4, and on that occasion the Church News will offer a glimpse into the life of the prophet, recounting what he was doing on many of his birthdays.

The accounts of President Benson's birthdays, primarily taken from his journals, vividly illustrate his gratitude and appreciation for life's blessings. On his 66th birthday, for example, he wrote, "The years have been full and happy, filled with the rich blessings of my Heavenly Father for which I am most grateful."