President Ezra Taft Benson dedicated a former LDS Church park in downtown Preston, Idaho, on Saturday, August 15, to honor his mother, Sarah Dunkley Benson, and all pioneer women.
A crowd of two thousand people braved rain that stopped only minutes before the dedication ceremony began. Following a program that included a Relief Society chorus and a hundred-voice Benson family chorus, President Benson dedicated the park “for the cause for which they represented, for their faith in their hearts for the mission of the Son and Savior.”
A bronze plaque housed in a gazebo-like structure near the park’s flagpole now stands as a memorial to Sister Benson and other stalwart pioneer women.
President Benson asked those in attendance to keep foremost in their hearts and minds the things that made the dedication possible. He then reminisced about his mother and his father, George Benson, and their home life in Whitney, located just a few miles east of Preston.
He recalled hitching up a horse and wagon for his mother to go to Relief Society when she served as president. He also remembered the collection efforts she undertook for grain that was later used by the U. S. government.
A Benson family reunion was held in the Preston Idaho South Stake center following the dedication.
Correspondent: Gary Rawlings is high priests group secretary and Blazer A instructor in the Fairview Second Ward, Preston Idaho South Stake.