Grampa Bill's General Authority Pages
Ben B. Banks Benjamin B. (Berry) Banks


1932 - living
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  • Born 1932 Murray, Utah
  • Baptized as a child; Aaronic Priesthood as a youth: Melchizedek Priesthood as a young man
  • Married Susan Kearnes; seven children, one foster child
  • Bishop, Stake President
  • President of the Scotland Edinburgh Mission 1987-1990
  • Second Quorum of the Seventy 1989-1992
  • First Quorum of the Seventy 1992-2002
  • Presidency of the Seventy 1999-2002
  • Named an Emeritus General Authority 2002
  • President of Jordon River Temple 2002-2005
  • Director of Church Hosting Nov. 1, 2005-?

    His alert eyes, the color in his face, and the sureness of his movements all revealed Ben Banks’s vigorous love of sports and the out-of-doors. He was a model of physical fitness when, at 57, Elder Benjamin Berry Banks returned to the United States from Scotland, where he served as mission president, to attend general conference and to be sustained as a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy.

    “We love the people of Scotland, and we love the country itself,” said his wife, the former Susan Kearnes. “It will be hard to leave and hard to leave the great missionary effort. We have developed a great love for the missionaries; they have been a true blessing in our lives. But we love to go where we are called.”

    Going where he is called and doing what is asked are traits characteristic of Elder Banks’s always energetic service. “Whether in business, in Church service, or with my family,” he smiled, “I have always felt that I needed to give more than was expected of me and have left the rest up to the Lord. The results have been blessings beyond measure.”

    Sister Banks said, “Ben is one of the most generous and considerate people I’ve ever known. He believes that everything he has belongs to the Lord, so he feels responsible for sharing anything in reach. And he does.”

    Ben Banks built a thriving lumber business in Salt Lake City based on the same principle—he tried to give more than people expected. Two of his sons, Ben, Jr., and Brad, took over when he was called to full-time Church service.

    Besides these two oldest sons, Elder and Sister Banks had a daughter, Nanette (Amis), and five other sons. All seven sons have gone on missions in Japan.

    Elder Banks was born in Salt Lake City on 4 April 1932. His mother is Chloa Berry Banks; his father, Ben F. Banks, died when Ben was two years old.

    After serving three different times as bishop, Elder Banks served as a stake president. He was called in 1987 to preside over the Scotland Edinburgh Mission, from which he was released to assume his duties in the Second Quorum of the Seventy.

Elder Banks, an avid cyclist, shared his enjoyment of sports with his family. He and Susan always enjoyed skiing together—on both snow and water—and camping has been a favorite family activity. These activities and the memories they provide have kept the family very close.

    Scripture-centered parenting is another way that Elder and Sister Banks have kept the family close, Elder Banks believes. “I have always found that the best advice for Sue and me in teaching our children is in the scriptures. We have used them consistently. We are so grateful for the wisdom they offer. And when our children have wanted advice, the scriptures were always our first resort.”

    The Banks children said that standards in their parents’ home were high and demanding; yet they always felt loved and valued. “Though a busy Church leader, Dad always made time for us,” adds one son.

    Another son agrees: “He coached teams, attended special events, and talked freely with us when we needed him. A good balance was achieved between our father’s strict, high expectations and our mother’s tenderness.” To which Elder Banks adds, “I’ve never heard my wife angry, and never have I heard her speak an unkind word to or about anyone. Her heart is pure.”

    All the Banks children are actively involved in the Church. “Our gratitude for the joy our family brings us is endless,” said Elder Banks. “The love we share for our own and for all our Father’s children makes any service we could ever give the purest enjoyment.”     After serving faithfully in the Second Quorum of the Seventy for three years, Elder Banks was called into the First Quorum of the Seventy on June 6, 1992 and sustained thereto in the October General Conference. In 1999 he was called to the Presidency of the Seventy. He was released from the Presidency and named an Emeritus General Authority in 2002.    Even after all these years of faithful service, the Lord was not through with Elder Banks, After his release from the Seventy, Elder Banks and his wife Susan wrw called as President and Matron of the Jordon River Temple, a three yeat assignment. Following their completion of that calling, effective November 1, 2005, they were again called to work together as Directors of Church Hosting.


Bibliography
   "News of the Church: Elder Ben B. Banks of the Second Quorum of the Seventy," The Ensign, May 1989, p. 93
   "15 New General Authorities Are Called," Church News Archives, June 6, 1992
   "Elder Uchtdorf joins Presidency of Seventy," Church News Archives, June 22, 2002
   "Year in Review," Church News Archives, December 28, 2002
   2005 Church Almanac, p.78
   "Church Hosting Directors Called," Church News, Sep. 24, 2005


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