How President Bensonís
Mother-in-law Died

By President Ezra Taft Benson
[source unknown]

My wife's mother, Barbara Smith Amussen, was an officiator in the Logan Temple for twenty years, a widow for forty years, and a woman without guile.

This choice woman knew the exact time she was to depart mortal life. Her husband, a Danish convert and Utah's first pioneer jeweler and watchmaker, Carl Christian Amussen, appeared to her in either a dream or a vision. She admitted, "I'm not sure which, but it was so real it seemed that he was right in the room. He said he had come to tell me that my time in mortal life was ending and that on the following Thursday [it was then Friday], I would be expected to leave mortal life."

Her oldest daughter, Mabel, said, "Oh, Mother, you've been worrying about something. You've not been feeling well."

Her mother replied, "Everything's fine. I feel wonderful. There's nothing to worry about. I just know I'll be leaving next Thursday." Then she added, "Mabel, when the time comes, I'd like to pass away in your home in the upper room where I used to sit and tell the boys Book of Mormon and Church history stories when they were little fellows."

As the time drew near, she attended fast meeting in her ward. The bishop told us she stood and talked as though she were going on a long journey. "She was bidding us all goodbye," said the bishop, "expressing her love for us and the joy that had been hers working in the temple, which was just a few yards away from the chapel." And then she bore a fervent testimony.

The bishop was so impressed that, following her testimony, he arose and announced the closing song, although the ward members had not been together quite an hour.

As the days passed, she went to the bank, drew out her small savings, paid all her bills, and went to Bishop Hall's mortuary and picked out her casket. Then she had the water and the power turned off in her home and went down to Mabel's. The day before she passed away, her son came to visit her. They sat by the bed and held hands as they talked.

On the day of her passing, Mabel came into the room where her mother was reclining on the bed. Her mother said, "Mabel, I feel a little bit drowsy. I feel I will go to sleep. Do not disturb me if I sleep until the eventide."

Those were her last words, and she peacefully passed away.

(edited by David Van Alstyne)

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