“This is no ordinary man who presides over The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The day he was ordained an apostle he became a different man, a special witness of the Lord Jesus Christ as those in ancient times, … possessing the same authority, sustained by the same witness as those He ordained in former days.” (Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, March 1974, p. 13.)

Three years ago this month, President Spencer W. Kimball became the twelfth President on December 30, 1973, after thirty years in the Council of the Twelve.

Born March 28, 1895, in Salt Lake City, President Kimball spent his childhood to young manhood in Thatcher, Arizona. Even as a child, President Kimball was faithful to the Lord. His father, Andrew Kimball, said of young Spencer:

“That boy, Spencer, is an exceptional boy. He always tries to mind me, whatever I ask him to do. I have dedicated him to be one of the mouthpieces of the Lord—the Lord willing. You will see him some day as a great leader. I have dedicated him to the service of God, and he will become a mighty man in the Church.” (Conference Reports, October 1943, p. 17.)

Spencer W. Kimball did become “one of the mouthpieces of the Lord” when he was ordained an apostle in October 1943. His grandfather Heber C. Kimball had served as a member of the original Council of the Twelve called by Joseph Smith.

President Kimball loves people; he loves sociability; he loves to sing, to play the piano; he loves the greatness of the out-of-doors, and the beautiful and finer things. He loves life—and lives it purposefully.

“He is a man of strength and dignity, of personableness and persuasion—and of faith. He believes that the impossible is possible with the help of God. He knows the profound importance of his calling, and devotes himself to it with a kind of dedication that is rare among men.” (Richard L. Evans, Improvement Era, October 1954, p. 751.)