Spencer W. Kimball: A Tribute

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    On March 28, President Spencer W. Kimball celebrates his eighty-fourth birthday. From a longer work by Elder S. Dilworth Young, the Ensign prints this warm appreciation to our beloved President, a truly great and remarkable prophet of this last dispensation.

    Mt. Graham

    (Arizona boyhood)
    One starts to climb Mt. Graham
    From cactus covered hills
    Dry from summer’s heat.
    Our feet
    Plod up the dried out slopes.
    Then higher as we go,
    The lupine and the
    Blue-bell show
    Their graceful heads.
    And higher still
    The columbine nods
    Graceful stem as aspen
    Quivers in the wind.
    The air now cool
    And fresh is fragrant
    From the scent of pine
    And fir—
    And from the summit
    One can see
    From here to beyond eternity.
    Far far below is stretched
    The land
    Reaching out on every hand
    Farther by far than
    One can see.
    What boy can climb this
    Solemn height
    And not be touched by
    Heaven’s light—
    And know the Maker of the land
    Which stretches far on every hand.
    What boy can fail
    To grow in heart and mind
    When sheltered in the valley.
    He lifts his eyes each day
    And sees the mountain part the
    Veil of clouds to pray.

    At Ogden Temple Dedication

    (January 1972)
    No more his voice
    Rings out with firmer tones.
    His poetry is spoken
    In a quiet way.
    This newest psalm, created
    For this House,
    Is softly said
    To warm our hearts today.
    Not like the mighty organ
    Is the sound,
    But gently said,
    As though a harp is played,
    The sound sweeping
    The strings in quiet
    Melody. While we,
    Straining to catch
    Each nuance of the song,
    Will hear the message
    And remember long.

    The Responsibility

    (1973)
    I did not ask for this!
    Lord, Thou knowest that
    I prayed he might be spared
    Longer to lead the Church.
    His strength was mighty in its power.
    How can I in this hour
    Hope to carry on what he has done
    Find strength to drive this body
    Worn and patched, repaired
    And faltering, unto the heights
    Where he has carried on?
    Then from the heavens seem to
    Come the words to comfort him:
    My son, why dost thou doubt?
    Hast thou not known that I can
    Give thee strength unto the renewing
    Of thy body, aged though it be?
    Hast thou a heart which beats quite constantly?
    Hast thou not voice,
    Vibrant and convincing:
    Thou dost not sing,
    Yet I have given thee a song
    To sing to all my saints.
    And as thou singest so the
    Saints shall hear and
    Understand, and you
    Will do your part to lead
    My people to their promised land.

    April 1974 Conference

    Thy servant, Lord,
    Has answered to thy call
    To be thy mouthpiece
    On the earth—unto its farthest part.
    Give him strong heart
    To bear thy burden well;
    Enlarge his voice
    That he may tell
    Thy message to
    Thy people, Lord,
    And to the far-flung
    Who have not yet heard.
    O Lord, we know he is thy chosen seer.
    As he now speaks,
    Give us the ear to hear.

    His Song

    Lengthen your stride, my people.
    Span the continents
    With mighty leaps.
    Quicken your pace
    Until the word of God
    Reaches every race
    Of men upon the earth.
    Raise your sights
    Until from every hearth
    A mighty song bursts forth
    Acknowledging
    Christ is the Lord on earth.

    After Sixty Years

    (1978)
    I saw you sitting on the stand
    Last Sunday night,
    And saw you reach your hand
    To hers
    And hold it tight.
    I saw
    But didn’t mean to see
    The quick, exchanged
    Glance.
    No word was said,
    No spoken sound
    Escaped your lips—
    A quiet smile
    Illumined up her face
    The softened look of love,
    Of confidence serene.
    Somehow I felt I’d been
    Within some sacred place
    Had seen what only angels
    See.
    A small glimpse of eternity.

    [illustration] Illustrated by Judith Campion