Spencer W. Kimball:

By Elder S. Dilworth Young

Emeritus Member of the First Quorum of the Seventy

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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.

    Illustrated by Judith Campion